Monday 27 May 2013

Should the Arts be graded?

This was a topic brought up by a friend I met up with Friday Afternoon.  He was a teacher of music at a college in the past and he found that the students he taught couldn't understand why or how they could be marked.  They didn't care for grades they just wanted to learn so they could achieve what they wanted: how to be famous and ultimately rich.

But my question is should the arts: music, art, english, etc. even be graded? Surely the arts are based on so much opinion of what is good and what is not?  I remember in school my art teacher asking me, begging me to do an art GCSE.  I refused on the basis that how good a piece of art is is based on opinion.  I might get an examiner who gets what I do, who likes it and marks it highly, or I might just get one who takes one look and thinks, no and I fail.  I also didn't want my art to be judged, it is a way that I express myself, my feelings so why would I want someone to judge that?

I think it is the same in English, creative writing and expression of opinions on other peoples literature.  What one person likes another may not.  It was discussed and is something I feel would be better than grades, that the arts should perhaps be entered into competitions for the musicians in particular to get artists heard and seen.  There should be more art galleries, there should be more live music heard.  I think the web does this, I just can't see how art can be graded like science and maths that are right or wrong, with art there is no right or wrong, it is a feeling it is all based on the eye of the beholder.
Maybe you agree maybe you don't but as someone who enjoys writing it's nice to know that it is being enjoyed by my readers, that is one of its main purposes after all - what an examiner's opinion of my work is is irrelevant to me.

That fact that there are hundreds of people who have chosen to read my work just because they want to, the fact that people leave all those lovely comments on my blog.  This is praise enough, better than any grade in my opinion.

Another reason I love home educating my girls is that they will only have to take the exams they want or need, to get to where they want to be.  Anyway, even away from the arts there are still plenty of famous people that have become very successful in their field without qualifications: Mark Twain, Bill Gates, George Bernard Shaw, H.G Wells and Mark Zuckerberg (these names I have got from research I have done on the web so far and believe to be true) - just to mention a few!


  1. Totally agree with you. It's just somebodys opinion. My brother is an artist, he draws with his foot. He went to Uni and has a degree in fine art. He had a shoulder injury and can no longer draw with his hand but does it with his foot. He wasn't taught to draw, it's a natural ability. His foot drawings are as good as his hand ones. The same with music, we can all learn the theory. Eden is a wonderful singer,I am tone deaf!!

    1. That's incredible that he can draw just as well with his foot. It goes to show it is a talent, a gift! That is also true that theory and practise are two separate things completely! :)