A glimpse of the world through artistic eyes

By Benjamin Musyoka. Benjamin, 26, is a teacher at a Bridge International Academy, Nairobi, Kenya.

In my fantasy world lingers a question, an anxious question, pertaining the elements which affect a human being’s existence. We are utterly compelled by and unquestionably embrace and accept with no argument whatsoever that science is the backbone behind and on which our very existence is mounted. My question, concern and argument is about the arts.

I have thought and seen deep within my own being that art defines our existence. Art in itself covers the essential era of expression in which human beings live.Look at the Bible, all that is contained in it is literature – art. I would be wasting my breath, or as John Ruganda puts it, I would be playing the politician, trying to tell you what you already know. The fact is that the Bible in itself has affected the existence of many people. It has changed people’s aspirations in life ,upturned their focus and shouldered a new way of existence. Families in different homes have embraced the new way of perception and feeling.

Such is the impact of art.

Such is the uncanny relevance and reverence of art in our world.

Such is the whimsical endeavor of words affecting the world.

And as such is the role of any art – written, said, recited, printed, carved and even painted – in our physical existence, and more so in education.

The inspiration drawn from art is unique. Inasmuch as art is talent, talent is also like a plant – it thrives and notably can only flourish under particular circumstances. Take for instance a talented footballer. In the event of his interaction being limited, his talent will end up in the drain, as an estate pro or a village player – nothing more! A footballer who understands his vision will work on the basics while his focus is on the secondary aspirations. He will go to school and study, alongside his prevalent hobby. This is in the earnest understanding that a talent in Kimuuni Primary School has fewer chances compared to the same exposed in The University of Nairobi.

There is an element of self-discipline in art. Individual student accomplishments are easy to recognize in endeavors incorporating art and expression. A musician will practise indoors and outdoors, day and night, periodically and frequently to match up expectations rooted in his own heart. Time and again I have noticed that many activities – especially learning – are a bitter pill to students and they only engage themselves when under supervision. As the decree goes – habit is second to nature – an individual whose pattern of existence is nurtured by art will demonstrate the same even in a classroom setting, and thus art will have pioneered a person’s educational journey.

A teacher who wrote on that character board used five differently coloured chalks. As such is the impact of art in our world. It blends and bridges the gap between different views of life. The ultimate and eventual outcome is a smart choice, and one that doesn’t bore the eyes too. Even in the eyes of our creator, we fit best in this planet with different body physiques, understandings, behaviours and ideologies. The role of art as such is that it acts as an eye opener and we are able to appreciate the different means of the world. Students in any learning institution will embrace the different subjects they excel in and thereby solve the problem of choosing subjects in high schools.

Students engaging in art activities find themselves able to focus. The reason is because the arts require undivided attention and thus build a student’s ability to concentrate and focus. Example: Imagine a pupil who is good at drawing. To come up with a perfect drawing, he will be obliged to take his time and draw immaculate curves, avoid mistakes and come up with a perfect portrait. This will impact the particular individual’s ability to concentrate and focus, key skills necessary in any classroom setup.

Some of the most bizarre cases of failure and unaccomplished goals in life have their roots in the esteem of the acknowledged individuals. For any human being to accomplish something, and not just do it – but do it well – he or she must believe in it. Engaging in art activities e.g. writing, drawing, singing – makes an individual bolster confidence in themselves and their abilities. The outcome or result of the same will be a sure spirit of ‘I am able’ and will be manifest in other activities, including but not limited to education endeavours.

The monotony of ‘go to school, learn, graduate, get employed’, up to ‘I am retiring’ is as boorish and as unproductive as it sounds. As individuals, we all have different abilities; from critical thinking, problem-solving skills up to interaction abilities. One ought to understand the point of self-success synergy set-up. We realise this when we engage in many activities in our learning institutions. Once you realise your performance potential, put it forefront and work on it.

Thus, the arts play a big role in education and shouldn’t be assumed or ignored.

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