Parents and schools should make the arts a priority

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By Dveen Hagopian

Art is a form of communication. Whether it be through painting, sculpting, music, dancing, or acting, the beauty of art is that it allows those who would otherwise be unheard to express themselves. Language, along with other barriers that stand in the way of communicating and understanding one another, cannot stand in the way of art, meaning that art knows no bounds. It is the only way that everyone, no matter what their identity can connect with and further understand each other. 

Considering this fact, it is truly a shame that so many adults discourage students from pursuing their passions in the arts simply because it doesn’t make as much money as other fields. 

Even though it tends to be more difficult to find a stable career related to the arts, this doesn’t make them any less important. According to Center for Online Education, in “Neuroeducation: Learning, Arts, and the Brain,” Johns Hopkins researchers found that the brain can actually be rewired in ways that benefit students. Students who spend the majority of their time focused on the arts have improved learning skills, less stress, an increase in creativity, and further enhanced social skills than those who are not as exposed to the artistic field. 

 Although adults, specifically parents, who discourage their children from pursuing a career in the arts do have their child’s best interest in mind, it does not excuse the fact that they are forcing them into a lifetime of disconnection from their true passion. Most students look up to their parents, and other adults in their lives, and value their opinions when making important life decisions because they have more experience. Most adults are aware of this, and it is unethical for them to use their power to dissuade students from pursuing the arts. 

“I definitely do not think the arts are as useless as some adults make it seem. Arts are all about self expression and the discovery of one’s self. Especially in theatre, I have made so many close friends, am able to participate in projects I love, and have finally found something to be passionate about and to devote my time to. I would love to pursue theatre in the future, and I think it’s a shame that arts are sometimes seen in a negative light,” junior Regina Santos said. 

 The way classes at schools are formatted also sends a negative message to students. The fact that visual arts classes are only available as electives or clubs, and are only required for one year, hints to students that they are not as important as other classes such as math and science, that are required for either three or all four years of high school, and are seen as a priority. Schools need to make arts classes just as valuable to a student’s schedule.

The arts are a beautiful way that students can clear their mind, get in touch with their creativity, and communicate with others. There is no valid reason as to why we should ignore this and prevent students from living a life that is long dedicated to the arts.  

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