The importance of arts training

01 October 2019 | Columns

Octavia Tsibes

Arts education is an integral part of any learning process, especially in times such as these.

Many have studied arts over many decades. One such person was Plato, who emphasised the importance of fine arts education and why a society needs it.

Plato was an Athenian philosopher during the classical period in ancient Greece and was the founder of the Platonist school of thought, and its academy, which was the first institution of higher learning in the Western world.

Arts education refers to education in the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, and visual arts.

I believe that fine arts also provide learners with non-academic benefits, such as promoting self-esteem, aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, creativity, improved emotional expression, social harmony and an appreciation of diversity.

If art has so many benefits, why then do parents shy away from letting their children take up more careers in the arts industries? Or should I ask: Why do black parents shy away from encouraging their children to take up careers relating to arts? Why are many youth opting to study other courses that we believe lead to better-paying jobs, while they can major in the arts?

You're also helping your children develop mentally, socially and emotionally, if you let them practice art.

Generating art may boost their ability to analyse and problem-solve in innumerable ways. There are a number of benefits that come with art that I can highlight, such as arts promoting understanding and the sharing of culture. Therefore, I believe that art is very important. Arts also promote social skills that enhance awareness and respect for others.

Fine arts education enhances perceptual and cognitive skills that are important for people.

We all watch television shows and movies. Some of the content has been produced by people who are great in arts, so why do we not allow our children to excel in this field?

A lot of what artists do is to tell stories. They help us make sense of our world, and they broaden our experience and understanding. The arts enable us to imagine the unimaginable and connect us to the past, the present and the future, sometimes simultaneously.

Artists can be very powerful. They can fortify will and push people to act. Artists do not think like policymakers or academics. Artists think from their heart at all times. They are revolutionary and visionary. This is why artists are able to move people to action, thus delivering significant cultural and political contributions to society. Just visit any art gallery in Namibia and you will get to experience what I am talking about.

Many youth who do fine arts can become graphic designers, fashion designers and creative directors, as well. The opportunities are countless and parents and guardians should not inhibit the talent that many kids possess.

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