The Benefits of Art and Music

Free Write: How The Arts Benefit Society

"The Artist at Work" by Harry Dinnerstein

It’s easy to look up facts about how students with good art and music programs in their schools do better on tests and in school, but it’s hard to quantify how the arts as a whole benefit our society. The temptation is to say that an understanding of the arts make us better people, but perhaps that is a bit too dramatic of a conclusion. If we understand the arts, though, we gain a sensitivity to other people’s creativity and, theoretically, a better chance of understanding that person as a whole.

I’m not saying every student should learn high-level art or music theory, but I do think even an exposure to studying the arts can open up a whole new way of thinking. Art and music are subjects unlike science and math and even unlike history and English, as there are not questions and answers, but rather compositions and creations. They benefit us on an intellectual level because it forces us to think in a way that we were not talk.

Also, it’s significant to consider the time we live in and the generation each of us are from. For me, I know that communicating with other people on a human level is getting more and more difficult. A lot of my friends are even afraid to make a phone call by themselves. By looking at art and music, we look at a human expression of a feeling. Sometimes it’s easier to connect to this feeling than it is to connect to another person explaining how they feel or what they’ve been through, and I think that in turn increases the human connection to one another.

Greg Sandow wrote an article about how the arts make us better people by increasing our capacity for empathy as well as expanding our cognitive growth. Read more about that here. It’s hard to find proof for these in journals or scientific studies, but it’s easy to see how the arts affect the people in the world around you.

I know not everyone will agree and not everyone will feel the same way about art and music, and that’s fine. However, I don’t think it’s fair to remove arts funding from schools because that would take away someone’s opportunity to feel intellectual growth outside a non-traditional academic setting.

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5 thoughts on “The Benefits of Art and Music

  1. I think the arts are hugely important in human development and connection with one another. Cuts in art funding for schools can result in a lack of creative development, and therefore personal development. Many individuals’ strengths lie in the arts rather than in math and/or sciences, and it’s simply not fair to stunt the development of these individuals just because they think differently.

  2. I think the arts are a very important aspect in education. I know when my school needed to make cuts, the first things to go were the arts. It’s interesting that you bring up the lack of creativity because I recently went to a lecture where the speaker said creativity in the past ten years has declined. She connected this to the very structured education that we have and how most assignments are laid out step by step which takes away a persons ability to come up with a creative way to solve a problem.

  3. I agree that the arts bring out the natural creativity within each person as a whole. Not each person portrays their style of creativity in the same ways, and the arts can be more broadly defined then just drawing, music, painting, etc… but instead how someone dances, or plays a sport. It is not directly related to what your issue is involving but creativity can be displayed multiple ways.
    But in general I think art and music being cut from educational settings is only going to lead to a downfall in education. It allows students who do not learn traditionally different ways of learning that may be more effective for them. And I agree is it fair to stunt the development of a student because not everyone enjoys or sees the good in these fields?

  4. Speaking from the perspective of an artist, I completely agree with you. I cannot imagine my life without art and music in our society. Art and music empower a creative mind and way of thinking. Cutting funding for the arts in schools will rob students the opportunity for self-expression. Art molds smarter, more creative, and labor-ready individuals, even if the student or faculty advisors may not realize it. The arts have helped me grow into the well-rounded and creative individual I am today, and I wish more people would see the true benefits that fine arts and music can bring, on many levels.

  5. I definitely agree with you on how art and music play a huge part in society, especially today where technology and social media developing, I think it’s important for people to physically be interactive with things that make them creative (like painting a picture or playing music). Although i do think being creative online is achievable, like creating an awesome tumblr page or well organized blog, i still think the original creativity comes from art and music.

    I also do not think schools should cut funds from art and music because art and music also can relate to other academic subjects like English. In my literature class, the professor values meaning of art, so we look at paintings relating to certain books we are reading for the literature class, it keeps the students engaged and it allows the students to have creative thinking process.

    i definitely think it’s wrong for schools to cut art fundings and limit one’s individuality and creativity.

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