The art of understanding

Supporting students’ artistic endeavors

The Tower Staff

Caroline Peabody ’22

In an environment as competitive as South’s, students will always feel pressure to compete academically — rigorous academic classes mean better college applications, better applications mean a better future. But taking classes solely for their GPA-boosting ability means that many students miss out on the benefits of creative classes.
Other than the enjoyment students get from art classes, numerous studies have supported the idea that art education helps boost academic performance. A study conducted by College Board in 2016 found that students who had taken four years of arts and music classes scored an average of over 150 points higher on the SAT than students who had taken only one-half year or less of these classes. We at The Tower encourage students to not overlook the academic benefits of art classes in the course selection process.
Implementing art classes into student schedules has also shown an increase in school enjoyment and attendance. A study conducted by Living the Arts Through Language and Learning revealed that high school students with high arts involvement were three times more likely to win an award for school attendance. We at The Tower hope students interested in art classes enroll at them to make their schedule more enjoyable.
As course selection time approaches, it’s vital for students to remember to balance their time. It’s important not to allow high academic expectations to discourage enrollment in art classes. Having an art class is an outlet for individuality and creativity and can help relieve stress and anxiety. Loading up on an all-AP schedule with only rigorous academic courses is never a good idea. Adding just one or two art classes you find genuinely enjoyable can make the school day that much more bearable.
A fundamental, though often forgotten, part of selecting a schedule is choosing the classes that most interest you. South offers hundreds of classes, stretching from Ceramics to Photography to Creative Writing, Drama or even Film Lit. We at The Tower encourage students to experiment in the many forms of art classes offered to find the best fit for them while developing new artistic skills.
Arts classes aren’t blow-off classes. They challenge students in different ways, encouraging them to explore a unique part of themselves. We at The Tower believe that this creativity should be encouraged by teachers, parents and students alike. At the end of the day, people are individuals, and should be supported while they discover their actual interests — not just which science class will give them the best GPA boost.