Learning how to make mistakes is something that all people must learn. Music, fine art, theatre, speech and creative writing all have one thing in common: to succeed, you have to make mistakes and learn from them.
One of my favorite things about the arts is they are all about self-improvement. Although students may all complete the same assignments, many class grades are based on improvement over time, not necessarily general skill.
Every student comes in at a different level, and most 100-200 level courses are made to be taken by students with varying skill levels. This means whether you have five years of experience or no experience at all, the class will be tailored to you.
This tailoring is achieved with many things, including class size. There are many benefits of taking classes in the arts, but at SIUE, class size is a big one. Having a small class is beneficial because it helps the students and faculty build more personal relationships with each other.
This more personal learning environment requires every student to participate because it’s difficult to hide behind a class of only 20 other students. A smaller class also allows coursework to be more easily adapted to the individual because faculty can get to know the student and gauge how they are handling the material.
A strong arts education teaches many skills, including perseverance, how to accept criticism, overcoming failure, time management and thinking outside the box.
You will gain skills in the arts that will help you succeed in whatever field you may be pursuing because creative arts can build confidence and help individuals to step outside their comfort zones. Research is a large component to many STEM careers and learning to adapt to challenges and problem solving are common skills learned from creative arts.
A 2012 study from the Florida State University College of Medicine found that having medical students exposed to the arts strengthened professional relationships, education and self-expression.
This is just one of many studies conducted that show the effects of an arts education in fields where art does not have a direct correlation to the field.
Take THEA 150 for example: THEA 150 is an introductory class to scenic design and construction. This class teaches you how to identify and operate power tools, follow and create scenic designs, solve problems, realistically build your designs and more. While this is a theater design class, someone who is majoring in construction or engineering can benefit greatly from the skills gained in this class, not to mention that everyone should know how to build their own furniture.
No matter what your major is, every college student should take creative arts classes in college. They will help you build skills that will set you apart from other students, like collaboration and how to make mistakes.