Arts Education

Ani Mosinyan

(September 20, 2012) — A few months ago, I had the pleasure of seeing the Swan Lake Ballet, performed by the Bolshoi Ballet Company. As I entered the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown Los Angeles, I realized I was sitting amongst a bunch of old folk, and no one even near my age was in this enormous theater. I sat down and gazed at the high ceiling, the old, classic decor on the sides of the stage, and I thought to myself, “How do my friends not know of these places?” Then I began to understand that most students are not even aware of these events and occasions, and they certainly do not have the time to come experience these events and occasions, especially with finals starting the day after (which I was a bit nervous about as well, frankly). With all the havoc about how many AP’s and honors classes are being taken, the SATs and college applications being turned in, students never seem to be able to enjoy the beauty of the arts. The wonderful plays, music, books, concerts, musicals, museums, and exhibitions. Sometimes it seems like I am the only one who makes enough time to go and enjoy these exciting events. Or maybe I am just one of the very few people of our generation who attends the plays, museums, galleries, and ponders Picasso’s work. These days, either no one can make time to enjoy what the world has to offer, or they are simply unaware of what is going on around them. The arts have so much to provide to our generation. They give us insight and appeal to the mind and heart in many ways. If students could just put aside their books and notes for a moment and take in the beauty of the humanities, then maybe our attitude on school and life could change for the better. According to National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, students who incorporate arts and humanities into their lives have shown significant increases in their SAT verbal and math scores. Also, incorporating art in the students daily curriculum improves their overall success in life and work. If we can benefit from the arts, then why not expose ourselves to the beauty of it? Students need to embrace the humanities more and expose themselves to the beauty of music, art, literature and theater. We need to open our eyes to all the great masterpieces of life, stop worrying about ourselves for a second, and go enjoy what is out there. Whether it may be a ballet, play, or an amazing novel, it gives us a new approach and perspective on life. That, I believe, is the greatest gift the arts have ever given us.