What Are the Benefits of a Visual and Performing Arts Education?

In my practice, I have seen that the same kids who always look up to the theater and other art forms can actually be turned off by the corporate world. I have talked to several parents who give their kids a private art school or class and are dismayed when they discover how expensive it is!

Visual art (or visual and performing arts) involves the visual skills of drawing, painting, sculpting, photography, dancing, and acting. The classes are usually short, some up to four hours, but many of the classes have as much as two days devoted to lessons.

Because of their flexibility, many courses can be taken in varying lengths of time and at short or long terms. In order to take part in visual and performing arts classes, the student must be registered at a college or university. The different levels of lessons are:

A low-level state school, which means that this kind of education is not typically considered the first choice for the first-time student. Students of this type of art tend to be more interested in talking to the person they are talking to, than in creative tasks.

Typically, you can get in to a high-level university for visual arts and still be considered a part-time student.

And this type of art tends to be less expensive and often less time consuming than some of the other kinds of arts. The type of art and courses needed to attend a university or college for visual arts tend to be very specific.

Most of the visual arts programs require students to already have at least a basic knowledge of:

  • drawing
  • drawing methods
  • understanding colors
  • and of course, having a good eye.

You should know that there is a long history behind this type of art form, starting with Chinese writings about what we call “Nomadic paintings” around 300 BC. These were simple “stick drawings,” and they were used to teach children about their environment and how to survive in it. Nomadic paintings are now used to illustrate a lot of ancient cultures, including Native American painting.

In recent academic study, studies have shown that art instructors of all types of art groups find that “reading” or drawing does not help students develop their artistic skills. But there are some visual and performing arts courses that encourage “reading” instead of “drawing.” Such classes require students to bring a pencil and paper and often to hand-write their compositions.

Writing is important for all kinds of art, and this is an excellent technique to learn for visual and performing arts.

Writing is especially useful for reciting poetry, as well as poetry readings and for creating a work of art. Visual and performing arts require participants to be aware of various visual elements and to be able to describe the action in words. The primary skill required in this type of art is the ability to describe an image with clarity and to use words, like a story, that people understand.

Visual and performing arts involve a great deal of movement and physicality, because a good visual artist often has the ability to “think” about and describe movement. Learning how to communicate with words allows artists to become better performers and to improve their skills.

Visual and performing arts require a great deal of creative thinking. If you have an interest in art but have not had a chance to pursue an art degree, you might consider taking one of the visual and performing arts courses offered through the university.