Why Participate in the Arts?

EUROBRASS 2008 173

Studies consistently have shown that participation in the arts is a significant factor in the growth and development of individuals. Here are just a few examples:

Lewis Thomas, physician and biologist, found that music majors comprise the highest percentage of accepted medical students at 66%.

– “The Case for Music in the Schools,” as quoted on genevaconservatory.net

Students taking courses in music performance and music appreciation scored higher in the SAT than students with no arts participation.

– Music Education Online, as quoted on genevaconservatory.net

“A grounding in the arts will help our children to see; to bring a uniquely human perspective to science and technology. In short, it will help them as they grow smarter to also grow wiser.

– Robert E. Allen, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, AT&T Corporation, as quoted on genevaconservatory.net

Rhode Island studies have indicated that sequential, skill-building instruction in art and music integrated with the rest of the curriculum can greatly improve children’s performance in reading and math.

– ”Studying Music Strengthens Students’ Academic Performance. Learning Improved by Arts Training,” as quoted on genevaconservatory.net

But there is another, even more important reason to participate in the arts: it´s because God created the arts and is Himself an artist! The Bible is full of references to music, worship, and other forms of art, and Christian writers through the centuries have affirmed this emphasis. Again, here are just a few examples:

”Let the godly sing for joy to the Lord; it is fitting for the pure to praise him. Praise the Lord with melodies on the lyre; make music for him on the ten-stringed harp. Sing a new song of praise to him; play skillfully on the harp, and sing with joy. For the word of the Lord holds true, and we can trust everything he does.”

– Psalm 33:1-4  New Living Translation

”Make the Tabernacle from ten curtains of finely woven linen. Decorate the curtains with blue, purple, and scarlet thread and with skillfully embroidered cherubim.”

”Then the Lord said to Moses, “Look, I have specifically chosen Bezalel son of Uri, grandson of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts. He is a master craftsman, expert in working with gold, silver, and bronze. He is skilled in engraving and mounting gemstones and in carving wood. He is a master at every craft! And I have personally appointed Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, to be his assistant. Moreover, I have given special skill to all the gifted craftsmen so they can make all the things I have commanded you to make.”

– Exodus 26:1 and 31:1-6 New Living Translation

“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.”

“Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the Word of God through music.”

– Martin Luther, as quoted on prayingthegospels.com

”Art is a reflection of God’s creativity, an evidence that we are made in the image of God.”

– Francis A. Schaeffer, as quoted on whatchristianswanttoknow.com

So why participate in the arts? It helps in our development as people, it honors God, the Creator of the arts, and it´s fun!