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“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.”

JOHN DEWEY

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What’s the draw of Canvass’s Art classes?

Good art education will paint you a better future in life.

At Canvass, we believe that Art doesn’t just create wonders but bridges the access to
knowledge and self-awareness. And it starts as early as childhood. Art is a useful toolin
fostering creativity and self-expression, say Canvass founder and programme director,
Jolie Michelle Ow. This is especially a nurturing method of learning for kids who may
have learning disabilities like dyslexia, or even to manage children with hyperactive or
anxious temperaments, helping to calm them or overcome low self-esteem.

Some may want to take their practice of Art even further and pursue it in life. And we’re
here to refine those goals and make those dreams, achievable. Our Art programmes
have helped children attain credits for admissions into art schools, and we’ve prepped
many of our students with their applications into the International Baccalaureate Di-
ploma Programme (IBDP), with a 95% successful entry rate.

A comprehensive prep, it includes building a comprehensive and impressive portfolio;
guiding them through the interview process, to overcome their fear and nervousness;
Helping them discover their authentic self, so they can confidently execute their artistic
skills and express their language of art, more articulately

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Our experienced facilitators who have extensive experience and recognised credentials
from all over, are close at hand to guide your child’s progress from start to finish, and
we can provide appraisal and recommendation letters to the schools upon request.
Some of the schools we have worked with for admission to the International Baccalaure-
ate Diploma Programme (IBDP) include

School of the Arts Singapore (SOTA)
St Joseph Institution International School (SJI)
Canadian International School

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Who says creativity can’t be taught?

Change the way you learn challenges the myth that creativity is only an inherent talent.

Why are some people more creative than others? Can the mind be primed to allow crea-
tive ideas to emerge? And if we can nurture creativity, can we also kill it? Some like edu-
cator and author Sir Ken Robinson and Jennifer Mueller, a management professor at the
University of San Diego think so.

In his famous Ted Talk given in 2006, Robinson says that standardised teaching ap-
proaches in schools today crush creativity by prioritising subjects like Maths and Sci-
ences over the Arts, because they are seemingly more valuable and useful than the
latter. He also believes that the cold, scientific models of teaching, where we’re con-
stantly inundated with data, hampers attention span and doesn’t allow us enough time
for processing. As a result we become disconnected and depressed even. He argues for
a holistic education and for Arts to be put back into education because these subjects
“help us negotiate the world around us”. We need education that educates not just the
mind but the heart – “what our kids need is time to look inward…. to dwell in that inner
space where we find the only things that truthfully make sense for us.”

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Similarly Jennifer Mueller, who was a former Wharton professor, feels that “creativity is
an ability that ranges in the population”. In a University of Wharton article Can Creativ-
ity Be Taught? (pub. Aug 2014), she says that “creativity can be shut off – or turned on,
if the environment supports creativity.”

Now the problem with most education is that the focus is on providing answers in a
linear, step-by-step fashion. Mechanistic schooling that is based on rote learning, when
instead it should be organic and personal, rather than impersonal. The ideal curriculum
says Robinson, should be personalised and collaborative, so that children can create
their own unique ways of expression. He encourages mindful learning and techniques
that “get children to focus on themselves, to create some
calm in their lives, some points of meditation and practice.”

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At Canvass, personalised education has always been our emphasis. “We believe that
children learn best in play, and that nurtures their creativity, “says Jolie Michelle Ow,
founder and programme director at Canvass. The yoga and art classes are respectful of
the classical teachings of both disciplines, as they provide context – the rich history,
heritage and cultural traditions or practices. But the approach to learning is holistic, ob-
servational and experimental. “There is no right or wrong way to learn, just different
ways of learning that might suit each child better,” she explains.

Creativity, she feels, is something that can be brought out in a child by helping them
connect the dots between mind, body, emotions and the surround. “By teaching them
ways to calm and still the mind, they learn to concentrate and have better focus for
learning. We stress observational learning, tapping on all the senses to stimulate their
awareness of what’s going on around them. It gives them different perspectives of view-
ing problems and how to tackle them more efficiently with alternative ways. It’s impor-
tant that the child leaves a class feeling more connected and emotionally grounded.
This helps to bolster their confidence and they are then able to express themselves
more creatively, articulately and in a manner that’s authentic and real.”