Math was always my least favorite subject in school. I always had difficulty remembering the formulas and all the different rules. I didn’t do well in all the other core subjects either. With no motivation and no interest, my grades quickly suffered. I was always watching movies and television instead of doing homework. So when I saw that I could take acting class as an elective in high school, it was obviously my first choice. Acting class came a little more naturally than math class did.
Memorizing lines to a monologue was much easier for me than formulas to some equation.
It made me come out of my shell more and communicate more effectively. I began to look forward to tests, which were usually performances, because I would be adequately prepared from all my practices. After taking acting class, I decided to take more performing art classes. Luckily the high school that I went to was the top public school for performing arts in the state.
It allowed me to take chorus and dance along with acting. With so many classes I enjoyed taking and doing well in, my grades improved drastically.
Taking all these performing art classes quickly became the salvation I needed and taught me many other important lessons. But towards the end of my high school years, funds were cut from schools again. The performing arts department in my school struggled to keep the program strong with the budget cuts. By the time I graduated, a few classes were cut and the ones that were left couldn’t afford the same things.
These cuts affected other schools as well. For most schools across America, art programs were first to be cut.
An article written by the Education Fund states that, “during these difficult economic times, arts programs are the first to be sacrificed. In addition, in many schools where classroom space is limited, art “studios” are now only contained in a cart that is wheeled by teachers from room to room, severely limiting the arts education students receive. ” Although our program had not been cut, I was sad to see some of the classes go at my school among many others who enjoyed the arts. In an article written back in 2011 in the New York Times, Anna M.
Phillips states, “The situation is likely to worsen next year if the city goes through with its plans to layoff 4,100 teachers to save $269 million. Estimates released in February project that 350 of those let go will be arts teachers, which would be a 15 percent drop in art, music and performing arts teachers. ” With all the classes being cut, students will be the first to suffer. Why would they cut classes that students enjoyed to come to learn? The Arts have become a vital addition in education to help students become more successful.
I was firsthand to witness this. The Arts allow students who don’t grasp the teachings of subjects like math and English to learn in a way that is more easily understandable to them. Not all students are the same nor do they learn the same. In an article from USA Today online, Tamara Henry states, “Schoolchildren exposed to drama, music and dance may do a better job at mastering reading, writing and math than those who focus solely on academics. ” Keeping art programs in school can help students do well in school and lead to successful futures.
Though it is said that careers in the arts are limited and that being an artist isn’t a real job, Valerie Strauss disagrees. In article she wrote in the Washington post titled “Why we love artist but not the arts education” she states, “Top CEO’s around the world are seeking out new employees who can think creatively, be innovative in business development and marketing strategies and show outstanding leadership qualities that will “wow” clients. This is what businesses need to compete in the global marketplace.
In a 2010 study by IBM, interviews with CEO’s representing 33 industries and 60 countries identified creativity as the most important leadership skill for the future. ” Despite counter arguments against the arts, it is proven that it can help. That is why the arts are fundamental in education for improving children’s academic success, communication and social skills, and teaching them discipline. After I began to take performing arts class, my grades improved dramatically. The arts have helped many students across America better achieve higher education standards.
Test scores prove this and the organization Arts for LA states that, “ In a national sample of 25,000 students, those students “with high levels of arts-learning experiences” earned higher grades and scored better on standardized tests than those with little or no involvement in the arts-regardless of socioeconomic status. Learning through the arts also appears to have significant effects on learning in other disciplines, with “students consistently involved in theater and music showing higher levels of success in math and reading. ” After a raise in my GPA from my performing art classes, I soon saw another raise.
I noticed that I was beginning to do better in my core classes as well. Memorizing lines of monologues and choreography improved my memorization skills helping me with the different formulas and steps of math. Skills learned in art programs can be used towards learning math and English and help students. Jessica Velasco also states in her blog, “Studying the lyrics of music can teach students about syllabification, phonics, vocabulary, imagery, history, myths, folktales, geography, and culture. ” It’s evident that the Arts can improve student’s grades and test scores. It also can improve students’ attendance records.
The Arts for LA also states, students involved in art are three times more likely to win an award for their school attendance. I knew when I went to school that I didn’t want to miss any of my acting classes because I didn’t want to miss out on learning something I enjoyed doing. The arts not only benefit students’ minds, but also their social and communication skills. With all of the performances to the public, it’s no wonder that the Arts can improve these vital skills needed everyday. When I first began performing, I was always nervous about talking in front of people.
But the pure joy I found in performing made me more comfortable with public speaking. I remember when I was younger I had a bad habit of speaking really quickly when I got nervous. When I took acting class, my teacher made me very aware of the matter. She was constantly telling me not to rush my lines during practices. Now whenever I’m speaking to anyone, I can hear my acting teacher’s voice in the back of my head yelling at me to slow down! As I became more comfortable being in front of people, I began to more make friends as well. The arts are a great way to bring students together and have them work together in a positive way.
Henry also states, “Multi-arts helps with reading, verbal and math skills; improves the ability to collaborate and higher-order thinking skills. ” After taking acting classes, I became much more confident with public speaking. It has also helped me to do well in job interviews as well. The communication skills that can be learned through the arts can help students interact with others. Henry also states, “Drama helps with understanding social relationships, complex issues and emotions; improves concentrated thought and story comprehension.
” In acting classes, the teacher not only teaches you memorizes lines but teaches you to be able to comprehend that which you are reading. You learn to express different emotions and work with other people. Working with a group of people so often, your team working skills improve which is very important to a students’ success. As students learn something they enjoy doing, it becomes less of a chore. This makes it much easier for a student to learn discipline. Despite the lazy artist stereotypes, the arts can help motivate students to do work.
When I began to take dance much more seriously, I started going to practices 6 days a week. It taught me that if I worked hard enough at something, I would reap the rewards. Henry had this to say about dance, “Dance helps with creative thinking, originality, elaboration and flexibility; improves expressive skills, social tolerance, self-confidence and persistence. ” Students learn persistence not only in dance but also in other areas of art like music. Velasco states, “Students who take the time to master a musical instrument learn about hard work, practice, and discipline.
While performing in a group – like an orchestra, band, or choir – students learn to work together, appreciate teamwork, strive for a common goal, and develop negotiation skills. ” Students who learn discipline through art can then apply that to other fields in their lives. Helping improve students’ academic success, communication and social skills, and teaching discipline are just a few benefits of art programs in education. Participating in art programs throughout school myself, I am a strong believer that it can help students. Art in education is vital in improving important skills for students.
Velasco states, “Several new research findings are proving what art education teachers have been saying for years: art is valuable. ” Children should be given all the tools needed to be successful in school and taking away art in education could be harmful to some students’ futures.
Flanagan, A. “Why Students Need Arts Education: Arts for LA. ” Why Students Need Arts Education: Arts for LA. Arts for LA, 2009. Web. 03 Apr. 2013. Henry, Tamara. “USATODAY. com – Study: Arts Education Has Academic Effect. ” USATODAY. com – Study: Arts Education Has Academic Effect. USA Today, 19 May 2002. Web. 03 Apr. 2013.
Phillips, Anna M. “Even Before Layoffs, Schools Lost 135 Arts Teachers. ” City Room Even Before Layoffs Schools Lost 135 Arts Teachers Comments. The New York Times, 9 June 2011. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. Strauss, Valerie. “Why We Love Artist but Not the Arts Education. ” The Answer Sheet. The Washington Post, 29 Jan. 2013. Web. 12 Apr. 2013. Velasco, Jessica. “How The Arts Can Help Students Excel. ” How The Arts Can Help Students Excel. The Science of Learning Blog, 11 Dec. 2011. Web. 03 Apr. 2013. “Why Is Arts Education Important? ” Why Is Arts Education Important? The Education Fund. Web. 03 Apr. 2013.
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