How to share your arts skills

This part of the Bronze Arts Award is notoriously sticky. Passing on an arts skill can be difficult for all sorts of logistical reasons but there's little more rewarding than teaching, so they say.

How to share your arts skills

I pooled the skills shares from the Arts Award Youth Network to give you a few ideas of how to approach this for yourselves.

To start with, you could really take the role of teacher seriously and prepare a presentation. Doing this allows you to explain what to do without actually doing it. If you have pictures and video in the presentation then that leaves you free to do the explanation and whip cracking.

Of course you can use the standard PowerPoint presentation but, if you're not too prone to motion sickness, then Prezi is a web app that allows you to up your game. Visme is also a web app that really gets your presentation game to the next level.

On the other hand you can get the pupil do the work. Set up a press conference. I joke – kind of. If you can ask someone else to ask you questions about a skill you know a great deal about, your answers can teach them. You could get them to essentially interview you about your skill and what you do to make it so easy.

On the third hand, you could slightly cut the other person or people out of the situation – at least in the immediate sense. The humble video tutorial has become an invaluable tool in teaching ourselves how to do something independently. How is best to use ceramic tiles in mosaics? You could show us and answer questions in the comments. Of course YouTube is the best place to do this.

So many of us who got involved in the arts outside of the curriculum were taught things in workshops so that is a proven tool. Teach your participants to do things, give them a stimulus to create something, for example a short scene, and then give them feedback. Workshopping can be a difficult thing though – it's important not to be the figured above everyone but at the same time maintaining the leadership. Famously, How to run a workshop from Rachel Segal Hamilton from the now defunct IdeasTap was the place to go for a little bit of the best advice on delivering workshops.

Perhaps taking the teacher role a bit far would be giving them a test, but it is a way to show how well someone has learnt something so that's something to think about.

With all of these things, you must remember that practice makes perfect. You cannot rush them into it. As part of the Arts Award you need to show that you planned how to best share your skill as well as show how well your student took to learning it. Make sure your advisor knows what you're doing and, also, they are the skills sharers, they are pros at this bit.

Any other ideas about how to teach someone a creative skill? Let us know.


Bhavesh Jadva

Bhavesh Jadva Voice Team

Former Media Editor on Voice and former Arts Award Editor on AAoV covering film, TV, music and comedy.

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