This weekend’s performances by the drama students at Garner Magnet High School give us a good indication of why the arts are such an important part of the educational process.
Imagine the difficulty of putting on a different personality, and bringing that character to life. It’s an uncomfortable proposition for most of us. In this case, we saw a crowd of teenagers putting together performances that brought classic literature to life.
In the process, they learned how to put themselves out there, to take on a challenge and overcome it. That’s an important life skill that isn’t taught in math class or the science laboratory.
As they complete their educations, they will enter a job market looking to sell themselves and their skills. They will need to exhibit the kind of self-confidence they can develop by participating in the arts. Regardless of the form – drama, music or visual arts – the experience a student gains through the arts provides them with a marketable skill and opens a world of imagination and possibilities to a student who, without the arts, might perhaps see himself or herself as destined to do nothing more than follow in their parents footsteps, with no regard for what the world offers them.
Arts education too often gets lost in today’s world. Money is tight. We get it. There is an emphasis on math and science in today’s educational system. We get it. But there is a worldwide emphasis everywhere else on the value of knowledge and communication. The greatest idea in the world, if not communicated clearly and with passion, will sit on a shelf forever. Or at least until someone with the self-confidence of an artist hauls it off the shelf, dusts it off and changes the world.
And so, if you missed this weekend’s production, we hope you’ll make a mental note to catch the next one and see some of our most important lessons taught right before your eyes.