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Importance of the Arts

Burgandy+Trimmer%2C+left%2C+and+Sabrina+Palazzo%2C+right%2C+explain+how+to+play+the+improv+game+%E2%80%9CRevolving+Door%E2%80%9D+to+a+group+of+advanced+Theater+2+students.
Burgandy Trimmer, left, and Sabrina Palazzo, right, explain how to play the improv game “Revolving Door” to a group of advanced Theater 2 students.

Burgandy Trimmer, left, and Sabrina Palazzo, right, explain how to play the improv game “Revolving Door” to a group of advanced Theater 2 students.

Nicholas Taylor

Nicholas Taylor

Burgandy Trimmer, left, and Sabrina Palazzo, right, explain how to play the improv game “Revolving Door” to a group of advanced Theater 2 students.


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When many people think of the performing, musical and visual arts classes, they often view these classes as a joke that will only worsen one’s chances of getting into college. However, art classes are essential to building a well-rounded student.

The immediate aversion to the arts that many find themselves facing stems from a lack of prior participation in these very classes. Many teachers and new parents grew up in a time where the arts were viewed as trivial, and therefore have not participated in the arts themselves to know their benefit.

Not only do art classes turn students into well-rounded scholars who can balance school work on top of extracurricular activities, they can also vastly improve many vital inter- and intrapersonal skills necessary for success.

Sabrina Palazzo, senior, stated she “learned how to get the attention of a large group of people… and be able to get up and teach in front of them,” as a teacher’s assistant for Theater 2. Having to often lead the class and participate in improv games, Palazzo shows how being immersed in a leadership position of a theater class gave her the social skills to be able to effectively command the attention of a class and lead them towards a common goal, while also giving her the confidence to be able to do so in the first place.

A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation shed some light on the benefit of being involved in the arts in high school and beyond. According to the Rand Corporation, arts education can improve cognitive ability, critical thinking, verbal skill, motivation and confidence.

Athens Theater teacher Burgandy Trimmer said, “Acting lets me feel safe to take on parts unlike myself, and to explore the world from different point of views. Acting really helps you to understand other cultures.”

When taking on a new role in a theatrical production, students learn to view the world through a new point of view, allowing them to become more empathetic and understanding of others.

Unfortunately, The No Child Left Behind Act does not focus on providing children who are struggling in school with many different kinds of art-based enrichment. In fact, sixty-one percent of schools, grades K-12, do not have a full-time arts specialist in any field. This is distressing because kids who have been exposed to theater, music and other forms of art have been known to greatly increase their academic capabilities.

Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, said, “Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field [academically] with children who have had those enrichment experiences.”

In order to graduate, it is required by North Carolina that high school students receive at least one art credit during their high school career, which is a great way to immerse them in a world that they would never have experienced otherwise. This is an important step in the right direction of education that every state should initiate.

There are many benefits to being involved in the arts, other than the purely intrinsic pleasures of the experience.

“Taking any art class can improve a student’s confidence and time management skills, while also improving their social and academic skills,” Trimmer explains. Next time a student signs up for classes, they should consider getting involved in the arts. It’s never too late to start.

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The official student news site of Athens Drive High School
Importance of the Arts