Art is wonderful. It’s a way to form community, develop brain waves, and increase levels of happiness and love.
I’ve been supremely lucky lately to be able to listen to a variety of music and watch drama performances I would have otherwise not attended had life’s circumstances taken me differently. It’s rather fun. I feel spoiled and on top of the world.
Over the years, I’ve been spoiled by George Fox University, Newberg Friends Church, the Oregon Symphony, and now the Seattle Symphony. I’ve become a snob for excellent music, drama, and pieces of art.
Music and drama are food for the soul. It is wonderful how many genres there are. I’ve yet to find my absolute favorite. It is amazing to me that people can be so very creative and invent new genres. Creativity is so very important for brain development, comprehending different ways of thought, and adds a spice to life that would otherwise go unnoticed or unappreciated.
Artwork is also wonderful. I have no idea how people can stand there for half of forever and just stare at a piece of art. I can breeze through an entire museum in 15-20 minutes, 45 minutes max and thoroughly enjoy what I’ve seen. Taking an art class at GFU was intriguing. It cemented in my brain that it is just not a huge interest of mine. I have no aptitude in creating a masterpiece. I love to look at it, and absolutely love seeing street art, murals, paintings, and other pieces of art that suits my fancy. However, to remember the genre, history, and to assume to know what the artist was thinking when they created their masterpiece of a painting or drawing is beyond me. I’d love to know their story, but to add my personal flair or assumption that I made up in my imagination is just not up my alley. However, I absolutely love to see something well done to adorn plain walls – especially white ones. My absolute favorite are statutes or “things” found in parks and gardens. It’s wonderful when there is a story or a reason behind the purchase or gift of the item. Every hospital, doctor’s office, and building needs something other than those ridiculous posters hanging on the wall. If they hang motivational sayings, they are nice, but the font and art behind the words are getting quite boring.
Dee Dickens of Johns Hopkins suggests 15 reasons why art is important. His reasons that stand out to me are that art enhances “higher order thinking skills including analysis, synthesis, evaluation, and ‘problem-finding.’” Art also brings the mind, body, and spirit together in unity. It is a language that all can relate to and understand no matter what barriers and differing backgrounds individuals have between them – cultural, language, racial, educational… Art “leads to a deeper understanding” of the world around them, increasing “motivation, instruction, assessment, and practical understanding.” Another favorite suggestion that Dee provides is that art increases academic abilities.
In children, PBS suggests that music increases IQ by 3 points, heightens language skills. In addition, it develops fine motor skills, “sound discrimination,” and “spatial-temporal skills” as the left side of the brain is stimulated and will actually “wire the brain circuits in specific ways.” Increased concentration and verbal recall abilities are also noted. Drama enhances social behavioral skills. Interestingly, these skills were not found in children who only studied music.
Chad Lasky, of prezi.com, suggests that music “expresses individuality,” enabling “the freedom to be who you are or who you want to be.” Music expresses how you are feeling – whether “good or bad.” It provides an opportunity to express things in a way that words cannot communicate. Music also aids in providing an avenue of escapism. It’s a matter of connecting people of all different backgrounds and the world as a whole, aiding in the addition of diversity and “splashes of color to the black and white world of happiness, love, and even some sadness.” Furthermore, Chad shares that “music can act like a friend or support system.”
One of my most favorite persons of all times – an absolutely wonderful woman whose life had been upset due to severe depression after being raped, followed by reliance on a friend who didn’t follow through on her request to watch her kiddos while she took a nap – shared with a couple of us that – through music – she was able to pull out of severe depression. This, too, backfired on her as the people who judged her did not understand the genre of music she found to be healing on such a deep level. She was in tears as she just could not comprehend how something so therapeutic would be so greatly misunderstood. She was devastated that she was judged for it. Music can be misunderstood in yet can be so very helpful during the most difficult times of a person’s life.
Drama tells stories in such a way that broadens horizons, expands perceptions of life, and portrays a reality in everyday life or a time in history that would otherwise be missed.
As Chad suggests, art is to be savored in an otherwise “black and white world.” Art – of all forms – gives us a sense of identity, connectedness, expands our horizons, enhances comprehension, helps our neurons connect and reconnect. Let’s unite through an expression of art.