The Arts are EssentialThe Fine Arts program is a crucial part of Lovett's philosophy of educating the whole child. Studies have proven that the arts promote critical thinking, self-confidence, discipline, and more. Want to learn more? Follow this blog from Fine Arts Director Jay Freer.
The Arts Hold the Educational Key
The ability to communicate ideas and speak clearly, to listen, to work in groups and in collaboration, to exercise high-order thinking skills, such as application, synthesis, and knowledge analysis, along with creative problem solving, are life skills that are imperative to future success. Before entering college, your child should discover these core competencies needed to compete in the world today. The arts programs at Lovett introduce students to essentially every piece of the core competencies puzzle, and because our instructors are working, professional artists, Lovett’s Fine Arts programs offer experiential learning in the arts, often at a college level.
In visual arts, students must synthesize and understand techniques to find their own point of view and create art that draws on a very deep understanding of who they are, as well as their need for self-expression. Visual arts students then have to present and field questions from their teacher and class in a formal “defense” of the artistic process for each piece. In theater, students explore acting technique by presenting exercises and scenes to their teacher and classmates. Students then discuss what worked and what didn’t and why—that is the key to analysis and learning in the arts. Students write journal entries about what they are learning about their own acting process. The ability to take words from a play, understand the given circumstances from the playwright, and find the facets of themselves to bring service of the character requires deep emotional connection and understanding. Each play and scene requires high order collaboration and teamwork. Theater students draw on visual arts, history, and music to understand the setting of a play and inspire their creativity. Many of the same experiences are true for technical theater students, as well.
In music, students work as an ensemble. Students learn to listen and communicate through their music. They learn the context of a piece of music and draw all these pieces together to perform a variety of music from different periods of history and cultures. In jazz band, we add the stunning ability to improvise within a set of musical boundaries. Listening and reacting in the moment to subtle shifts and ensemble dynamics, make sustained study of music incredibly valuable to every child.
Dance requires students to work collaboratively. It requires that students learn and understand about balance, as well as styles/history of dance, different dance techniques, and in many cases improvisation through movement. Dance is an expression through movement that challenges the student to examine how to focus their creative and expressive voice in new and challenging ways.
Contrary to the representation by popular culture, the arts are not easy. The arts don’t happen by chance. They require extended study of technique and application of those techniques to discover authentic creativity and expression. The arts are the key to bringing together academic understanding and discovering how to synthesize and make use of that knowledge in creative ways.
I urge you to carefully examine our Fine Arts curriculum with your child each year during course registration. Students who continue their studies in a Fine Arts course over their educational careers at Lovett gain an unparalleled edge entering college. They also distinguish themselves through sustained study of the arts. Minus a strong and sustained education in the arts, your child will not receive the full value of the educational opportunities offered at Lovett. Help your child be ready for the future by taking advantage of Lovett’s excellent Fine Arts program, instructors and opportunities, which promote critical thinking skills, self-expression and discipline. Fine Arts should be an integral part of your child’s education! The arts are the key!
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