In the classic text by McLuhan we are introduced to the idea that the medium with which we chose to communicate limits what can be communicated. In the same way that your method of transportation limits where you can travel and how long it take to get there, your method of communication limits what you can say and how long it takes to communicate the idea.
Another reason why our children require performing arts education is that it teaches different kids of communication skills.
Ken Robinson argues that the arts are just as important as math and English because the arts speak to aspects of a child’s being that are “otherwise left untouched.”
This is true.
And, I will add that arts education is important because it teaches aspects of communication that are otherwise neglected.
Not every aspect of being a human being can be expressed in mathematics or an adept command of spoken/written language.
There are portions of our being, of our imagination that can only be expressed or developed within the language of imagination. Through the language of acting, singing, dance, music; through these art forms one learns the language of imagination.
Well, that’s great, Louis, but so what?
When we look at the “real world” — that world that we will pretend exists outside of the arts, we see any number of places where the language imagination is critical.
Here are two examples:
The language of science and imagination come together regularly in the field of medicine. In discovering a new cure for a deadly disease, in discovering a new procedure that gives comfort or saves lives; in the creation of new methods of treatments — all great break throughs in medicine represent a discovery that begin within the language of imagination before they were translated and expanded upon within the language of science.
People who invent new technology, write new software, found new companies, all exist within the language of imagination. When one first conceives of something that does not currently exist, this idea is existing fully in imagination. It is through the creation of stories that one brings their idea into the world of reality. Whether one is translating the language of imagination into computer code, a mechanical devices or a business plan, one begins in imagination.
What about a stock broker?
What about a physicist?
What about a lawyer?
What about a teacher?
What about a realtor?
What about a military service person?
How many more examples can you think of where the language of imagination is important? Share them with us on Twitter or on our Facebook page.
Founder and President
The Audacity Performing Arts Project, Inc.