How Arts Education Creates Well-Rounded Individuals
We’re all about making the arts accessible to all audiences, and we wholeheartedly believe that arts education should be available to everyone too. That’s why we’re thrilled to celebrate National Arts in Education Week. In honor of the annual event, we asked our staff to share a few words about the arts educators who inspired them and helped them get where they are today — as performers, professionals, and more.
Violet, Accounts Team
My music and theater teachers opened the door to the greater arts community for the first time, and it completed changed my life. They taught me to empathize and think complexly about other people, to collaborate and find connections and showed me that I always had a place where I belonged. Their passion has made me a lifelong artist and arts advocate!
Marc, Tech Team
Music education used to be taught in Ancient Greece as a core subject alongside math and astronomy, and I believe it should continue to be treated as such today. Music engages both hemispheres of the brain — it is at once logical and creative — and can actually have positive effects on childhood brain development. My band and orchestra teachers have made me into the person I am today. They’ve taught me discipline and collaboration. They’ve encouraged me to music direct and accompany in college and semi-professionally, and they’ve driven me to pursue a career in an arts-related field.
Katie, Marketing Team
At the end of 9th grade, I decided to not take chorus as an elective for the following year because I was interested in other classes and I didn’t have room in my schedule. My teacher noticed and told me I was “too good to quit” so I decided to take chorus again in 10th grade. In 11th grade, I made my high school’s select choir and then two years later I joined my university’s chorus. Today, I don’t even remember what those other electives I thought about taking were, but I’ll never forget the encouragement I received from this one teacher.
Ryan, Operations Team
When I was in 8th grade, my band director, Mr. Maxwell, took a huge risk by agreeing to have our ensemble play a piece I’d written (sight unseen!). He did it once again my senior year of high school, and these experiences helped encourage the confidence to pursue music composition — in college, in grad school, and professionally.
Ali, Expansion Team
There is not a chance I would be where I am today — as a professional in the theater world or as a human being — if it weren’t for my high school theater teacher Pat Yates. When I first walked into Mrs. Yates’s class as a sophomore in high school, I was only interested in being an actress. What I learned from Mrs. Yates was just how expansive the theater eco-system was, and how much work it required to be a part of that world. Yates taught me that there was so much more to performing than knowing the blocking, choreography, and hitting all the right notes. She taught me that I first needed to understand the playwright, the context in which he/she was writing, the setting, and the character motivation for every scene. I needed to understand acting techniques and read the works of Stanislovsky and Chekhov. And I needed to read plays. So. Many. Plays.
Beyond the scope of performing, she also encouraged us to learn about directing, stage crew, props, and playwriting. She taught me that creating theater was not about the spotlight, but was about the collaboration of so many hardworking individuals, and about the experience that the team creates for an audience. Thanks to Mrs. Yates, I became fully addicted to theater.
While I’m no longer interested in performing, I have a career where I get to work with theaters around the world to make their programming more accessible to a younger demographic of arts-lovers. And I am so grateful to have had Mrs. Yates teach me the importance of busting my “sassa-frassin-ass” (her words) to make theater happen.
Cory, Operations Team
So much of arts education is about the balance between the technical and creative. I literally use that balance EVERY day of my life both professionally and personally.
My high school drama teacher, Mimi Turque, told me as much as she loved me, she didn’t want to see ME on stage, she wanted to NOT SEE ME onstage. That always stuck with me. It’s not about me. It’s about the character, and what they are going through. That taught me empathy.