It's funny but thinking about learning and realising the importance of coaching, practice and hard work inevitable leads me back to the arts. My experiences in York and Leeds where we developed powerful arts services, and working with some brilliant colleagues, musicians and artists, have shown me that the arts provide languages and opportunities for shaping and expressing our understandings and can powerfully engage learners and provide them with opportunities to share, develop and learn from what they know.
The arts, like sport, help develop capacities and attitudes central to learning and to life and uniquely help develop imagination and empathy. The arts are a rich context for learning and developing the skills that matter. Young people are required to listen, think critically, problem solve and make decisions, things that lie at the heart of all learning. The arts help young people develop self-confidence, self-discipline and self-esteem and come to understand what it means to achieve high standards and to work as part of a team. And of course the arts bring us joy and bring joy to learning and make schools happier and more vibrant and exciting places. What would your life be like without music and the arts?