When I was younger, being on the stage was my dream. From sitting on the risers in the Junior versions of The Lion King, Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast, to having a very small role in My Fair Lady my senior year, the stage has been a second home for me. I always loved the costumes, and watching the characters come to life in the show, whether it was Hello, Dolly! or Into the Woods. I was thankful enough to be in a school district that respected the arts as much as I did.
Or so I thought...
Budget cuts: The Arts' worst enemy. I have been told that in a few of the elementary schools in my town have cut their music program which really got my blood boiling. The highlight of fourth grade was getting to pick our instrument and be in either the band or orchestra. (I played the viola up until sophomore year). It was fun. We made friends in these groups. And we were being challenged early in the morning. I looked forward to it.
I believe that a music education at a young age is beneficial to children. That sense of accomplishment when you play the piece right, sing the high note in a difficult song, and learning everything that goes into music. An arts education in general is a good thing, too. Without music in elementary, kids will never be exposed to it at this young a crucial age. Don't let them become robots.
I came from a town that was very sports oriented, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Come to think of it, we had a few "jocks" in our chorus over the years. It wasn't that hierarchy that everyone has in mind. And it proves that you don't have to do just one thing in high school. You don't have to just be the Quarterback, you can sing baritone in choir. I have friends who love math, and they are incredibly talented at artwork. You can be well-rounded.
My best friend goes to choir college. I went to her family weekend concert and I sat there listening to these students and felt something. Seeing passionate people come together to make something beautiful is the best thing ever. And you could tell they were all into it. I loved that.
The world needs arts educators. With the right amount of drive, you can do anything. Pursue your passions, and explore new ones! The possibilities are endless.
Do you know why they say "Starving Artist?" It doesn't mean that you're not going to eat ever again. It means that you have a hunger for more than your everyday life. You have an appetite to express and perform. Don't let anyone stop you from doing what you love (that includes yourself).