Archives for the month of: March, 2013

Art, music, dance, theater—so many genres of performing arts. A child on stage at their first recital, playing their instrument. So nervous, yet so confident. As I think about that child, I think about my own experiences, my own love of the arts. I have been involved in performing arts programs my entire academic career. I knew that music was my passion for as long as I can remember.  As I sit and think about how music has molded me as the strong, confident woman I am today, I often think what would life have been like for me without these performing arts programs. Without this introduction into this world of possibility, who knows where my life would have ended up.

Unfortunately, many schools in Southeastern Michigan are beginning to drop performing arts programs from the academic curriculum. I want to persuade the school’s Board of Education that these programs are not only neccessary, but helps make the child into a well-rounded individual. By implementing and providing performing arts programs early in someone’s life, it can increase their appreciation for the things around them that mold them into the person they become. If more students are given the opportunity to experience performing arts, they will grow up to be smart, savvy, functioning members of society.

Performing arts builds character as well as confidence in a student. It teaches them to not discriminate against a person, whether it is race, or religion. It opens students minds to think outside of the box, and to be more in touch with their creative side. These programs are detremental in the education of students, because not every student is the same. Many students are more creative and visual learners. These students learn differently than others and need some way to make learning more fun, relatable, and interesting. Performing arts programs do just that. They make it so that students can broaden their horizons and ultimately be the best that they can be.

Besides building confidence, performing arts programs can have a positive impact on the community. Some may not realize it, but performing arts programs can help a child be a better person in their community. Studies shows that performing arts students are more likely to volunteer in their communities rather than non performing arts students. Children in these programs are also given more opportunities to visit art museums, operas, theaters, and other places that appreciate the arts. This helps the child to see things through a different lens. It is statistically proven that children who experience music education become well-rounded, upstanding citizens who attend college or some sort of schooling after high school graduation. This helps to make more positive role models in the community and better citizens.

Schools in the region complain about the amount of money it costs to implement these programs, but spend so much on athletics. They don’t realize that every student is not athletic, and that these programs have so much positivity and can have a stong impact on the child. Perfoming arts programs are just as important, if not more imporatant, than that of an athletic program. School officials can not deny the facts, these programs are strenthening children academically, socially, mentally, and even spiritually.

Art, music, dance, theater—so many genres of performing arts. A child on stage at their first recital, playing their instrument. So nervous, yet so confident. As I think about that child, I think about my own experiences, my own love of the arts. I have been involved in performing arts programs my entire academic career. I knew that music was my passion for as long as I can remember.  As I sit and think about how music has molded me as the strong, confident woman I am today, I often think what would life have been like for me without these performing arts programs. Without this introduction into this world of possibility, who knows where my life would have ended up.

Children as young as 5 years old have been given the opportunity to be involved in a performing arts program. The arts definitely have a positive impact on students academically. Statistics show that music students received more academic honors and awards than non-music students, and that a higher percentage of music participants received As, As/Bs, and Bs than non-music participants.

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Plato once said that “music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything”. This quote is the epitome of how I feel about music and performing arts. Personally, being involved in music programs throughout my academic career has helped to mold me into the woman I am today. I want to encourage schools in southeastern Michigan to keep the performing arts programs in their curriculums. Here are the top 5 reasons that I think they should do just that.

Academic Achievement:

Not everyone is a cut and dry learner. Some use their imaginations and visions to help them succeed in their lives. For these type of children, they may want to express themselves by showing their talent. By keeping performing arts in the schools, it can help a child like this better academically. It gives the child the opportunity to focus more and be confident in their grades and work ethic. 

Social and Emotional Development:

As we all know, middle school is a very awkward stage in a child’s life. There are many factors that can make a child feel alone, and, maybe even different than other children. Performing arts programs can build connectedness with people who share the same interest. It helps the child build lifelong friendships and relationships through their talents. It also teaches confidence and belief in themselves. 

Civic Engagement:

Some may not realize it, but performing arts programs can help a child be a better person in their community. Studies shows that performing arts students are more likely to volunteer in their communities rather than non performing arts students. Children in these programs are also given more opportunities to visit art museums, operas, theaters, and other places that appreciate the arts.

Equitable Opportunity:

Being involved in in performing arts programs helps to prepare students to be creative and successful individuals in the global community by ensuring an equitable opportunity. Students are introduced to a variety of different things in these programs, such as dance, music, theater, and visual arts. It helps to make the student very well-rounded, which is a great asset to have as an adult. It keeps the student more open-minded to the many differences in this world, and gives the student the opportunity to be more acceptable to these differences.

True Prosperity:

The arts are fundamental to our humanity. They ennoble and inspire us—fostering creativity, goodness, and beauty. They help us express our values, build bridges between cultures, and bring us together regardless of ethnicity, religion, or age. These values are instilled in the child at a young age and stays with them forever. 

In conclusion, there are many reasons why schools should continue performing arts in the curriculum. These programs help to mold the child into a well-rounded individual, by opening doors to many opportunities that they would otherwise not have. It also keeps the child open-minded and willing to try more things, like visiting museums and dance theaters. It serves as a positive reinforcer as well as stimulate the child’s mind, body, and soul. There aren’t many negative reasons as to why these programs shouldn’t exist in schools, and even Plato said it best, music is a moral law.