GRE Issue Essay 230

“The arts (music, dance, visual arts, etc.) are vitally important to students’ education and should therefore receive as much emphasis as mathematics, science, reading and other mainstream subjects.”

It is true that knowledge about all fields of study should be provided to students for all round development. However, the contention that arts subjects should be given as much importance as other mainstream subjects may not be justifiable in several respects. There is no doubt that an exceptionally talented child will definitely be supported by his parents if he wishes to pursue a career in arts, however the mainstream subjects are far more essential for establishing your career as you grow in life. Therefore, one can understand the need to educate children about arts, but subjects related to arts cannot be accorded the same importance as that given to science, mathematics and other mainstream subjects.

Music, dance and visual arts are an integral part of any educational curriculum. Most of us would have attended music and dance classes at school, summer camps or hobby classes. Nevertheless, not many people would seriously contemplate allowing their children to pick up one of these subjects, which fall in the category of hobbies, to be taken up as a full fledged career. The reasons are obvious. The most lucrative careers are the ones that fall in the realm of science, mathematics and other mainstream subjects.

The mainstream subjects are necessary for gaining knowledge about the world we live in, our body and its functions, calculations, history of our evolution etc. All these areas of study are essential for making a person learned. Arts are related to interests that are inborn in people and they do not serve to increase your worldly knowledge. An interest in arts and an aptitude for the same does not come to all people naturally and neither can it be cultivated forcefully. One should have an inherent desire to learn arts or else it would be a total waste of time to try and teach him various aspects of arts. Students spend a specific time in school and it is more important to utilize the available time in preparing them for their careers in the future. Therefore, reducing the time spent in teaching mainstream subjects in order to create time for teaching arts is largely unwarranted especially in light of the fact that such a study will not influence either the future of a student or the knowledge that is necessary for doing well in his life.

The world of glamour and movies is related to the art of acting, music and dance to an extent; however, the number of people who succeed in such a career is negligible as compared to the number of people who ruin their lives trying to get a break in movies. The same holds true for all other people who are pursuing careers elsewhere in painting, music or dance. There are only a handful of people who succeed in making a mark and the rest are lost in the sea of oblivion and because they did not have a mainstream subject in college, they will never be able to switch careers also. Unless a child belongs to a family of renowned and professional dancers, actors, musicians or painters, it is unlikely that his parents would be keen on letting him pursue a career in arts.

As a career in arts is not given due importance by most people, there is no requirement of giving arts as much significance as science and mathematics in the school curriculum. Moreover, one needs to have an interest in arts in order to understand the aspects of studying related subjects. There are numerous schools that have curriculums specifically designed for those students who have the talent for understanding arts. Students who are keen on studying arts can always join such schools and colleges. Therefore, there is no requirement of giving arts the same importance as that which has been accorded to the science subjects and other mainstream subjects.