Sunday, 24 April 2011

Developing Lateral Thinkers

Can we support lateral thinking in music?  
In the light of our fast changing world, we can’t do things as we have always done them.  We need to think outside the box.   - and experiences in music and movement can help.  We need to help children to think for themselves and come up with of new ways to solve old problems.  

Thinking outside the box also includes using imagination, visualization as well as problem solving.  We can build these skills, and lateral thinking attitudes, through music.

Sir Ken Robinson, in his talk entitled Do Schools Kill Creativity reminds us that children starting school this year will retire in 2071.  What will the world look like by then? We can't imagine the world in 5 years time, so how can we imagine what the world will look like in 2071.  

Our children won't be living in a world as it is today, so it would be irresponsible for us to educate them to only think as we have done in the past.  When we look at the changes which have happened on our planet even just this year we have seen disasters, food shortages, major nuclear challenges, as well as the fast changing technology and communications we have witnessed over the last 20 years of the internet. 
How can we prepare children for such a fast changing world?  

The answer is not to give them the answers but to help them think for themselves, to think outside the norm and to come up with new and different solutions.   These attitudes can start when they are very young.  There are often many different "right" answers and many different ways to look at a problem.
For example: How can we clap in a new way? 
How can we stretch up tall in our own way?
 How can we play our instrument differently?
Music is an interesting medium for giving children opportunities to think creatively.  In our classes we look for opportunities to help children think of new movements, actions, sounds, or rhythms; to imagine themselves as spacemen, rabbits, or giants to develop imagination and visualization, helping children put themselves " in another's shoes" and thus understand a situation from a different point of view.

 -and we can have so much fun doing it!

For an interesting talk on creativity listen to Sir Ken Robinson's talk entitled Do Schools Kill Creativity?

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