by Walker Konkle, 2016-2017 PAC President
Over the years, it has become a prominent fact that arts education in K-12 schools can significantly increase test scores, creativity, motivation, and even language skills. Here is our question: If the arts can positively impact a teen’s life, then why not a college student? The answer is -- it can!
Studies indicate the performing arts can help students improve their grades in all academic subjects, and students who received a regular exposure to some form of art had a spike in brain activity, even at the smallest of levels. An additional benefit is better studying habits, because the performing arts teach students discipline, as those who practice the arts must set aside their own time to improve and rehearse their skills. These students need to learn from the regular feedback they receive and constantly develop new skills to become better at their craft. Further, the performing arts teach willpower. Students involved in the arts never giving up, even when they fail or feel like they aren’t improving at their craft.
Above all else, the performing arts are almost entirely about being creative and allowing yourself the freedom of expression. Without this voice, a society is prone to become dead inside and most likely to become oppressive rather than using these sources for good. Although it may seem biased, the emergence of creativity is one of the most vital steps in human development, and it is proven that a human society cannot move forward without its existence.
If given the time, I could go on and on about the benefits of the arts and why they are so important to us. But in the end, the skills acquired while learning performing arts do not disappear when these students leave the stage or the studio. They are skills that stay with you for life.