What is creativity?
The definition of creativity is not straightforward. Some people regard creativity as the bringing into being of something that does not exist before. Such can be a product, a process or a thought. In fact, creativity involves a series of processes and elements of which most commonly are:
- Imagination – the ability to produce and simulate novel things and ideas in the mind.
- Originality – the ability to come up with new and unique ideas and products.
- Productivity – the ability to bring out a variety of different ideas and products with value and worth.
- Problem solving – the ability to apply knowledge and imagination in a given situation
How is creativity connected to childhood development?
Young children are mostly very creative as it is their inborn ability to fantasize, experiment and explore their environment. However, this ability is not necessarily transferred from childhood to adulthood. In this competitive world, this ability is often being overlooked and inhibited. Under such circumstances, UCM encourages the development of creativity in young children. Through creative music classes, children can have more chances to create their own unique ideas and products, even for children in ECF.
Through creativity, children can improve their personality traits, build up self-confidence and learn emotions, including the pleasure in facing challenge and tolerance of anxiety and stress. Creativity can also improve cognitive abilities, such as divergent thinking, sensitivity to problems and better judgment.
Moreover, creativity also allows young children to establish connections between one area of learning and another, and so extend their understanding. These areas includes art, music, dance, role-play and imaginative play.
Creative Music at UCM
At UCM, children’s creativity will be nurtured through the creative environment, the creative music programs, creative teachers as well as creative methods of teaching. Researches have proved that creative teachers and creative teaching are key components in fostering creativity in young children. Although some children may already have the necessary components, others may need help, encouragement and skill development in order to engage in creative activities.
UCM teachers, through observation and conversation, work out what is causing the child’s difficulties and encourage him/her to work through them. Teachers also help children to develop their creativity by providing a creative environment, building up their skills through play, behaving creatively themselves and praising children’s creative efforts.
Studies showed that a few highly creative adults may insist on ‘being creative’ almost in spite of their educational experiences. But, this is not an argument for leaving creativity to chance. A lot of children will miss the opportunity to develop their creativity without encouragement and support in pre-school and later education.
What are the ways for creativity to flourish?
For creativity to flourish at UCM, it is necessary for children to be actively involved in the process of their own learning. Children are strongly encouraged to have imaginative play, such as role play, and free choice of activities in relation to creativity. UCM possesses a professional music team who helps to design the creative music curriculum, which is tied with the IEYC themes for each grade. Throughout the school year, students will have sufficient and sustained periods of time to develop their creative projects. Each student will have his/her own creations of which some will be produced in videos or songs.
The creative process is fun, and at the same time, it presents a lot of challenges. It requires concentration, persistence and determination to succeed. Throughout the creative process, there can be full of frustration and difficulties. Insomuch, creativity deserves to be taken seriously.
The importance of creativity in our personal lives can’t be underestimated. It is the most crucial factor for future success with respect to our interpersonal relationships, careers and even business strategies.