What if math or science programs were victims of budget cuts, not art programs?
If that were the case, I’m sure uproar would occur. Yet most people in the art world—whether that is the world of music, visual arts, or theater—know that art programs are most often victim to budget cuts, and uproar doesn’t always occur. Or maybe it isn’t even budget cuts; maybe it’s the attitude of the arts being taken less seriously by school programs in comparison to math and science.
But is art more important than math or science? While certainly this could be argued, perhaps it is maybe too extreme of a comparison to adequately consider all perspectives.
Is art essential to students in order to enhance the value of math and science? Most definitely.
Without art, students studying math and science may never be able to reach their fullest potential in those subjects. Art and mathematics are the two subjects considered to be a “universal language,” yet the two are often the antithesis to each other in regards to funding or research.
Instead of looking at art and math as two separate entities in regards to funding and research, perhaps it is time for the perception to change. Perhaps it is time to start looking at these as two complementary subjects, in which one cannot adequately survive without the other.
“But my view is that all of improvisation, all of that creativity, is the right right of every child,” Richard Gill said in his TEDxSydney talk, The Value of Music Education. “Every child, I believe, should have access to properly taught music in the hands of a properly taught teacher.”
“This abstraction about music is what offers a child the chance to move into a really special world of thinking,” he continued. “And we get children, therefore, to try to understand that the most important thing about music is to make your own music. Children must make their own music.”
The most important thing about music is to make your own music. Yes, music can be a highly technical and mathematical art. But music—and all arts—emphasize creativity and originality and thinking outside the box. Math and science, on the other hand, may teach more advanced skills necessary for research or health discoveries, but they lack in teaching creativity.
And creativity is of utmost importance in order for anything new to be discovered. The cure for cancer probably won’t be found by repeatedly going through a step in a math problem. It will be found by tying together mathematical and scientific knowledge along with a creativity that can’t be found only in those subjects.
So the next time arts programs are the victim of budget cuts or the next time arts aren’t taken as seriously as math or science, don’t look at it as merely a loss to the arts. Look at it as a loss to the advancement of humanity. It doesn’t impact only the arts; it impacts so much more. And it’s time the world understands that.