The first thoughts that come to mind to most people when they think about education are your basic subjects: math, English, science and history. Those are the programs that get a student into college and make future leaders successful in life, so they close-mindedly think.
Arts programs in education have seemed to be given the short end of the stick in recent years, nationwide. We have also recently seen this on our own campus with the debate and final outcome of the Westminster Choir College decision. What the experts in eduction do not understand is that art-related programs are scientifically proven to stimulate parts of the brain that other subjects do not.
Dancing has been found to improve cognitive skills, visual recognition and decision-making. In a study done by researchers of Albert Einstein College of Medicine, they discovered after testing the effects of 11 different physical activities, including golf, swimming and tennis, that dance directly improves brain health.
Music also has similar benefits. In Elena Mannes’ book, “The Power of Music,” she explains how scientists have found that music stimulates the brain more than any other human function and can also help people with neurological deficits.
Dance and music are just two art forms that have been scientifically proven to benefit the human brain. Aside from a neurological standpoint, the arts bring people together through entertainment and social experiences.
Fine arts in education are extremely impactful on students by adding some sort of diversity to their education. Teachers of the arts provide immediate feedback for students to be constantly learning each minute and to erase bad habits instantly.
All forms of the arts integrate motivation, instruction, discipline and deep understanding in different ways from a normal classroom setting. It is learning in a new and stimulating way.
The arts are a way for people to communicate internationally. They are unspoken languages that everyone can understand from social, cultural, educational and racial barriers.
Rider’s elite musical theater program constantly brings entertainment to our campus through musicals, cabarets and smaller theater productions throughout each school year. And from my experience, I have not seen a bad performance yet.
Organizations at Rider surround themselves with the arts such as the Rider Dance Ensemble, Dance Team and Rider Vibes, who avidly perform throughout the fall and spring semesters, presenting before our campus community.
The arts bring individuality and expression to not only campus environments but to all spaces where the arts are wanted. The arts provide a space of no judgment, and deep influence and understanding. The arts make a significant impact on students and need higher recognition by all education systems throughout the country, including our home right here in Lawrenceville.
Junior journalism major
Printed in the 4/5/17 issue.