2/22/16

Why I FIGHT for Arts Education

For any of you who may be wondering why I’ve posted SO MUCH about Kentucky Senate Bill 1 and the attack on arts education in this state… this is why.

Sometimes I wonder why I couldn’t have become something else… something more valuable to our society and our economy. Sometimes I wish I’d been gifted in math like my grandmother and my dad, or super smart in physics like my cousin. Sometimes I wish I’d become an English teacher like I’d first planned when I entered college. Sometimes I wish I’d gone on to cosmetology school like I thought about doing the first time my job was threatened because of budget cuts.

Sometimes I wonder why I ended up in such a difficult profession, one where I feel I constantly have to explain and justify and validate my existence. One where in the eyes of the policy makers, I am always the “low man” on the totem pole of priorities.

Why couldn’t I have been an engineer?
Why couldn’t I have been a nurse?
Why couldn’t I have been a computer programmer?
Why couldn’t I have been a chemist?

And then I began to wonder the same things about my kids. I started to wish that they would be electricians, mathematicians, scientists… things that would be valuable in a job market that is increasingly unfriendly to artists. My husband and I are both music teachers, and all four of our parents are musicians, but surely our kids could be something else, right?

Why couldn’t my oldest, who’s about to graduate high school, want to be something besides a musician?

The answer is simple: Because he’s NOT. And I’m NOT either. I’m a musician, a music teacher, and an author. My entire life is about creativity.

God made me who I am, and He gave me the strengths and gifts that I have. God made my children, and gave them each unique gifts. To wish I’d been something else is to tell God he was wrong to create me the way He did. And if He created “Amy the musician” and “Amy the music teacher” and “Amy the author”, He must feel those things are important to the world.

And so I have to speak up. I have to stand against the assault on the arts. Because this assault on the arts is an assault on the very nature of who I am and how my Creator made me. It’s an assault on my kids and all the beautiful things they have to offer the world.

I know the politicians and the people who make policy and control the pursestrings of education would say… “It’s just business. Don’t take it so personal.”

But it IS personal. This is WHO I AM. This is HOW GOD MADE ME.

This is WHO MY CHILDREN ARE. This is HOW GOD MADE THEM. And there is NOTHING lacking in them because they are musicians and artists rather than engineers and physicists. The world needs ALL of those things, not just SOME of them.

Children who are creative… who excel in art, music, and drama… deserve just as much opportunity to pursue those things in our public schools as students who aspire to be doctors and scientists deserve the chance to pursue those things.

This is why I speak up. Because an attack on the arts is an attack on ME… and on my family… an attack on the future my kids deserve to have.

My oldest an exceptional musician... and he will be a professional French Horn player... and the world would've lost something incredibly beautiful and important if he'd gone a different way.

The world needs creativity. The world needs beauty. Who will provide it if we gradually drain it all out of our schools?



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