There is an ongoing conversation regarding the detriment of cutting art and music from schools.
I have another reason to add to this:
Not only do art and music expand our overall intelligence and appreciation for the world, but they can be crucial outlets for mental health.
Speaking for myself, along with writing, I have used dance as a form of self-expression to guide me out of dark times in life. Whether it be an unhealthy relationship, or a difficult challenge at work – when I am ready to face my feelings- dance is a major vehicle for deep healing and self-acceptance.
As with Western medicine, schools have to be re-worked to focus more on prevention rather than treatment of illness.
A child might be a great student and they may thrive in academia – but what if the real world poses challenges for them that they feel they cannot handle?
We need to teach children coping skills when they are young, so if/when the waves of the world become choppy, and life becomes difficult, they have the tools to help themselves deal with it.
Art, music, dance, and writing, are examples of these tools. And I am grateful to see schools incorporating mindfulness into their curriculum, since it is a very valuable tool!
Let’s prepare children for more than just good grades.
Let’s prepare them for a good life.
I started writing the year after my father passed away.
I had written poems and songs since I was a kid, but these writings were different. They expressed a voice inside of me that I only became introduced to after the sudden passing of my father in the Fall of 2006. I had always been one to keep to the straight and narrow and do what I was told, and when I experienced the sudden loss of my father, I felt that the universe was giving me permission to begin to question, to begin to inject my personality into my surroundings. I was no longer in the box. I was pushed out of the box and I would never go back in.
My writings were a way for me to find self-expression and liberation. They were not my only form of expression in response to my father’s death, but they were what I kept coming back to time and time again. Work stresses, physical injuries, and unhealthy relationships came and went, and when I would get my feet back on the ground and my soul recentered, I would return to my writing.
My writings evolved over the years. But each time I sat down to write, or more often, each time an idea began to sprout in my mind and write itself, I was listening to the same inner voice that introduced itself to me 8 years before. Life is not easy, but my greatest fear would never consume me – I would never be alone. That small, still voice inside of me would accompany me in the challenges of life and would celebrate with me in times of self-discovery.