Education of the Soul

“Music can change the world because music can change people.

“-Bono “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”-Thomas Merton Those quotes above stuck out to me when I decided to write this article because both went with my theme. Music and art are ways for kids and teens to express themselves, to show what they can do outside the classroom. There are kids who get frustrated when they have to take a test in math or science (I’m with them on the math thing.) Those kids that can’t concentrate while learning about the civil war or what makes up a water particle can just paint.

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Or play an instrument. But schools are making cuts, causing the students who’d rather be artistic to just be bored. Art programs and music programs are the cure for those kids who’s minds wander in the classroom. There are times when I’ll see someone show up to algebra ten minutes late then play with a pencil for the rest of the 45 minute class. Then they get to art, on time, and have a smile on their face because they get to draw and paint.

There are kids who talk through the entire biology class because they would rather discuss their last shopping trip or how they made a slam dunk yesterday after school. Those kids get to music and start drumming or playing some other instrument. They need something to be interested in, something to look forward to. Whether Pluto is still a planet or how to play a snare drum? You can be certain they don’t want the science choice. Thomas Merton was right when he said that art makes us find ourselves and lose ourselves.

We lose ourselves in a song, in a painting, or in a sketch. We also find ourselves by listening to a song and thinking, “I’d like to learn to play the guitar or the piano or the saxaphone or the drums.” You look at Picasso, Van Goh, etc. and you think, “I’d like to paint something like that someday. Maybe today.” Yes, I agree, learning how to sculpt is not the same as learning how to find what 2x+3y= 12x is.

Who’s to say which one is more important? If schools continually cut programs that keep kids and teens focused, hardworking, and having dreams, then what kid of generation will we have? Will we have adults who want to change the world by changing themselves, as Bono said? Will we have adults who act like adults, not adolescents? Maybe we will, but maybe we won’t. It is just my opinion, but I say we keep these programs. I say we have them in every school in the entire continent. Hey, if we’re going that far, let’s say that every school in the entire planet gets an art and music program! Just think, if kids here can be changed by art, why not the planet’s kids? Who’s to say that education has to be of the mind and body? Art and music are education of the soul.