A primary topic on this blog is the use of theater for children to learn important skills in school aside from just basic math, reading, and science. Theater teaches children to interact with others and sparks inner creativity. In addition, in younger children, it has been proven that art and theater helps improve motor skills and develop self confidence.
Art allows people to interact with others and build communities of people with like-minded ideas. This allows children to build self confidence and feel like part of a community. And while it may not teach skills for the business world, it teaches valuable lessons that are more difficult to learn without art.
Keep art alive
Art is being removed from a number of schools in favor of more business oriented skills. However, as parents and educators, we must remember that art is not without its benefits. By removing art, you are making it more difficult for students interested in art to pursue their interests, and making it more difficult for some students to connect with others.
By at very least offering more after school art programs, schools can begin to mitigate the budget requirements for arts, while still allowing students to pursue artistic endeavors. It is not until people begin realizing that art is good for much more than entertainment that we can begin to solve the budget problem while still giving students access to the arts. By working together, we can begin to develop strategies that allow us to keep arts alive while still keeping a business oriented lesson plan.
The power of writing and art is something that is truly amazing to behold. Think of some of the greatest artists of all time, they are not only still heard today, but they helped invent how the world speaks and sees art. For example, take Shakespeare, quite possibly one of the greatest writers and entertainers of all time.
He used what was known as colloquial speech, during which he not only wrote art for people in the common language, but actually invented words that would soon become part of the official language. He saw a way to create not only for entertainment but for the betterment of society.
Great artists today
Today, the stakes are much different, but the idea is still the same. What you get is people innovating the way in which we view culture, but in a much different way. Today, the digital world gives us opportunities to interact in brave new ways, allowing people to gain exposure through innovation and creativity.
The medium with which we use to find new art is different, but the idea is the same. Artists will always be at the forefront of innovation and influencing culture. Whether it is through the invention of new words or whether it is simply a new way of displaying art, artists are the backbone of our culture. It is important that we appreciate art for what it is, a way to connect with one another and help explain the world around us.
Schools of all levels, even college at times, will cut art programs to make way for other “more important” programs to receive the funding that they need. And while many people may think that this is a logical choice, there are others that believe that art is just as important as the three R’s.
Think of it this way. While most of art is done for entertainment, and something that is not absolutely necessary to daily living, it also teaches a number of skills that the basic subjects do not such as motor skills and connecting with others.
Some would argue that it takes both interpersonal skills as well as academic skills in order to be a well-rounded individual. Perhaps if staff members knew how important art was in a real way, not simply because the world needs entertainers, that they may reconsider what programs to cut from the school.
On the other hand, it is up to students to show an interest in the arts and fight for their right to have them. As much as educators see art as a waste of time, there are just as many, if not more students that think it is not essential in order to achieve in life. There must be a two-part approach to saving the arts that shows both sides.
By understanding the conflict in art in schools, we can better think of solutions to keep them in while saving money for other school subjects.
Musicals and theater are one of those things that people who enjoy them really enjoy them, while others find them difficult to stomach. Think about some of the best works of art, they are often considered musicals and plays, but inversely, think about the best selling media of all time, they typically are not.
Why is this? Perhaps it is because culture is an acquired taste for many, and for others it comes naturally. That is not to say that people that do not like musicals and theater are not cultured, but perhaps there is a little more to it than meets the eye.
Culture meets pop culture
It is quite possible that pop culture plays a large role in why people do not like musicals and theater as much. They are not typically part of the Hollywood vibe that is sweeping the United States and many parts of the world. In essence, it is a bit more difficult to learn about theater and musicals than it is to hear about pop music.
Maybe in the future there will be a bit more coverage of theater so that it is more accessible to the people that do not go out of their way to investigate it. Pop culture is something that should be enjoyed, but theater is often overlooked as one of the better forms of entertainment. Theater brings a lot to the table in terms of culture and entertainment, but not everybody has access. Perhaps in the future they will.
Musicals have always been a genre of film that has changed over time for a variety of reasons. The first reason is that music itself changes during the course of time, and in order for musicals to succeed, they, for the most part must be current.
This is of course unless you are doing a period piece, but even in this case, there are things that reflect the current state of music. Take for instance, the play Hamilton. While there is a historic context to it, the music is a blend of soul and hip hop, which was not necessarily in tune with how music is today.
The wonderful expansion
In addition to different more current styles bleeding through into historical pieces, there is now a more global artistic landscape in which lines become even more blurred. This is to say, that musicals, both old and new still feature an element of modern music.
Because there is such a global culture with the Internet, there is less of a divide between what we find musicals to be like in different countries. And while there are still many differences, there is much more commonality between the musicals from different countries.
As a large fan of both music and art as well as how the Internet has changed the world around us, I find it interesting that musicals have become much different in their content and presentation. It is a sign of how we as people are becoming more connected and that musicals are still a large part of how we live.
Why is it that as artists that it seems like we must work much harder in order to stay in gainful employment? Why must art be less regarded than even manual labor jobs? Not that manual labor jobs aren’t important, but it seems as though artists are always having to adjust for hardship. I mean the term starving artist is not anything new.
Perhaps it is because while nearly everyone enjoys art, they often are not willing to pay people for the amount of work that it costs to produce. In addition to the necessity of creative ability, there is also a very real production cost that uses expensive equipment and people with specific skills that need to get paid for the work that they do.
Reaching an understanding
Fortunately for many artists, there are a number of sites that allow people to contribute money for the content they like without having to filter it through a company or corporation. This allows people a way in which to contribute to the arts without feeling the need that they are supporting the industry as a whole.
Producing independent art is one of those things that people will do for free, just for the passion of it. However, there comes a time in which people must understand that even artists need capital not only because they deserve to be compensated for their work, but they also should not have to pay money out of their own pocket in order to entertain others.
In many schools, tight budgets have led art to be cut from many a curriculum. Unfortunately, while for many this is a logical sacrifice, the fact remains that art and theater in particular help enrich the lives of our students and allow us to better connect with others
Theater has a strange way of bringing people together for art appreciation and recanting the tales of times old and new. The stories we see in theater transcend academics and allow us to reach deeper into our own psyche. In some ways, theater is a way in which we are educated on how to be humans, not just members of society.
Bring theater back
Studies have shown that arts, and theater in particular give students the ability to learn skills that they will not get from academics. For example, there are a number of motor skills and social skills that can be obtained from theater that students will not get anywhere else in the classroom.
It pains me to see art being cut from curriculum, mainly because many don’t understand its importance. In order for students to become well-rounded individuals, we must first examine what makes them socially productive and able to express themselves. Theater does this in ways that are far beyond that of ordinary learning.
Art, the obvious cut in school may be more important than we originally thought. In order to maintain our humanity, we must look at art as a way that enriches us, rather than hindering us.