Education through Arts

The notion of “education through the arts” embodies the existing traditions in the sphere of aesthetic and arts education based on the rich pedagogical heritage and related research, original experience of the well-known Russian writers and artists, musicians and composers, choreographers and film directors, theatre and museum workers, etc. Historically there were two basic approaches to educating children and youth through the arts in Russia. The first one presupposed acquaintance with arts and mastering some of art forms primarily within the framework of general preschool and school education. Today this type of education is compulsory and comprises music, visual arts, and dance in preschool institutions, while at school it covers fine arts, music, and the history of the world artistic culture.

The second approach to arts education presupposes involvement of children in artistic practices following their own choice (informal arts education). This type of voluntary learning is provided through a large network of educational and enlightening institutions such as Arts Schools, Centres for Aesthetic Education, etc.; it can be also linked to artistic amateur activities groups (choir singing, dancing, and other performing arts), circles and other educational bodies established by various learning institutions, museums’ educational departments, etc. Children of various ages participate in those activities following own wishes, interests, and taste. The new prospects of education through the arts oriented to reproduction of cultural traditions with the support of research and exploration of effective patterns that help introducing today’s younger generation to the artistic heritage are opened by applications of information and communication technologies and electronic education resources, which produce principally new forms of artistic creation. Thus, for instance, today’s schoolchildren have an undeniable interest in electronic music. Everything that is connected with the history of the rise of this music, electronic instruments, peculiarities of their sound and means of expression, electronic musical oeuvres and performing represents the sphere of creativity, which is of interest for the young people. In addition, the music art that has centuries-long history wins a young person again and remains relevant to the contemporary world he or she lives.

Computer design and computer graphics, artistic project making and printing, animation and special effects in cinematography, etc. make up a very special sphere of activities, where the visual arts’ potential is revealed within the synthetic type of the artistic creativity. Modern (digital) technologies in photography art, cinematography, television, theatre, architecture, design, etc. represent the human artistic experience under a totally different angle and make it actual with the help of the latest computer technologies that are so familiar to modern children. The multimedia arts that dispose of particular and diverse means of expression including sound, moving digital images, etc. are catching for the young. It is quite evident that the multiplicity of art forms existing today is the generally important factor, which calls for a serious updating of the contents of the arts education and enlightening.