I often ask myself who has had the greatest impact on my life’s direction. My family is for the most part, unmusical.
My teachers, despite their talents, did not solely change the direction of my life. I believe the answer has to be my fellow high school musicians and artists. Inspiration runs rampant in environments where a large number of artistic individuals have the ability to congregate, and for me, that was High School.
I found early on, that I worked best with a busy schedule. I was forced to stay focused when I had to plan my time out in advance. In addition, I was inspired to stay focused. When the arts play a role in the life of a student, it is like breathing life into an otherwise empty void. I truly was a sponge waiting to absorb information. The misconception was in the choice of information for my absorption. Math and science were always a struggle, and history seemed to me, irrelevant. However, when faced with the opportunity to perform, I was truly inspired to do better in every aspect of school.
The arts do not just cultivate talent that some people might consider useless for a future career, they cultivate life skills. No concert pianist ever got on stage without hours and hours of dedicated practice. Do you think that this mentality and drive goes unnoticed in all other aspects of a person’s life? Absolutely not.
Art breeds ingenuity, aspirations, hope and goals. I have yet to look at a math problem that I find to be truly life changing; however, I simply cannot listen to Mahler’s 5th Symphony without being acutely aware of the wondrous capabilities of human beings. Math does it for some people, but for many it’s the arts. How can we rob our children of the incredible benefits they bring by taking out the opportunity altogether?
Consider it an investment in your future. Support the arts in education and support the future generations to come.