As I sit here and contemplate our season passing it’s half year mark already, I had an “aha” moment this morning. Why are we sharing the arts with our kids? For a few, yes we as parents and they have dreams of pursuing the arts on a professional level, but for the majority of kids and families, the reason is much more simplistic. What may have started out as an innocent desire to expose our children and them wanting to just develop a passion for the arts, has evolved to helping our children succeed and thrive in the 21st Century.
I have recently been reading a lot of research on the fact that to succeed in the 21st Century business world, a college degree has been downgraded to the equivalent of what a high school diploma used to be. It has been outweighed in corporate America, by corporations aggressively hiring right brained thinkers. Gone are the days that strong Math and Science skills assured your success. Today’s corporations are hiring out of the box thinkers who thrive on creativity, possess excellent problem solving skills, can articulate and communicate effectively, be a dependable team player and can easily adapt to today’s ever changing world. All of this is taught through Arts education.
What may seem like simple games in acting class, are teaching these very skills. Being given a scenario with limitations placed on it, and being forced to have the discipline to problem solve, work as a team to come up with a unified solution in a specific amount of time and to communicate it effectively to your audience provides that very recipe for success. A simple adagio exercise in Ballet class holds a plethora of life lessons. Being able to take the choreography given and use your creativity to mold it into your own work requires self discipline, innovation and accountability to communicate expression effectively.
We shouldn’t be of the mindset that the only reason our children should study arts education is if they Broadway caliber talent, but instead know that by supporting our kids in art education, we are sitting them up for success. It is not about the shining billboard with their name in lights at the end, it’s about the journey they take through their arts education and the life lessons they will learn.