Student Views: Arts deserve attention on same level as sports
February 26, 2021
The National Association for Music Education tells us that music is crucial to a developing brain. It helps language skills, social skills, and is good for overall intelligence. Music also helps students perform better on the SAT. So why, then, is it the least-funded subject in our school? Take the school play, for example. The costume and prop budget is only $700 a year while the football budget stays at $4,800 a year.
We have one art and one music teacher for our entire K-12 student body. There’s only one high school art course that kids can take, and one music course for high-schoolers. As someone deeply involved in the arts, this is very concerning to me.
I’ve been to a lot of schools and Wrenshall is the best I have ever been to in terms of accommodations for my medical issues. But I don’t think it’s fair to students that we have to draw up football plays to pass gym but can’t get time in our day to learn how to draw a flower.
Wrenshall needs more than just a band and one rotating art class for our high school students. Lexi Swanson, a freshman, told me how she believes getting another art teacher would be an excellent idea, so the three teachers dealing with the arts could then split classes.
When it comes to extracurriculars, we could fundraise. The art teacher here, Molly Kidd, talked about having a music or art history class, or a crafts class. But please remember that while we are willing to fundraise for the arts, we need the school to increase the budget for these programs. You don’t ask the football players to fundraise for their jerseys, so please don’t expect us art students to fundraise to support the entire program.
Another way to raise money for the arts is by hosting an art show. We could charge admission to the shows where we show off all the beautiful creations students have made. We can have musically inclined students perform songs. The drama students can recite monologues. It’d be a Wrenshall art appreciation night.
Some of you might be concerned with students getting enough credit in their core classes. The students I interviewed mentioned that they just want more options for electives. Junior Kaya Stark told me how every year her music education felt the same, and that she would have loved to experience a drama class throughout her high school career. Reece Prouty, also a junior, mentioned that an orchestra would be beneficial to students expressing themselves.
I believe it’s time Wrenshall recognizes the importance of arts in the school. After this pandemic, we should come back to a better school that offers us the education we deserve not only academically, but artistically as well.
Writer Pidge Eckdahl is a junior at Wrenshall High School who hopes to double major in English and theater in college. She wrote this editorial in Ted Conover’s English composition class and some students shared their opinions with the Pine Knot News.