Young People, Creativity, and the Arts
It was the late 90s, and Saturdays were my favourite day. I would wake up, watch Live and Kicking or SM TV Live, and look forward to my music class. It was a free workshop, run by Islington Music Centre, featuring singing in a choir, along with percussion or recorder sessions for those to who wanted to go to those too.
With so much focus on getting ‘the right grades’ at school, sometimes there isn’t enough time for young people to be creative. I remember hating the fact that I could only choose one creative subject to carry on with at GCSE level. If I’d had it my way, I would have chosen all three – Drama, Music, and Art.
I went for Music, probably because of the experience I had with the choir, but it was a narrow choice between Music and Drama. Drama was something I loved and really wanted to do, but I just told myself I wasn’t good enough.
Arts subjects are still undervalued in conventional education, and while a report by the New Schools Network that claims the introduction of the EBacc has not had a discernible impact on the popularity of the arts at GCSE, a recent survey suggests that some schools are not able to give the option of an arts subject at GCSE level due to funding cuts.
I’m reminded of a quote I once heard about how ‘in times of political or financial instability, the first thing to go is often the arts, but the irony is that’s when we need it the most.’
When young people are not given enough freedom to be creative in the classroom, smaller community projects are often the place to go to in order to develop creatively and pursue an arts based career. Furthermore, just having the chance to be creative sometimes can make you happier, and better at your (future) job (even if the job itself is not in a creative industry).
Here at SPID we offer free drama workshops outside of school/work hours, and are currently also giving our young people the opportunity to be mentored in sound design or producing. So if you need more of a creative outlet, and you want something to look forward to on a Saturday morning, you can sign up for classes here.