Leaving children with ownership of their own music is crucially important. After all, if they decide where and how to make up their own music and do this independently, they have ownership. Within a formal learning situation we need to make sure that the structural organisation of the time available allows for this ownership, for example by ensuring that we don’t bulldoze their ideas with our own; whilst we may try to encourage them to make creative decisions, finding ways for them to make decisions for themselves is important, for example through asking exploratory questions instead of just ‘telling’ or ‘showing’ them what to do. As teachers, we need to make sure that we don’t have a tightly defined set of ‘success criteria’ in our heads that pushes students towards ‘one answer’. Modelling a range of creative opportunities, and involving children in modelling, can help get away from the idea that they are seeking one response that will please the teacher.
Composing, improvising and doodling