Creativity and Academics
In the early weeks of Term 3, we will be asking many of our girls to select their curriculum for 2022. In this article, I want to discuss the value of the arts and what studying arts subjects can do for your daughters.
Our goal as a school is to prepare girls for professional careers by equipping them with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in life. There can be increased self-confidence and self-understanding, enhanced communication skills, and improved cognition from studying the arts which are an important component of academics. While the positive impact of the arts on academic achievement is worthwhile, that is just the tip of the iceberg. We believe that the arts create more creative and more successful human beings. Intelligence is lessened without creativity.
Here are five benefits of including the arts in your curriculum.
1. Growth Mindset
Through the arts, students develop skills like resilience, grit, and a growth mindset to help them do well academically and succeed in life after school. We focus a lot on growth mindset at Girls Grammar. I believe long-term success comes more from hard work and emotional intelligence rather than natural academic talent.
Girls self-confidence grows by allowing themselves to be placed in uncomfortable positions. In essence, growth comes by becoming comfortable with discomfort. Whether expressing emotions or performing in front of an audience, the arts encourage the opportunity to grow and mature.
3. Improved Cognition
Research connects learning music in your youth to improved verbal memory, second language pronunciation accuracy, reading ability, and executive functions. By participating in arts education, girls are drawn into an incredibly complex and multifaceted endeavour that combines many subjects like mathematics, history, languages, and science. For example, to play in tune, you should have a scientific understanding of sound waves and other musical acoustics principles. Likewise, to give an inspired performance of Shakespeare, you must understand the social, cultural, and historical events of the time. The arts are valuable not only as stand-alone subjects, but also as the perfect link between other subjects. They are a great delivery system. You can see this in the correlation between drawing and geometry, or between meter and time signatures and mathematical concepts such as fractions.
Our world is built through communication. This may well be the single most important skill we possess as humans. Girls can learn a multitude of communication skills through studying the arts. Through the process of being in a music ensemble, students must learn to communicate with peers, the conductor and the audience through verbal, physical and emotional means. Likewise, a cast member must not only communicate the spoken word to an audience, but also the more intangible underlying emotions of the script. The arts are a mode of expression that transforms thoughts and emotions into a unique form of communication.
5. Cultural and Self-Understanding
Many people consider the value of an education in the arts to come from the ways in which it impacts learning. However, the learning associated with the arts is itself a worthwhile endeavour. A culture without art isn’t possible. Art is at the very core of our identity as humans.
When your daughters in the middle and senior schools are making choices about curriculum for 2022 and beyond, encourage them to consider all their options carefully to ensure their choices are reflective of their needs.
Dr John Fry
Deputy Principal - Studies