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Art programs in schools should not be removed

Art Programs in Schools Should Not be Removed

Logan Drummond

Art programs in schools are essential, as they reduce the risk of depression, stress, and anxiety. It is proven to strengthen and build the ability to have empathy and is critical in creating problem-solving skills in children. Recently, there has been a removal of classes such as band, visual art, choir, theatre, and more, which has caused rates of stress, anxiety, and depression to increase.

Taking art courses from a young age can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression levels in teens. The National Library of Medicine states that art-making has the potential to foster positive personal development and significantly reduce stress levels among college students. Participants in this study engaged in a variety of art-making activities while the control group didn’t, while the results showed that art is proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Proven by drexel.edu, 75% of participants in 45 minutes of art-making had lowered cortisol levels after the experiment. They also found that younger participants exhibited lower cortisol levels consistently, proving the central idea of keeping art programs to help balance these cortisol levels out.

Empathy is the ability to understand and share feelings with another. As of late, it seems as if students have been lacking the ability to have any empathy whatsoever. As art programs have recently declined in schools, it would only make sense that it can feel as if students lack empathy for one another, since art programs have been proven to increase empathy levels in students, according to the National Library of Medicine. The method of implementing an art education elective for students between 2017 and 2022 featuring visualization and discussions on the role of bias and perspective in art interpretation. 70% of students reported improvements in empathetic communication, recognition of bias, and observation skills.

Some believe that academics such as math, English, science, and other core classes are more important than art. Programs such as music, visual art, theatre, and more are a waste of time and money, as their schools are focused on the academic portion of learning. While, yes, Math, English, and Science are crucial, I could guarantee you students would not excel as well as they have in these areas if they had no art background. Without these programs in schools, students would not be able to sit in classrooms all day while properly applying themselves. Art is the foundation of learning while helping students gain problem-solving skills. As proven by Walden University, taking art courses teaches the mind to observe the world more closely, for art is complex, and layered with multiple elements and meanings. Observing art and partaking in programs as such allows students to apply those same skills to the real world.

Although art programs can be expensive, they should be kept in schools and celebrated for being proven to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression all while boosting empathy levels and improving students’ critical thinking skills. Art, band, choir, theatre, and more should be implemented more, not stripped away from children who have no say and no knowledge of how dull and mindless their lives may end up being because of the decision to take away art courses in school.

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