Developing Imagination and Creativity in a Music and Arts-Based Program

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This article explores how imagination and creativity are experienced and manifested in the lives of Hispanic (Mexican American) elementary-age children living in an underserved community as they participated in a Music and Arts-Based Program (MABP). Examples from students' narratives, collected by the first author for her dissertation study, aim to help understand the creative and imaginative expressions through the children's lived experiences. This data serves as the basis for this article. Analysis of the students' narratives, conducted by the authors, reveals important connections between art and spirituality. We contend that students' creativity, imagination, and selfawareness are evolving as children are guided through music and visual art experiences. In other words, as children take part in music instruction combined with practicing varying artistic elements, their sense of creativity and imagination are brought forth giving rise to a selfawareness of what they can feel, achieve and discover as they are exposed to the arts. Art is interpreted as a medium in which children can also experience moments of spirituality when adults serve as mediators for student learning. This study affirms that collaborative efforts among civic organizations are critical in developing creativity, imagination in children living in underserved communities.