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Should fine arts be required?

Sarah Mitty

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WSPN staffers Caroline Mellen and Sarah Mitty discuss the newly implemented fine arts requirement and if it should be necessary for graduation.

By observing an elementary school playground, it is easy to distinguish the artistic kids, who are drawing or making crafts, from the jocks, who are zooming around with a ball on the tattered fields. But how can people be sure that the boy shooting the winning goal does not also have the voice of an angel?

In elementary and middle school, every student is required to take different classes such as Music, Art, Drama, Applied Science and Wellness, so they can be exposed to a variety of different subjects and adequately choose a secondary pursuit in high school.

Up until last year, WHS has given students almost full control in choosing electives and extracurriculars. Now, all students have a mandatory arts requirement at the school, which means they have to take at least one fine arts class before they graduate.

The principle of this new rule is understandable, even pleasant. The idea of a “High School Musical”-like education is appealing; the athlete discovers a love for the arts and unites the school.

Yet, however noble the idea, this new requirement seems highly unnecessary. After all those middle school years when the jocks suffered through learning the dulcimer, why should they be forced to have to take an arts class again? If a student has a secret artsy talent he is interested in pursuing, he can make it clear. Those students are fully capable of selecting the “Art 1” box on their class selection sheets, but that doesn’t mean all students should have to.

Furthermore, students who are completely uninterested in these art courses are using up the limited resources and creating an unenthusiastic environment for students who actually want to be there.

We believe that this new rule has only created resentment among students. Upon entering high school, students look forward to paving their own road and getting their first taste of freedom. This new fine arts requirement is too reminiscent of middle school to be effective and appreciated.

Being well-rounded is something to strive for, but it’s also something students need to be independent and mature enough to achieve without the school’s regulation.

See the opposing viewpoint in “Fine arts requirement is necessary and rewarding.”

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16 Comments

16 Responses to “Should fine arts be required?”

  1. Unanimous on December 28th, 2012 10:35 PM

    Then why is gym required, it goes both ways.

  2. Anon on March 2nd, 2015 4:42 PM

    So kids do get fat.

  3. student on January 3rd, 2013 9:07 AM

    After all those middle school years when the jocks suffered through learning to write effectively, why should they be forced to have to take an English class again? Being well-rounded is something to strive for, but it’s also something students need to be independent and mature enough to achieve without the school’s regulation.

    ^As you can see, the arguments you've offered against the Fine Arts requirement could just as easily stand against mandatory English classes. The only difference is your narrow perspective on how the fine arts actually benefit students; no, it's not about "High School Musical." We make students take English because it's an important part of your education— so the article only makes sense under the assumption that the fine arts are inherently less valuable. Which has been disproven pretty much consistently.

    QED

  4. supermanxtt on November 2nd, 2014 2:48 PM

    Really? becase last time i checked, i use english and any other subject for that matter (even including gym) in my everyday life than i use what i learned in art

  5. anon on January 4th, 2013 12:11 PM

    I, personally, do not believe that this requirement is not meant to make us a "High School Musical-ish" sort of school. I believe that it's about the responsibility that comes with the class. Classes like chorus, band and orchestra give students a responsibility to practice and improve upon themselves. And although I don't agree with the "High School Musical" kind of community, I do believe that this brings all sorts of personalities together. Of course the teachers know that this won't unite the whole school, but it may bring together people that would otherwise never speak.

  6. Student on July 8th, 2014 10:52 AM

    I think it is a waste of time to even write this article. im in fine arts classes and there are student s that dont even want to be there, and it just holds those who sho want to succeed in the fine arts. when you give a kid that wants to learn an instrument they will cheerish it like it is their child forever. and love it nd succeed and go far. if you give a kid who doesnt care an instrument they will abuse the art and the absolute beauty of it. so i say dont make it mandetory to join a fine arts class… it will just hold the rest of us back…

  7. Random on January 13th, 2015 2:57 PM

    if someone doesnt want to take it they dont have to im homeschooled now so i get to choose my own classes i want to learn spanish cuz i can speak to ppl who dont know english and guitar cuz i love music but thats it

  8. nobody on August 14th, 2014 10:06 AM

    Honestly, I think schools have too much control now-a-day. I mean, seriously, come on guys, it shouldn't be up to the school to decide if a student wants to stay fit (gym) or if he even has an interest in any type of art. I've even heard of some schools not allowing junk food! If a student wants to stay fit, they'll apply for track or work out on their own. If a student wants to lose some weight, they'll cut back on the sweets, /on their own/. If a student likes art, they can find a pencil and start drawing, or painting or playing a guitar of making pottering for Pete's sake by their own choice!

  9. Fabulous1 on October 7th, 2014 1:12 PM

    I believe that this rule can help students expand there minds.

  10. Nobody on October 20th, 2014 12:11 PM

    No

  11. Nobody2 on December 4th, 2014 9:02 AM

    Yes?

  12. myself on January 2nd, 2015 4:38 PM

    yes

  13. Person on October 30th, 2014 5:57 PM

    Do what you want. Teachers shouldn't make you do something you don't want to do! What if the kid is terrible at what they (unwillingly) sign up for?! They don't even like the class! What would happen? I personally love fine arts and it's difficult for me to see the other perspective, but if the kid could maybe try it they might enjoy it. If they don't they should be able to quit. Why would someone force people to do stuff they don't like? I'll bet they wouldn't like someone to do that to them. They should all read this and think about it.

  14. emilay on April 23rd, 2015 8:56 PM

    Artistic and musical kids are forced to take classes they don't like as well. Think about it the other way around. If science and such is mandatory, then arts should be too. everyone should equally bare the burden

  15. Random on January 13th, 2015 2:53 PM

    the cos(30) degrees is the same as the sin(60) degrees and is used in the real world when you are trying to find out something you dont know about something in the shape of a right triangle without taking out a freakishly long measuring tape that astronauts could use to measure the distance from earth to the moon but fine arts some people just arent good at it so why force them

  16. June on February 27th, 2017 1:52 PM

    the reason im on here, is because I have to give a speech. and its on this. guess what? this isn’t about the other way around. this is about kids being forced to be in music and art when they might despise it. other classes that are required, like gym, are required for a reason. gym keeps you healthy. especially nowadays when there are cars, and busses, and barely anyone walks or does anything truly active. gym is the only way some kids can burn off calories. now im not against being a little lazy, but gym is useful. music and art, is definitely not going to help every single person in high school with their future career and/or everyday life. unlike English and basic math and gym. all of you negative people need to cool your jets, and realize that you don’t sway another’s opinion. and that your comments wont make the author of this article take it down. guess what else, im in choir, and theatre. and I love it. but it is so annoying when someone has been forced to be in there, and now the teacher has to deal with their snotty attitudes and snide remarks. imagine yourself having to teach that. would you want to deal with that on a daily pattern? yeah, I thought not.

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Should fine arts be required?