Posted at 3 p.m. March. 2, 2017

Art and music enhance student skills

Program helps students improve critical thinking, social skills and more

“The arts are all about grit. You have to have practice time, build up, scaffle things down to learn them, and then go on to the performance itself, you have to have a grit factor. You have to overcome anxiety.”

Daniel Powell

Dean of Arts and Humanities

Music and art students work very hard on their studies, often times they have to show a deep level of thinking to be able to examine art and music pieces fully.

Someone who would know this firsthand is Codi Ann Nelson, a liberal arts major. Nelson has taken music classes most of her life.

“I was an A and B student until I stopped focusing on music,” Nelson said. When she stopped focusing on music, she noticed the negative effect on her education.

Studies have shown that people who are involved with music or art tend to excel in some areas more than students who are not.

The amount of memorization, practice, and overall drive to be involved with music or art helps students excel elsewhere.

Caroline Pring is majoring in art here on campus.

“Art helps my grades for a few reasons, and it’s something that I find easy to focus on because of visual progress,” Pring said.

Art History class helped Caroline get a better understanding and appreciation for art.

Art has helped Caroline to develop a way to arrange her notes in a way that is not very conventional, but helps her when she goes back and studies.

In the article “20 Important Benefits of Music in our Schools,” that was posted on the website for the National Association for Music Education, there are many ways that show how music helps people. One factor that stands out is the sense for achievement.

When a student starts to work on a piece, they have to continue until it is as close to perfect as it can be. Learning a new piece or experimenting with a new type of painting can be trying, but working towards the end goal is what drives music or art students to finish.

“The arts are all about grit,” Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, Daniel Powell said. “You have to have practice time, build up, scaffle things down to learn them, and then go to the performance. Even the performance itself, you have a grit factor. You have to overcome anxiety.”

Music students improve all aspects of their work, according to the post from National Association for Music Education. These students don’t want to settle with average work, but instead they want to create great work. This then can be applied to all aspects of their lives in school or even at work.

When it comes down to it, music doesn’t instantly make people smarter, but it teaches students skills that aren’t taught in everyday education.

Music and art students are not in it to become smarter, but for a bigger reason.

“People are in it for different reasons,” Powell said. “Our band and choirs here have a lot of community folks. People want to be engaged with the process and to be connected socially. They aren’t necessarily in it for the achievements, but for the social thing.”

Pring also agrees that art classes really help people to understand and communicate better with others.

Being involved with music or art teaches people many things. It teaches discipline, dedication, and most importantly, keeps students interested.

Not all students are in it to become the smartest person, but to be part of something bigger than themselves.

“And I think that’s what the arts do, they have a presence and they give you a sense of identity in a world that makes you feel like you’re in a bigger space,” Powell said.


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