I am so excited to be speaking at the Wisconsin Afterschool Association’s Annual conference this weekend. I will be doing three sessions related to the importance of afterschool programming and how we can use it to give creative outlets to our right-brain thinkers as well as expand the skill sets of left-brain thinkers in order to boost academic performance for all students.
Join me as I describe what it REALLY means to be a right-brain, visual thinker and how that affects kids in school.
Music, songs and a basic rhythm can be something we take for granted… but what actually happens to us when we hear a piece of music? While each side experiences it differently, art would not be that same if you only experienced it from one side of the brain. So what’s your brain doing on music?
Both sides of the brain are essential in the experience of art. While each side experiences it differently, art would not be that same if you only experienced it from one side of the brain. Without the right brain to experience art, it would lose its beauty and meaning. Without the left-brain to organize it, art would be incomplete and incomprehensible.
We recently had a wedding in the family – our first. While planning and executing such a grand and lovely event was thoroughly enjoyable, it was also a brilliant study on the way left and right-brain people approach a given task.
Our oldest daughter, the bride, is a visual-spatial thinker, full of ideas and vision; there’s a lot of that going on in our family. The groom’s, a social, left -brain analytical thinker, prefers numbers, budgets and excel spreadsheets; there’s a lot of that going on in their family. When it came time to plan the wedding, the right-brain, visual bride and bridesmaids immersed themselves in magazines, websites and social media, searching out ideas – visually. Pinterest became a family obsession, with everyone in the family searching out and sharing ideas. A few trips to stores, photographers, florists and wedding vendors, brought more options and ideas.
Are you creative? Can you draw? Paint a picture? Do you hold a patent for a new invention that will change the way we live?
Creativity is often defined in relation to artistic ability but creative thought reaches far beyond the arts and has profound implications in all parts of our lives. Creativity is about thinking outside the box, bringing fresh insight to established patterns of thought, rules and relationships. Creativity is a process of personal expression and playful pursuit, but creativity is also a highly sought after commodity, in business as well as the arts. Creative ideas may produce a work of art or music, it can lead to breakthroughs in science and engineering, increased personal satisfaction and career success, even solutions to highly complex social issues.
We are all capable of creative thought, but like other skills, it requires development. Countries all around the world have made the development of creativity a priority. However, while the United States has been a world leader of innovation in the past, increased emphasis on standardization, testing and cuts in arts programs, means we are no longer developing creativity and innovation in our students. Yong Zhao, author of
All I wanted was to do art with kids — to teach and empower — to see their sweet faces light up with every new discovery. My young students thrived when they got the “how to” information they craved. And while teaching children how to draw, they taught me — again and again — how important art is to them. In my book, Being Visual, I talk about my 20 years experience teaching young kids how to draw by using their preferred learning style. The classes and teaching method were popular and effective, so I made a business out of it. But it’s never really been about the business.