The Importance of Creative Expression for Children

Most children have a natural streak of creativity and you can often see this in their play. Whether they are painting, playing doctors and nurses or trying to make music, creativity is a normal part of daily life for children.

The temptation for many parents is to stifle this creativity and focus more on teaching their children academic subjects or life skills. If their child attends school or nursery, they may also assume that they have enough opportunity for creativity there and that it is not something they need to concern themselves about at home or during their child’s leisure time.

musical expression for children

However, there are many benefits in allowing your children to freely express their creativity. Let’s take a look at just a few of them here:

Fun

One of the major advantages of allowing your child to be creative is that it is fun. Childhood should be all about having a great time, not about having responsibilities and feel under pressure. Kids will learn many other things through their creative play, and it’s learning in a way they enjoy. Having an exciting and adventurous time is an important part of growing up.

Learning skills

Creative activities will give your child the opportunity to learn many new skills and they won’t necessarily even know they are learning while they are doing so. Just some of these skills include communication, numeracy, teamwork, independent thinking and social interaction. For example, music and movement can teach children how to count beats, learn lyrics, interact with other children and communicate effectively.

Health

Many of the creative arts can support a child’s health and wellbeing. The performance arts often involve lots of movement and this can help a child to develop both their gross and fine motor skills. It is also a fun way of getting physical exercise, essential for both growth and later life.

Furthermore, if children enjoy the creative arts, they will be happy when they are involved in such activities and this is good for their mental and emotional wellbeing too. After all, a healthy child is a happy child.

Developing Their Personality

Every child is an individual with their own unique personality. Their likes and dislikes are all an important part of their character. Creative arts not only give them the opportunity to try out new activities to find out what they do and do not like, it also gives them the chance to express their feelings in different forms. The latter is especially important for children who find it hard to verbalise their emotions, so getting involved in creative activities can often help you find out more about your child than you would have known previously.

Making New Friends And Finding New Interests

Giving your child the opportunity to go to childrens’ drama classes and workshops will help them to find hobbies and interests they enjoy and can become passionate about. It is also a great way for children to meet new people with different lives and backgrounds. This can potentially lead to them forming friendships with other children.

Creative expression is a vital part of a child’s development. It can help them to learn new skills, find interests, develop their personalities and make new friends. Perhaps most importantly of all though, creative expression is a fantastic way for children to have fun.

Here’s a video from a Performing Arts School which I think has a feeally fresh approach to working with youngsters in a way that allows the best in them to find its expression.

Keeping Traditional Culture Alive – Learning to Play the Bagpipes

I am proud to be Scottish and feel strongly that we should, as a nation, protect our heritage. I enjoy researching the history of Scotland and discovering more about our traditions. I love to try to keep our heritage in the things I do personally and to encourage others to also take an interest in traditional Scottish activities and pastimes. I often cook traditional food using local ingredients and go to local events and community gatherings with others who celebrate everything Scottish. I also believe it is important to pass on any cultural traditions to our children so that they will continue onwards with the next generation and not be lost to the annals of time.

bagpipes

My love of bagpipes

One of the things that people usually associate with Scotland is bagpipes. This is a wonderful instrument that is often played at ceremonies, large events and celebrations. Who doesn’t love the amazing sound of a bagpipe band?

A few years ago I visited the Grantown on Spey Highland Games, staying at a country house hotel in Speyside, and was bewitched by the beauty of the sound of bagpipes and the skill of those playing them. I loved the instrument so much that I began to wonder about the history of them and whether I would have the skills to play the bagpipes myself.

History of bagpipes

In spite of their strong connections with Scotland,surprisingly  this isn’t the country of their origin. The first recorded bagpipe was found in Asia. They were a popular instrument in many countries across the world including, Spain, Egypt, France and India. Before they became popular in Scotland, they were played in other parts of the UK first. How bagpipes were first introduced to Scotland is debated, as some believe that they came from Ireland while others believe them to be a Roman import.

Skills for playing bagpipes

A friend let me try to play their bagpipes; I found it impossible to even make a sound! So, I have looked into the skills needed to learn before I decide whether or not I will have the ability to play the bagpipes myself. Apparently, I will need good wind power and steadiness of the hand. I will also need to learn how to read music, how to tune the bagpipes, positions of fingerings and how to control the sound. Although it seems a lot to take in I’m assured that with the right tuition there is no reason why I cannot learn all of these things with effort and a lot of practise.

Bagpipe lesson possibilities

When I was on the Internet finding out about bagpipes, I came across some websites with instructions for learning how to play them. However, I think it will be much better for me to learn the skills from a qualified instructor. That way I can get practical demonstrations and they will be able to support me in learning the instrument step-by-step. An instructor will be able to give me tips and advice to improve, concentrating on areas that need the most attention. Luckily, there are several options in my city for learning the bagpipes. I think the best option will be to contact each of them and find out about the times and costs of the lessons. I can then base my decision on this information and the experience of the instructor.

Based on my research and findings about learning to play the bagpipes, I think it is something that I will pursue. I would love to be able to play an instrument that is so important to many Scottish traditions and I would be delighted if my children learnt this instrument too. It would be fantastic to play together as a family, and to know that I had passed this tradition on to another generation.