A popular move in education is moving schools towards STEM or Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics; so students can keep up in a growing technological world. D has graduated Elementary school this year so I’ve been thinking a lot about Middle School and Education this year as we prepare for the switch in schools for him.
The Middle school that D is supposed to attend recently became a STEM school without consulting the parents and teachers about the switch. All Music, Drama, and Art classes have been dropped. I was told that should at least 40 students band together and want one of those classes, the school will provide an online option.
How in the world do they expect to teach students to tune their instruments via an online class? How will they troubleshoot issues with instruments that inevitably happen with students that are new to the instruments and usually renting the instrument? I could go on and on about how this is not an option that will really work. I’m all for it in places like rural Alaska where it may be the only option, but we live in a suburbs of Seattle and Tacoma WA. This is not our only option.
The Arts, any form of art, is creative. It causes you to use a different side of your brain. This side of your brain is what is used to be creative, to be inventive, and innovative, and even in the STEM areas of the industry, you need this to stay ahead. The Arts train your brain to think creatively.
The Arts help prevent and aid in healing mental illness, through people being able to express themselves, be it through writing, and art of any form be it music, dancing, acting. It feeds our soul even if we are only observers.
It has been shown in repeated studies that exposure to and being trained to play a musical instrument makes a person smarter.
If we continue on our current path of focusing solely on STEM, I can see a day one day when the old masters of music, the written word, and art of the world will be lost because our children will not appreciate the beauty and majesty of their creations.
I’m FOR Classical Education which includes a broad learning base. I don’t have a problem in High School or the last couple of years if a child focuses on STEM or some other area that they plan on working in IF they have been given an adequate base of knowledge in Classical Education.