The Benefit of Creative Arts

A few months ago, I was asked by a rather well known acquaintance what the benefit is of my programming. I’ll be honest that for a rather longer period of time than I’d like to admit afterward, I had feelings of frustration, anger, and sadness over this question. And while I’m sure it was innocent enough, it also super offended me… Because why should I have to explain the benefit of my business??(I’ll be the first to admit that I continually have inner work to do.)

But if you would indulge me, I thought I might take some time to address it and my stance on questions like this here.

This is gonna be a doozy of a post, so buckle up, buttercup!

When I was a practicing music therapist, I was constantly having to defend and justify my seat at the table of disciplines. Many a phenomenal music therapist, burn out for this exact reason. When you are constantly having to prove that your profession is worthy of existing, you can become jaded and exhausted all at the same time. That 100% was me. I got SO tired of printing research studies and constantly educating and advocating for my chosen profession with whomever I came in contact over and over and on and on and on and forever and ever, amen.

I swore when I started The Kids Creative Space, I would never spend time justifying my existence again. If someone didn’t understand why music or the creative arts are important then they were not my target clientele and they could, with all due respect, take their business elsewhere.

It is not lost on me that often people who ask the question what is the benefit of exposing children to the creative arts are also consistent consumers of the creative arts. I so often want to ask back to them: Do you read books? Do you read blogs? Do you watch TV? Do you go to the movies? Do you listen to music in the car? How about on your Alexa? Do you have paintings on you walls? Do you have décor at all in your house? Do you get your family photos taken every year? In that case, do you use a predesigned Christmas card to stick the photo on and mail out? Do you wear jewelry? Clothing? Etcetera. Etcetera.

If there is a yes to any of those questions, then you can thank a child who at one point was exposed to the creative arts.

Listen, google is your friend. Unless you’re having a health issue, in which case you should stay off google at all costs and call your doctor. But in this scenario, it’s your friend. You can google the research behind the benefits of exposing children to the creative arts. For the record, I just did and it came up with 35,400,000 results in 0.58 seconds. There are some pretty big players supporting the arts with children on that first page, including multiple universities, PBS, Scholastic, LinkedIn, and ParentCircle, to name a few.

If a person is asking a creative arts teacher (in any modality) why the arts matter, then I have a sneaking suspicion that nothing that teacher says is going to convince that person that the arts do in fact matter. Because that person is not only blind to how the arts improve their quality of daily life, but also to the very existence of the arts in their daily life.

Even still, I really, REALLY hope I’m wrong about that last paragraph. I really, really hope that person can be convinced, even if I don’t want to be the one tasked with convincing them.

Because the creative arts do matter.

And that’s it. That’s my stance.

A Spicy Auntie Jess

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