Last weekend (19-20th Jan) I was lucky enough to attend a course organised by the prestigious Royal Opera House with a focus on working creatively through the arts (drama, music, design and movement). The Cross Arts Teacher Training course has been run in partnership with the University of Greenwich, along with Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Exeter.
I decided to take up this opportunity for a couple of reasons, predominately, because I don’t consider myself to be creative, and felt I needed as much help as possible to build my confidence in teaching the arts in school. In addition, this course was FREE!
While this course seemed ideal, I was concerned due to the lack of information available, from the university of the Royal Opera House on what would be covered. Also, the timing of the course was not perfect, as I start my final teaching placement tomorrow for 8 weeks.
Despite this (and the snow!) off I went. The two day course focused my attention on practical cross arts ideas for using with children across the primary age range. While I could talk about every aspect of the course, below are some of my highlights:
The Giraffe Song: this was a song that required no musical experience or formal training to master and was great for engaging learners with a range if styles. By asking us to sing, move and perform actions there was no time to think about what we were doing. While I would have been intimidated by the notion of performance, because everyone was singing/acting at the same time, it didn’t seem so daunting.
Boxhead: although this isn’t the official name of this activity, it thoroughly encompasses the second day of the course. From playing consequences, to creating costumes from brown paper, everyone who attended the second day contributed to the development and creation of our fictional character ‘Boxhead‘ (he lived under the sea and had no friends!). Boxhead became the focus of the days activities and we chopped and changed from costume design to composing a song about our new character.
Overall, there is a wealth of information for ideas to use in the classroom. Ultimately, the theme of shared ownership over e creative process and that everyone has the ability to be creative if given the chance by having fast paces lessons that stop that initial filtering of ideas we often think are stupid. I believe I have rekindled my creativity and have developed the confidence to tackle more creative ideas in the classroom – bring on the final teaching practice!!!