Over the years I have watched Art and Music programs leave the school. I have donated to some of the programs that are trying to bring it back, but I know people have discussed why do kids need art and music (and sometimes sports.). I didn’t really have an answer, often I got just random answers on it. The usual arts helps with math, reading, cognitive ability etc. But I wondered if there isn’t something more.
During covid I turned to playing the guitar more, playing the keyboard some (have not in a long time) and doing some creative writing (people have seen my memes.). All of these things have helped me cope with covid, and then I realized its not just covid its helping me cope with but life in general. That my creativity is something I have used over and over to deal with things that have happened to me, including the death of my wife.
So I started googling around about having a creative outlet, and the benefits. And get this, they seem to be the same benefits for kids in school. Better at math, reading, cognitive ability and adds few new ones. Stress relief, become happier and more engaged, you find new ways to do things, find a way to get into the zone and possibly more (credit here – https://www.lifehack.org/272798/22-reasons-people-with-creative-outlets-are-more-likely-successful and a few others)
So what counts as a hobby or a creative outlet. First it needs to be fun for you. It is something that you want to do, that bring joy. Something when you start it that you prefer it not to be over or bound by time. You stop, well when you want to (in most cases.). Yes i know most people have lives, responsibilities, jobs, kids etc. Believe me I am a single father of twin teen girls, one who was an athlete. My commute was 1.5 hrs each way, and had to travel for sports. If I could make time to write, play guitar etc. you can make some time also.
Second technically you shouldn’t get paid for it. Look, I like millions of others have been told that you should do what you love and you will never work a day in your life. But often that is not possible. I did write previously about failing about what you don’t love (https://www.lrau.com/wp/2019/06/01/you-can-fail-at-something-you-dont-like/) also, but I do know most people are not in the situation where they are in the perfect job. Also if you are already say a painter or a musician for a living, there is pressure on you to produce. I have written about an artist friend of mine and the work you don’t see (find that one yourself.) Well you will need a different creative outlet so there is no pressure. When there is no pressure, no stress you can be free to express yourself very differently.
Although there are many definitions of genius (IQ etc.) the one thing I truly believe that being able to relate two completely unrelated items to solve a problem is the one a gravitate to. And having a creative outlet allows you to solve problems in a different space and opens your eyes to solving problems in your real job. Einstein kept his workspace a mess, as he believed he had no idea where inspiration would come from. He wanted to see as much as possible to find a relation to what he is thinking. This ability to relate is what I hope my hobbies will help me with.
So we do need art/music and enjoying things in school, not just for the kids to be better students, but as adults they can find a creative outlet and be better at what they choose to do as a profession. It makes better people. The argument against it is that kids need to finish work to be better prepared, well art helps them be prepared to do their job better. And we as adults need to find creative outlets, could be anything just keep it fun, and have no benefit. Yes I do post my creative writing on here, but I don’t have deadlines, I do not charge for it and the only benefit I get is the ability to express myself.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife) http://give.nyp.org/site/TR/DIYTeamRaiser/General?px=1031549&pg=personal&fr_id=1080 or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site, to keep it add free and use wordpress, and try to spend any time on the usability on the site (I apologize for that)