Written By: Katherine Brown
For some reason, there tends to be indifference or a flippant attitude towards the creative arts in society. We put a bigger emphasis on subjects such as math and science. While these subjects are very important, we also shouldn’t downplay the importance of creativity in society either. Creativity is essential to our well-being in life. Who doesn’t have a hobby or activity they like to do in their free time? Something that helps them relax and relieve stress? This could be anything - listening to music, drawing, reading, or even just watching television.
These things are what makes life fun. Life would be boring if we just worked all day and didn’t have anything fun to do later. Every hobby I just listed is a creative career in some capacity. And what’s more, we need people employed in those creative careers to make the magic happen for the rest of us! However, we very rarely encourage kids to be painters or writers or musicians as a career path. We tell them that they should instead pursue a “serious” career. Unfortunately, this mindset is present even in the educational system. In school, importance isn’t placed on the creative arts. When I was in grade school, I took music and art classes only once a week. Once I entered high school, art and music were only optional classes, and students could choose them as an elective. Even when I did take them, art and music classes weren’t taken seriously, but viewed more as a “fun” class instead. They were classes where you could, essentially, goof off.
There is a common argument that subjects like math and science are more important to know and understand than the fine arts. But this argument just isn’t fair. It isn’t fair to kids that are creatively inclined. If we teach kids that math or science are more important than creativity, we teach them that their own talents are useless. Realistically, all kids aren’t good at math, just like all kids aren’t good at art. Take me for example. As a child, math was the subject I struggled with the most. Even in college, I had to get extra help from a tutor for my math classes. I haven’t had an A in math since 9th grade geometry. It would be absolutely insane for me to go into a career related to math, because it’s just not my strength. While I can practice and get better at it, I’ll never be as good as a person who is naturally talented at math. On the other hand, I’ve always been strong in reading and writing. I’ve always loved to write - which is a creative career.
Teachers need to be proactive in informing parents of a possible gift their child might have. If the art teacher notices that a child draws exceptional pictures for their age, they should email the parents. If the music teacher sees that a child plays piano phenomenally well, they should email the parents. Parents can then take the necessary steps to get their child involved in extracurricular activities that pertain to their talents. In this way, kids can hone their creative skills and prepare for their future. Creativity is very important in our lives. We need to encourage kids to pursue creative careers. We need to encourage kids to go into careers that would emphasize their natural talents.
References Khan, Aliya. (2018). 15 Easy and Fun Painting Ideas for Kids. Retrieved from https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/15-easy-and-fun-painting-ideas-for-kids/