The student news site of Benilde-St. Margaret's School in St. Louis Park, MN

The Significance

January 16, 2023

Participating in the arts benefits students in all areas of academic and personal life. English teacher Jennifer Bevington has been involved in the arts her whole life, participating in the theater in high school and continuing with orchestra and choir in college and beyond. “Involvement in the arts for me has had a lot of different benefits in my life. One of the really big pieces…has been about identity and finding a sense of self and sense of confidence in the arts,” Bevington said. 

In addition to a sense of self, the arts give students a sense of community. “People have to have community and participation in the arts offers such a beautiful sense of community,” Bevington said. 

Within the school community, participating in the arts in addition to other classes and athletics allows students to meet new people. “Generally, it’s always better to broaden yourself. As you broaden yourself, you get a feel for different types of people…it’s so beneficial for later on it life,” Wilson said. 

People have to have community and participation in the arts offers such a beautiful sense of community,

— Jennifer Bevington

When students collaborate on art projects, they learn to work together. “[The arts] involve creating/exploring/understanding/developing skills not alone, but collaborating with a group to produce a worthwhile outcome. This involves all the different learning styles that are out there.. Qualities that any employer would be dreaming of for a future employee,” Keefe said. 

In fact, Wilson believes the arts taught him more about teamwork than his college football team. “A lot of people assume that I got my experience…being a team player through sports, but I think the arts helped me even more than playing football. When you’re in music, you’re part of a bigger whole. You aren’t necessarily working towards making yourself the most presentable piece,” Wilson said. 

The arts help students perform well academically. Countless studies have connected the arts to improved memory. “When I’m in a nursing home…what am I going to remember? I’m going to remember music. And that’s not because I’m a music teacher. Music gets into that part of your brain,” Stockhaus said. 

While most classes at BSM use laptops for the majority of work, arts classes give students a break from their screens. “We made the decision to not use [the laptop] and to make it the place where students didn’t stare at a screen. Now we know from science that staring at screens is not good for you, and we’d rather use that time to practice and learn about music,” Stockhaus said

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