By Tess ’25
Many students at Harvard-Westlake choose to take an arts elective. HW offers courses in ceramics, drawing and painting, dance, band, photography, glass, and many more! For a busy student, what is appealing about the arts program?
Well, to answer that question simply, arts electives provide an amazing opportunity to clear your mind in the whirlwind of required academic classes each day, including math, English, science, and history. That is not to say you are not working hard in arts electives, but you certainly can gain back some headspace from them. For example, if you have just come from a challenging math class where you were completely confused about a particular concept, and now you have dance, you have the opportunity to take off your shoes, feel the floor under your feet, and ground yourself, releasing the anxiety that your math class brought you. In other words, HW arts classes are a form of meditation.
Another reason that busy students are drawn to the HW arts program is that they get to flex the creative side of their brain. In a dance class, you may be asked to create your own choreography, and in a drawing and painting class, you get to put your own thoughts and ideas onto paper (or canvas!). After working through textbook reading, worksheets, note-taking, and other activities during your academic classes, the chance to create can sound extremely appealing.
Some students love to take arts electives to balance their homework load. Though arts classes at Harvard-Westlake do give students homework, such as practicing your instrument in orchestra, the homework given from an art class is often less demanding of a student than homework from other classes may be. Therefore, arts classes lighten the homework load for many students.
Finally, art at Harvard-Westlake is simply fun! In a pottery class, you get to create ceramic art, in band, you get to play an instrument in a full ensemble of talented musicians, and in dance, you get to learn and create choreography. In each of the amazing performing and visual arts classes that HW offers, students get the chance to learn and create in invigorating and innovative ways.
Daily life at Harvard-Westlake is exciting, and the arts classes here at HW make it even more special.