P H E N O M E N A L
V– ocalize our passions & experiences
O– ccupy academic settings with performing arts medium
I– nclude all voices conducive to enhancing the college experience
C-reate forms of artistic expression
E– xpress commitment & gratitude for the arts
S– erve the people through performance & community service
Free Your He[ART]!
I am a firm believer that gifts & talents are meant to be shared in order to make the world a better place. This belief fueled the idea to start the performing arts organization -Phenomenal Voices. More specifically, Phenomenal Voices is a recreational & community service organization that asserts leadership through the development & implementation of the performing arts. The organization’s first chapter was founded in 2009 at the University At Albany [a large state university in New York]. The Claremont Colleges [a consortium of small private universities in California] is home to Phenomenal Voices’ second chapter!
Having a performing arts group as a platform to showcase my talent, while still focusing on school work has enhanced the quality of my educational experience. Balance between academics & the arts has been an essential element of my life, that I attribute my prosperity as a student, performer & overall functioning human being to.
A report by the Rand Corporation about the arts, argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual’s life — according to the report, they “can connect people more deeply to the world & open them to new ways of seeing,” creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion.
Vocal music, dance, instrumental performance & poetry often succeed at communicating where traditional forms of communication fall short. I view the performing arts as a language in itself – a communication tool – that fuels innovation, creativity & collaboration.
Here are three reasons why the performing arts is essential to the educational experience of all students:
- Civic Engagement & Community Building: Some students are leaving home for the first time & may have a hard time transitioning into college life. Creating bonds with people who have common interests enhances the college experience. According to a report by Animated Democracy – A Program of Americans for the Arts – three conceptual paths can be used to link the arts & community engagement. Didactic theories of action focus on the ability of the arts to instruct or persuade the populace, for example, in political campaigns or social movements. Discursive theories of action focus on use of the arts to provide settings in which people can discuss issues, form connections, and take action. Ecological theories of action view all cultural participation as a form of civic engagement and assert that the arts generate a variety of spillover effects—or unintended consequences—that increase social capital and community capacity. Many members of Phenomenal Voices have used their voices to participate in service initiatives & perform pieces that reflect the polarizing state of our socio-economic & political system.
- Academic Achievement & Professional Experience: It’s no secret that it is not an easy task to perform in front of an audience with automatic ease and comfort. Mastering the art also translates into building strong public speaking skills & learning how to navigate large crowds. According to a report from the National Art Education Association – schools with strong arts programs reported higher test scores because they treat the arts seriously & institute other kinds of innovations that are favorable to academic learning. For instance, these schools may become more inquiry-oriented, more project-based, more demanding of high standards, and more focused on processes that lead to excellence. Educators and policy makers need to understand what comes along with the arts. Many students have shared how they’ve used different rhythms to practice for tests & how overcoming stage fright was necessary to their success in job interviews.
- Social & Emotional Development [Constructive Outlet]: No human is exempt from feelings of being frustrated & overwhelmed. However, we can control how we choose to channel such energy. The performing arts serves as an outlet where students can show their creative sides by channeling energy into their craft. Data from the nationally representative Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Birth Cohort, examine how family routines, like singing songs and playing with blocks, was associated with school readiness and social-emotional skills (Muniz, Silver, & Stein, 2014). They found that in general at least two out of three parents reported regular engagement with their young children in these activities, and that regular family engagement in the arts were positively related to social-emotional development.
The performing arts is a necessity on the undergraduate and graduate levels of education, to help cultivate an environment that serves, helps & represents all of its people. For the University at Albany & for the Claremont Consortium, Phenomenal Voices is the recreational outlet that has met this need. After all, music is the art of thinking with sounds!
“The world is a complicated place, and there’s a lot of division between people. The performing arts tend to unify people in a way nothing else does.” – David Rubenstein
President, Phenomenal Voices Los Angeles
Claremont Colleges Consortium