When I was asked to Mite to you about my views Of the role Of the Arts in society, did not hesitate to embrace the task. Over the past three years, have been working on a PhD in Music Education. I have finished all Of my coursework, and have “only” my dissertation remaining. In this program of study, I recall many discussions in our seminar classes that were seeking to answer this very question: What is the role of the Arts in our society? For purposes of this writing, SE “Art” to mean: music, dance, theatre, fine art, and literature. Hint that most philosophers in this arena agree on at least one fundamental concept: the purpose of Art in general is to cause a reaction, any reaction, in the viewer/ listener. I personally want your reaction to be positive, but think that all artists need to allow for any possibility. I truly believe this, and I am extremely pleased when am able to help others share in the experience, The reason participate is that would never be totally comfortable in my elite it were not “creating. Somehow (due in large part to the many blessings of our God), over the course to my career, have been developing an ability to make music by teaching and leading orchestras, and when am not doing that, I do not feel complete, My role here is that of artist/performer. There are, however, two other roles: that of creator (composer, author, painter, sculptor, etc,) and viewer/listener. All three roles are of equal importance, and could not really exist in most cases without the other.
A lot of publicity has been given recently to the fact that students in school who are involved in the Arts generally do better in the academic subjects, especially Math and Linguistics, as verified by scores on standardized tests, such as the SAT or ACT. I am convinced that this correlation is real, but I do not think it to be causal. I feel that there are two Other classes in Which a student could participate and stand an even better chance of improving their test scores: Math and English.
I am, by no means, discounting the importance Of the Arts, but I actually feel that there is a much greater meaning, need, and purpose of the Arts. From my observations, am totally persuaded that the Arts foster a concept or condition in a person that NO other subject can. Believe that exposure to the Arts develops, in the human being, a heightened state of sentience. Sentience is the art of “feeling. ” It is feeling or sensation, as distinguished from perception and thought. The Arts, in school, literally teach one how to feel.
In later years, believe that participation in the Arts continues to enhance our abilities to feel. People exposed to the Arts can become more sensitive, compassionate, kind, inconsiderate, and caring. The Arts are indispensable to any advanced society or culture. They are truly the greatest way to improving or increasing the “human experience. ” In addition to this fundamental concept of sentience, the Arts are always among the highest expression of every culture, teaching us much about every historical period through its literature, visual arts, music, dance, and drama.
Today it is recognized that to be truly well educated one must not only learn to appreciate the arts, but must have rich opportunities to actively articulate in creative work (again as creator, performer or viewer/listener). The Arts are languages that most people speak, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability. They can bring every subject to life and turn abstractions into concrete reality. I heartily invite you to participate in the Arts as much as you possibly can, and to encourage your children to do so, as well, starting at very early ages.
Recent research has shown that the initial learning window for both music and linguistics is negative three months (in the womb) to approximately fourteen years of age. It is never too early to start, and it is never too late to continue. It is my sincere wish that you are moved by our performance today, and that you continue to be moved by the Arts in general. If I can have any role in your pursuit of these lofty goals, then have done my job. I hope that we can all have positive impacts on each others’ lives, and through these concerted efforts, our society Gang only change for the better.