25 May A Fine Arts Education
The hills surrounding the city of West Covina were certainly alive with the sound of music last Friday evening! Some of you in the city may have heard the music being created on the blacktop of South Hills Academy by our K-8th grade students. From Broadway standards to 80’s pop anthems, our students, with the leadership of our music teachers Ms. Kwon and Mr. Brown, certainly entertained the eager crowd that gathered on our soccer field.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, concert halls, theatres, and other performance venues have had to temporarily shutter their doors. So many people who work in the arts and entertainment industry have had their lives and livelihoods on pause for over a year. It was a refreshing sight to see South Hills Academy’s dedication to fine arts education and their commitment to COVID safety to make it possible for us hear live music again, after so many months without.
So many of us around the world relied on the arts to entertain us whilst in the 2020 lockdown through programs like Netfilx, Hulu, Disney+, and even the old-fashioned television. When the Broadway smash hit Hamilton debuted on Disney+, an estimated 3 million subscribers tuned in to watch. The arts have been essential in soothing the emotional health of people, especially during this past year. And yet, when schools face budget cuts, the arts are always among the first programs on the chopping block. Multiple educational studies, including those conducted through the No Child Left Behind Act, identify that students who have fine arts classes as a core subject are four times as likely to be recognized for academic achievement. South Hills Academy takes this data to heart and our fine arts classes serve to provide learners with benefits such as promoting self-esteem, motivation, aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, creativity, improved emotional expression, as well as social harmony and appreciation of diversity. These classes change the learning environment to one of discovery, which in part lead to the development of a well-rounded student.
God Himself is the master artist. In the very first verse of the Bible in Genesis 1:1 it says, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” As we are made in His image, we are also supposed to be creative beings. South Hills Academy certainly remains committed to keeping our fine arts classes in our curriculum and providing opportunities for students to discover, to think, and to create.