Everyone knows that children learn through repetition and persistence. However, not everyone knows that art and music classes inspire and motivate children to persist. Anthony Flores-Alvarez talks about his experience of growing up and how he was helped by the few art classes he encountered. In elementary school Anthony had only having thirty minutes to draw; it was just him, a piece of paper and a regular pencil.
There was no one to guide him or teach him the basics so he soon lost interest. How could he know how enriching art could be? No art classes were offered in middle school. In high school, Anthony attended an Art/Drawing class but his art teacher left the job after only three weeks! Next, a trail of substitute teachers kept using the same basic online worksheets they didn’t care if the students were making progress. Anthony soon lost interest.
Then, in the last semester of sophomore year when he was accepted to the Through the Lens film program at the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Anthony and seven peers learned the ropes of filmmaking, taking their movie through Pre-Production, Post Production, and finally presenting it to students and industry professionals. Anthony was challenged and motivated as he learned the essential skills of multitasking, time management, and collaborative work.
Anthony also joined the high school band; he learned to read music and play the clarinet. Most importantly, he learned that through persevering with continuous practice he could develop skills and sensibility.
“Art has been critical to pursuing this career of mine.”
“Art has been critical to pursuing this career of mine. Just like how lawyers must examine multiple documents and time manage, being in band continuously teaches me how to perform each efficiently through having me learn and sort through multiple songs with sheet music.”
Anthony understands the value of art classes in schools to teach skills that students apply in any area of study. As Anthony pursues a law degree and starts work in politics, he is grateful for the skills he learned through the arts. “Art has been critical to pursuing this career of mine. Just like how lawyers must examine multiple documents and time manage, being in band continuously teaches me how to perform each efficiently through having me learn and sort through multiple songs with sheet music.”
Anthony’s wishes for all schools in the country to have art classes so that students can learn new skills. He wants to know there are excellent teachers like his band teacher, Mr. Vera, who understood his struggles and created welcoming creative learning environments. Even with a limited range of art classes, Anthony benefitted; he acquired the skills to succeed in real life.