We tend to think of art classes as something for the very young, the very old and the very talented. But that short changes the rest of us! The teen years are notorious. It is a tumultuous time for most people. Teens are coping with massive changes within them and around them. They are facing a new level of expectations and the pressure can be intense. This is why teens need art.
Teens have big emotions and a small set of coping skills. They get overwhelmed. Without healthy outlets for those big, intense emotions, they can get into trouble either by directing their upset at others or at themselves. Art gives them an outlet. Creating art is a positive and healthy way to express the full range of human emotions, including the most difficult emotions such as fear and anger.
1.Studies have shown that taking an art class can boost teen’s academic achievement. Exactly why is unclear, but it makes sense that learning how to focus, follow instructions and progress through a project helps in school. In an art class, students learn more than art techniques. They learn problem solving and determination. They learn to stretch themselves and try when it seems daunting. That carries over into their school work.
2.Art class gives teens an outlet besides school where they can shine. Every one of us has different strengths and talents. Teens face a particular pressure to do well in school, and that is harder for some than others. But all of us need some area where we can shine. For some, that is sports or music. For others, it is art – painting, drawing, craft making. Finding that special place to shine, that activity where their efforts are rewarded with results that make them proud, gives teens confidence.
3.An art class is something positive to do. We always hear moaning about how there isn’t enough for young people to do. When we see vandalism or anti-social behaviour, we tend to bemoan the lack of positive things for young people to do. It doesn’t get more positive than creating beautiful things. Young people involved in creating art are less likely to be involved in destroying anything.
4.Stress management is an issue for everyone these days. Making art can be relaxing. Consider how instinctively we tend to doodle when we are anxious. Making art is tactile whether you are painting, sculpting or using another technique. The actions involved and the very process of creating help us relax.
When teens learn about different techniques for making art and explore what they can do, they are developing skills that will benefit them for life. They are learning how to follow a process. Some projects will turn out wonderfully and give them great pride. Others won’t, and that will teach them that disappointments are just part of life. Art classes for teens set them on a great path. It gives them a beautiful outlet for their emotions that helps them manage stress and express themselves as they are becoming adults. Teen art classes teach young people so much more than how to paint or draw.