The arts in school and in our life can move us, inspire us, and touch us like no other discipline can. Why?
Here are the 5 “C’s” of why the arts inspire:
1. Calm-Why does the room fall quiet when you get out the paints for the first time in the school year? Making art is relaxing and is proven to lower blood pressure. With the level of stress in our society today, couldn’t everyone use a brand new paint palette?
2. Cognitive When you listen to a song, or hear a beautiful opera, why does it move you to tears? The arts touch a part of us tucked deep inside, the ability to tap into these emotional intelligence’s is unique.
3. Connections- It’s just interesting! When teaching tessellations in the classroom, the students were also learning about it in math. I got this comment from a 5th grader – “In math, I didn’t get it, but in here, it’s awesome and I get it and I love it!” Even the 5th grade teacher said she wished she could teach it this way… Art has the ability to provide that hook and interest for just about anything! It makes learning fun.
4. Communication- The arts give students a new way to communicate, share things about themselves and discover themselves. We all communicate in different ways, yet, 90% of our student’s days are spent communicating in two ways: Through writing or verbally. What about all of the other forms of communication? Artwork. Singing. Movement?
5. Culture- Art shapes culture. What kind of culture will our students look back in if they don’t have the art experiences and exposures we did?
This video is a true example of this inspiration. 1st graders paint Kandinsky to music. Look at the beauty of engagement, depth of learning and an example of providing for students something they get no other place in their day- Something they deserve more than 45 minutes a week! They were able to paint for 30 minutes HOWEVER THEY WANTED! When I told them this information, the room erupted in cheers. And then I put on the music, and as you can see, the room fell silent. I need not explain more.
CULTIVATE the arts in your school, community and with all you know! Have COMPASSION for students who learn differently and CONTINUE to do what you do best- Teach art (the best job in the school).