Exploring creative abilities with the Manning Creative Arts Program

Over two days, primary students from across the Manning region refined their creative skills during the Manning Creative Arts Program, hosted by St Clare’ High School, Taree.

The program saw 90 students from Year 4 to 6 split into four groups (visual arts, drama, vocalists and instrumentalists) and work with specialist tutors (Anna Kerrigan for drama, Jessica Lopez for instrumental, Lauren Harvey for vocal and Lara Crockett for visual arts) to create an integrated performance piece that they performed on the afternoon of the second day.

The theme for this year’s program was Belong, to fit with part of the theme for the Catholic Schools Weeks 2019.

While the drama group put together the story for the performance, the visual arts group created a backdrop and the musicians and vocalists practiced a number of pre-selected songs and wrote one original song.

“Building on the success of last year’s one-day project, these two days will allow students greater time for workshopping ideas and building skills as well as refining their performance,” said Anna Kerrigan, Artistic Director of ASPIRE.

“What is special about the project is that its puts the students in charge of the piece, allowing them to work together to create something truly original that works across all art forms.

“It also encourages creative thinking, confidence and collaboration, as well as providing students with a massive amount of empowerment when they see their ideas come to life on stage.”

“This workshop offers students the opportunity to develop vocal and movement skills which in turn assists their characterisation abilities,” said Callam Howard, Drama Teacher at St Clare’s High School, Taree.

“This is at the core of what it means to act, you step into another world, life and role – that is what makes acting so rewarding.

“This program also offers students the chance to engage in group work which will inevitably lead to them working on communication skills, leadership abilities and being an active listener to others perspectives. Similarly, students are enhancing their confidence and while being able to reflect upon their own work and issues that are relevant to them.

“A gifted student from a smaller community may lack opportunity to develop their giftedness due to isolation or lack of suitable tutoring,” said Peter Nicholls, Principal at St Clare’s.

“A program such as this opens up opportunities for those with similar gifts to develop friendships and receive excellent teaching in a positive climate geared for higher end learning.”

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