All too often The Arts are considered peripheral subjects, unimportant beyond their ability to provide the main classroom teacher a break, useless to the vast majority who will not pursue careers in drama, dance, music or fine arts. NHE takes an approach that is nearly the opposite.
NHE puts The Arts at the center of the curriculum.
Here are some of the reasons:
The Arts aid brain development: It has been clearly established that music helps the brain to establish new pathways for higher logic, problem solving and mathematics later in life. Brain researchers are recommending daily music starting in infancy, singing to children, instrumental instruction to all children and the reading and writing of music treated as basic school subjects. It has also been proven that training in the fine arts increases concentration, writing and observation skills.
The Arts allow us to assimilate knowledge in a more lasting way. Through the use of Drama, students can comprehend people and events far removed from their current frame of reference. Drama followed by reading increases the comprehension and retention of the material.
The Arts when cultivated properly nurture the human spirit and provide a shield against false or pseudo-culture. Pseudo- culture is that which is created with the main concern being short-term profits. Often there is little concern for the welfare of the child, and rarely is there any concern for the long-term welfare of the society. We have seen our most precious values eroded away just in our lifetimes by the proliferation of pseudo-culture in music, TV, movies, video games, books, etc. True Human Culture is that which elevates the human spirit, expands the mind, or seeks to pass on cherished values and history to future generations.
The Arts as a learning modality are largely untapped: we know that throughout history people have expressed the sum total of their physical, mental and spiritual experiences artistically, and that others have received and understood the messages. Yet we are not using the Arts in the classroom on a daily basis to transmit knowledge. Ask a child what comes before L in the alphabet and they start to sing! Through drawing a child can prove their understanding of scientific principles. Want them to write? What child wouldn’t want to show off an original drama if truly given the means?
Cultivating the Arts teaches about the beauty around us and adds to our enjoyment of life. A child who has the Arts at the core of their school experience is often more aware of nature’s gifts and can better discern the beauties and mysteries of the created universe. Artistic sensitivity adds to one’s life experience. The ability to appreciate all art forms can make life a more joyous and fulfilling journey.
The Arts broaden our horizons: understanding the artistic expressions of various times, peoples, and places allows us to walk in the shoes of another, to see the world in a larger way.
The Arts foster the development of multiple intelligences.