The arts are being cut by those who never were part of them. They think that if we “explore” on an instrument, “play” with clay, or even “experiment” with acting, that we are doing the arts. The arts are about finishing, not starting. The arts demand hard work, they demand to push yourself to places you have never been. It makes us show pride and excellence. When you work on a passage of music for fifteen minutes to get it correct, the sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. To start over on a painting countless times, then complete it to what you want, takes time. Just the creative process, time is needed. I tell my students, it’s the last 10% you do on you composition or project that makes it go from good to fabulous. Pushing that extra 10% is what art is all about.
But, all of this takes time. Musicians and artists totally understand this. We keep it secret as to how long it takes us to make our arty stuff, really excellent. We are embarrassed that some of the arts we do takes so much time from us. The famous quote “practice makes perfect,” is a battle cry for everyone in the arts.
So, when the days the arts are taught are cut, or decided that less time is needed, it shows how many do not understand the arts. They only see the final product, they don’t see the hard work, the endless nights, the thought of how to create, or the time spent starting over.
Just yesterday while rehearsing the fourth grade show, a typical fourth grader, concerned where to stand and that the microphone was up too high. Also, he said “Mrs. Broos, it doesn’t make sense that I am on stage for those lines, I should be backstage then.” I know those are simple comments, but when students take the time for detail to advance the perfection of a final project, that is when I feel I have taught the value of the arts.
It all takes time, you can’t have arts classes ten or twelve times a year to get that feeling. Arts are about digging deep to feelings and expressing those feeling to others, using the last 10% to move from good to fabulous.