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The Importance Of Fine Arts In Education

1117 words - 4 pages

What better way to start than with a bible verse that so wonderfully illustrates how the fine arts should be funded, “He said ‘I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood’” (The Catholic Youth Bible, Luke 21:3-4). Because the arts are funded from the surplus, when budget cuts are necessary they are the first to take the blow. The fine arts are considered one of the ten core school subjects; however, they are constantly treated as less valuable than other programs and classes. Although it is easy to dismiss the arts as merely the icing on the cake and not really necessary; it is a mistake to remove the icing because that is what makes the cake special. Students benefit from a well-rounded education that includes strong arts programs. If these programs are not funded and prioritized, it is a disservice to the students. The arts not only help students on tests that are valued by the education system, but they also help kids to emotionally engage and discover passion.
In today’s world, education is changing; the immense focus on testing is suffocating the knowledge that every student has the potential to gain. One would assume that with this increased focus on tests, it would be obvious to fund the arts since, “Arts and music education programs are mandatory in the countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands” (11 facts). This shows that music helps support the subjects that are prevalent on these tests of such importance. It is evident that, not supporting the arts is not supporting math and science. The arts are enjoyable classes that are necessary for a successful education. Benedict J. Smar said of the budget cuts, “Fine arts are vulnerable to budget cuts partly because children are not tested in music or art under No Child Left Behind” (Colt). Tests are the main way that students are evaluated so it makes sense that if the topic is not covered on a test then it does not need to be taught. The consequence of cutting the arts is that the grand effect is overlooked. The system is trying to treat the cutting of the arts as something elementary and give a simple answer, which is where they go wrong. The arts are multi-faceted and deserve respect as opposed to a shallow answer. Why do we not test music if it is said that, “Music is the universal language of mankind” (Dobrian)? Not only is music a language, just as English and Spanish, both of which receive funding and are tested, but music is a universal language that everyone relates to. Music is essential in putting out an important message, and when taught has the power to change the world. Music could easily be tested as it is such an essential piece in a well-rounded education and, even without being tested, it would boost other test scores.
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