There can be no denying that subjects such as math, science, modern languages, and computer technology are important to a child’s education; such subjects will better prepare your child for their eventual career and create an acute awareness of the world, its principles, and philosophies.
You’re no doubt keen for your child to excel at these core subjects, but have you given a second thought to classes such as music, drama, and art? You see, while most of us enjoy music, and can appreciate a striking piece of cinema, or exceptional work of art, very few schools in the U.S. are able to give artistic subjects the time, and dedication they need in order to thrive in the educational environment. Indeed, the threat of federal cuts could see an end to school arts programs altogether, taking away our children’s opportunities to explore such rich and varied worlds from the security of the classroom.
Now is the time to think about the positive impact that these kinds of subjects are having upon our children, and to follow the example of overseas and international schools. Whether it’s a European school, Australian establishment, or an American school in Singapore, international and overseas schools are keen to introduce the arts from a young age, instilling artistic appreciation from the moment children start their lessons. There are numerous benefits to children studying music and arts alongside other, perhaps more academic subjects; if only we’d take a moment to look. And who knows; our proactivity and interest could be all it takes to save the arts for future generations’ academic enjoyment.
The arts can develop emotional understanding and responses
Whether your child is composing music, treading the boards, or creating a masterpiece, he or she is likely to be gaining in confidence and building self-esteem, as well as getting to grips with cultural empathy, and emotional understanding. The arts can help children to channel, and conquer anxiety and stress, which are rife in schools these days; music, drama, and art can encourage children to handle difficulties with imagination, and positivity.
The arts inspire a sense of achievement
The arts can inspire children to reach for challenging, but achievable goals; that first great artwork, a play of their own creation, or a music composition can push children to realize that their dreams are actually within reach. Such positivity is bound to extend to other walks of our children’s lives, as they navigate a host of more serious, and life-changing decisions. Besides, who doesn’t want their child to experience the sense of excitement, and pride that accompanies an artistic achievement?
Artistic subjects can aid memory, and teach discipline
Learning lines, reading sheet music, and creating individual paint strokes can instill discipline and teach memory techniques that children will find essential in other areas of their lives. Children who study music often excel at languages and reason; such an endeavor stimulates the corresponding part of the brain that handles this aspect of cognitive development, aiding the revision of dates, formulas, and complicated terminology.
The arts can engage reluctant learners
Try and remember your own school days; were you inspired by math and science, or did you go to school for the poetry, drawing classes, and music lessons that peppered your day? The arts have the ability to engage and inspire reluctant learners, who might otherwise fall outside of expectations when it comes to academic achievements. Some children are born to be creative, and a decent arts education can ensure they retain their intellectual curiosity; the arts are often an escape for the less academically minded.
The arts can aid problem-solving
According to the sculptor Magdalena Abakanowicz, “Art does not solve problems, but makes us aware of their existence.” Indeed, artistic subjects can help children to approach academic problems using creative thinking, and to tackle other subjects with a renewed sense of enthusiasm. The arts encourage us all to think outside of the box, and can develop a child’s ability to think critically and creatively; such a skill is bound to be useful later in life.
Whether your child attends an international school or local establishment or learns via the talents of a private tutor, you must agree that an introduction to music and the arts are vital for a balanced education, and a future that’s enriched with all manner of experiences and academic enjoyment.
The arts have the power to engage and enthrall students and to aid an education that’s filled with all of the subjects you’ve come to expect. Perhaps we don’t have the funds, or power to ensure the safety of our children’s arts education, but we do have the ability to appreciate what we’ve got and to stand up for its importance.