As another school year begins, I think it’s important for everyone to look more deeply into the value of learning through the arts.
Knowledge gained from making and performing art comes not only from the way the elements in the art form work together to express something meaningful, but from what I like to call artistic process thinking. Our minds tend to expand by seeing in one thing something else that’s even more meaningful; and the arts provide the opportunity for this sort of learning. It matters because our students—in fact all of us—are facing an increasingly challenging world that changes every day. It’s a world that’s asking us to think in new ways. Making or performing art is so much more than what someone does every day. Artistic process thinking can be a way of life.
There is a natural, beautiful, and deep body of knowledge in the artistic process we haven’t even begun to tap.
~ from Arts Awareness: A Fieldbook for Awakening Creative Consciousness in Everyday Life by Patricia Hoy
If you look closely at the roots and meanings of the words education and expression, they both mean to lead out or bring forth from within. And the word artistic means that we learn to do that in an imaginative and skillful way. This is the learning process students engage in every day in arts and music classes.
Years of experience have convinced me that educating and expressing artistically are so closely related, there simply is no education without the arts.