Educationalist Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we as a generation are teaching our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence. This has inspired us to imagine a new type of string quartet work. Our workshops and shows connect up comprehension and creativity, speak to every type of learner, and teach our audiences to engage not just with knowledge but with imagination.
Creativity is possible in every discipline and should be promoted throughout the whole of education.
Sir Ken Robinson
Stringcredible workshop sessions are no musical picnic, but rather a rigorous exploration of the formal curriculum, from The Fire of London to Ancient Greece. We provide mnemonics for auditory, visual and kinaesthetic learners, and we give confidence to children who never knew they could excel at a subject until they learnt to sing about it. Ultimately our children make learning their own by creating something that is entirely theirs, and the lessons they learn along the way they take back with them into their classrooms. As John Sorrell, Paul Roberts and Darren Henley write in The Virtuous Circle,
[Creativity] is not an entertaining optional extra. Creativity is needed as a thread to run throughout the curriculum, as important as educational objective as literacy and numeracy because it is a way to illuminate and understand every subject better. It is the start of a virtuous circle in which creativity drives performance across the curriculum, which in turn makes us an ever more creative nation.
Our work depends not just on interactions between traditionally separate subjects, but on links between thinking and feeling. When we perform our First World War show Tunes from the Trenches our young audiences are able to listen to the music with more imagination and empathy because they have a story on which to hang their experience. At the same time children are able to learn about history with more sympathy and understanding because the music lends some emotional weight to their learning. We see here that understanding and creativity must go hand in hand.
It is our hope that our work with the formal curriculum will be the start of two learning journeys. For our children, we hope that it will be the start of a lifelong journey in which they feel at home in the world of classical music and confident in their own imaginations and unique types of intelligence. And for The Stringcredibles, we hope it will be the start of a journey in which we continue to push the boundaries between disciplines so that comprehension and creativity combine to make learning unforgettable.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!