Composing, improvising and doodling

Modelling creative behaviours

It is crucial that you join in and demonstrate your own willingness to take creative risks, and encourage other adults in your classroom to do the same.  A good way to build confidence is to try things out yourself when nobody else is around.

Task (from Teaching Primary Music, p.69)1  

Write down two lines of a known or made-up poem on a piece of paper. In a private space with nobody around, say the words out loud in different ways and voices and then sing them in three different ways, with any melodies that come into your head. If you are stuck, sing the first word on any note and then decide whether the pitch of the next note will go up, down or stay the same. Do it again, and this time try to experiment a little with the rhythm. Sing it in a different voice – for example, as an opera diva, like a fairy or with a very nasal sound.

Creative thinking – not ‘just’ connected to making up music

'Creative thinking: (a) is the prerequisite for any creative process, output and outcome; (b) presupposes the active and intentional involvement of the person(s) who create(s); (c) can be fostered by appropriate education. Creative thinking is defined as the thinking that enables students to apply their imagination to generating ideas, questions and hypotheses, experimenting with alternatives, and to evaluating their own and their peers’ ideas, final products and processes...Everyone has creative thinking skills and ideas, but children have more because they are not yet fully aware of rigid logic and convergent views. They are divergent, open, inventive and playful, which are features of creativity...Three factors contribute to be(com)ing creative: skills, environment (including means) and motivation.'

(2) Kampylis and Burki, 2014: 6 

Creativity is not limited to children ‘making up music’ but is integral to their musical behaviour and thoughts.  Children need frequently planned opportunities for creative thinking and action throughout the musical learning process, and recognition that creativity manifests in many different ways. Getting children to be playful and creative even when practising ‘other people’s music’ is a very good way to help them to become better musicians.

1Daubney, A. (2017) Teaching Primary Music. London: Sage.

2Kampylis, P. and Burki, E. (2014) Nurturing creative thinking. International Academy of Education.