Art and Music are Necessary to Expand Our Imagination
Creativity is often Overlooked in the Classroom
By: Alissa Grisler, FCHS
Creativity is often overlooked in the classroom. Time given to music, dance, theater, and creative writing tends to be limited as we devote our attention to other fields of study. Meanwhile, skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving fall through the cracks when we take away these crucial creative outlets for students.
In elementary school, we were encouraged to learn creatively. We finger-painted pictures on orange construction paper and built dioramas of the solar system. We sang songs about the state capitals and acted out skits about our founding fathers. We were told to “use our imagination.” But as we grew up, we lost this connection to the arts. Creativity is necessary in order to develop new ideas, find solutions to problems, and allow all students to flourish in a classroom environment. Yet using art as a teaching method has become increasingly more uncommon.
In high school, classes begin to favor a strict adherence to core subjects. We start to lose this connection to the arts and therefore our appreciation of them. The arts gave us wonders such as Picasso, Michelangelo, Beethoven, and Mozart. Without the arts, we would never stop to admire the beauty of a sunset, or appreciate murals painted on public buildings. We would never again be frightened by a made-up zombie in a horror film. Without the arts, this freedom of expression would not exist.
Programs such as STEM promote the education of science, technology, engineering, and math. However, recently there has been a movement to change STEM to STEAM, where arts would also have a role. Integrating the arts into these programs is a natural next step, as we cannot advocate for the development of STEM skills while disregarding the benefits of the arts as a learning tool. Education is not a battle between the subjects, it is the union of them all. After all, one cannot exist without the other. We cannot act Shakespeare without knowing the context of when it was written. We cannot solve an algebraic equation without understanding the different paths we could take to find the answer. Creativity is used in all aspects of life.
There is no denying fields such as science and math are crucial to sustaining life. Without these fields we would not have the advancements in technology that we have today. However, even within this technology, the arts have been incorporated into popular fields of study such as graphic design. Art and music are not only necessary, they are beneficial. Science and math may feed the mind, but art and music feed the soul.
Falls Church High School
7521 Jaguar Trail
Falls Church, VA 22044
(Students who reside on the north side of Annandale attend Falls Church High School)