The ministry of education in Greece has scrapped art and music classes for secondary education with the exception of two periods for first year high school students.
Nothing lasts forever, sure. Giving time to students to experiment with their fantasy will eventually come back into the curriculum, right? But as I keep my optimism up, I also hiss at the potential of such measures being applied here at some point.
I can’t bear to think that as a nation, we would ever plodder along to produce only craftsmen and labour workers. Nor can I imagine a curriculum where ten-year-olds have no opportunity to get a feel of what its like to actually hold a pencil in their hands or breath into a flute, as rudimentary as it may seem during one’s formative years.
Art and music may be ‘solo’ sports, as it takes one to seriously focus on their art piece to eventually give birth to one, but it also promotes other notions in class; communication between teacher and student being one of them. There’s nothing more animated than trying to explain why you chose to colour the sky red, for instance.
There’s seeking for the material that expresses you more; paint, collage, ink, flute, guitar, saxophone? And then there is thinking outside the box. Because if a teacher tells you to go ahead and make that collage you want to, but also tells you to make your own glue for it, the final art piece gradually seems to be miles away. It’s through research, collaboration with classmates and experimentation that you will achieve your goal, and learn. Learn that, especially in the 21st century, equipped with a technologically freaked out generation, not everything happens behind the screen.
Published in The Cyprus Weekly Newspaper, August 31 2013, written by Melissa Hekkers