The best arts schools are not vocational schools. Students are “trained” to learn the rules and to speak the language of their medium, but more importantly, they are encouraged to develop their own habits of mind and to acquire the discipline of continuing to work in the face of not being able to get the answers right away. They learn how to not give up until they get there.What else do students learn how to do in arts education? They learn how their first answer may not be the best. They learn how the last answer may help you get to the next, but it won’t be the next answer. They learn how there might be more than one way of interpreting or doing something. They learn how skill and knowledge in their discipline is a means and a beginning, not an end. They learn how to live with uncertainty, to pursue outcomes that are not predetermined.
They learn how one must risk the thing one cares most about.
They learn how to look anywhere and everywhere for answers.
They learn how nothing is sacred and everything is sacred. They learn how to let go of the shore and push off into the middle of the river.