I recently sat my grade 5 piano exam and I am currently studying for my grade 3 theory exam, and I just want to take this time to talk about something I have been reflecting upon recently.
In schools, the sciences and english and all of the other "important" subjects get more funding than the arts do (the arts being music, art, drama and, to an extent, PE). Now, granted, I can understand why these subjects get more funded. Overall, the more academic subjects are more likely to get you into a well paid job in the future, and it is more likely that art is something that will remain a hobby compared to english.
I think another thing is that the arts are considered "easy " subjects. Now, I think the people who decided that these subjects were the easy subjects are the people who weren't any good at any of them and thought that to be good it was all talent and it had nothing to do with your learning ability, and so told everyone that these subjects were "easy" and for people who were "less academic".
This attitude has caught on and isn't just something that is told to us in schools. Careers advisors tell us they aren't viable careers, parents say they won't fund our university trip if we choose to study performing arts because it's a waste of money aand the media tells us unless we have something very special that sets our talent apart, the only way we can have a career which involves our chosen talent is to teach other people, which really isn't true.
As a GCSE music student, (and I'll get to why I didn't take it for a level in a moment), I can tell you that music definitely isn't as easy as it's made out to be. Only 30% of my mark was to do with my performance skills. 30% was my ability to compose a piece and meet all of these different criteria when writing 2 pieces each of 2 minutes 30 seconds or more. However, these were not the difficult parts. The final 40% is the theory exam, where you have to be able to analyse pieces of music by looking at all the different components (pitch, length of notes, etc). You also have to be able to look at a half written score and work out the rest of the score just by listening to it.
Unfortunately, I can't speak about the other subjects because I don't draw or act or . . . sports(?), but I have heard that they are all quite challenging and people go into the GCSE thinking it's going to be all practical when it really isn't, and it's a lot more challenging than people suggest.
I didn't take music for a level because it was in the same option box as further maths, which meant I had to pick between the two. So I picked further maths, because I felt that was the more sensible thing to do, and I'm glad I did, because I can still pursue music even if I don't have it as an a level.
What do you think? Are the arts "easy" subjects? Do you have a talent in an artsy subject? Was it harder than you thought it would be? Let me know in the comments.