An Introduction to Creativity and Creative Arts
Domain 5 of the Head Start Child Outcomes Framework is The Creative Arts, which includes four elements: music, art, movement, and dramatic play. Each of these Domain Elements supports children's imaginative thinking and self-expression and enhances their progress in other Domains. For example, children may count musical beats, experiment with mixing colors to make a new one, create dialogue for a story drama, or move like the animal characters in a story. In such activities, they are learning in several Domains and using a variety of social, cognitive, and creative processes.
The creative arts engage children's minds and senses. They invite children to listen, observe, move, solve problems, and imagine, using multiple modes of thought and self-expression. Active involvement in the creative arts stimulates brain connections that support children's learning. A growing body of research on the effects of early arts experiences shows their positive relationship to improved, overall academic performance. Research in the arts also demonstrates that when creativity is developed at an early age, its benefits are continual and are transferred to many intellectual tasks (Arts Education Partnership 2000). All areas of creative arts can incorporate the diversity of children in the program. Dance, art, pantomime, and creative expression are areas where English language learners can be included without needing to rely on language skills in English. Music can be particularly effective since it can be fun for children to learn a song in either English or another language.
Music experiences for young children involve listening to, learning about, and making music. Children can listen and respond to different kinds of music by moving, dancing, painting, or talking about how it makes them feel, what instruments they hear, how it compares to other pieces they have heard, or what they do or do not like about it. They may use simple rhythm instruments to create music or to accompany live or recorded music. Children also enjoy singing favorite songs, learning new ones, and making up their own.
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