Arts hold an interesting but conflicted place in people’s hearts and minds. We all enjoy the Arts - be it a gallery walk or the latest Summer Blockbuster. Active participation and creation however, is another story. More often than not, when adults think of their participation in the Arts it is the Music lessons taken every week as a child that eventually pushed to the side for the “serious subjects” like Math, Science, or Business. The thinking goes, instead of the “weak option,” better to put more effort into a marketable skill. Later in life, the adult looks back and wonders what would have happened if they had just kept playing instead of abandoning that instrument to a corner in the room.

But are those “serious subjects” really more important? Looking at Music for example, there are a host of studies showing that Music Education and high achievement in instrumental performance improve cognitive functioning and raise test scores. This is so much so that musical ability is now being looked at as a better predictor of academic achievement than grades, a tendency not lost on college admissions teams. Studies also show that Dance has a similar impact. And Visual Arts? Critical enough to the STEM areas that the designation is now STEAM : Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics. What was known in the Vedic Gurukuls and Ancient Greece is being rediscovered now: Arts are not an extra but an essential.

This is why Wellington takes their Arts seriously. Beyond being enriching and an important aspect of a holistic education, the Arts help students in any field achieve their academic goals. We make a commitment to the Arts as a part of the curriculum from Early Years to our most senior students, focusing not on just preparing for a show but on fundamental concepts and original creations. Another way we foster the Arts is through an approach giving multiple access points such as after-school activities and class time individual instruction offered in addition to timetabled Music, Art, Dance, and Drama lessons. A further way we support and celebrate the Arts is through events, such as our upcoming 2024 Music, Art, and Dance Festival. Over 3 days, from the 26th to the 28th of March, students will get the chance to experience workshops with professionals, try new forms of expression, and showcase their own talents and creations as part of concerts and exhibitions.

The Arts are a part of Wellington, but more importantly part of what it means to be a person. You could even say that it supersedes the individual and is part of what makes us human. For our part at WCIP, it is a privilege to nurture young people in this fundamental area and see them grow as the next generation of Artists and Patrons alike.

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