Art opportunities abound in Bethel's course catalog
New or inexperienced artists have nothing to fear: Bethel offers a variety of opportunities over multiple fields.
Collegiate-level fine arts classes can feel intimidating, but Bethel College staff is committed to their students, regardless of prior experience. Despite its size, Bethel boasts a both high-quality and well-rounded fine arts department.
Most students were required to participate in classes like band, choir, and art during middle school. Many people continue with their chosen discipline into high school, but others may have had a rough first experience. It is all too easy to decide that a single ordeal should color one’s view of that activity forever.
However, what if someone had the space to rediscover their artistic side in a dedicated, passionate atmosphere? Everyone has the ability to create meaningful art, and therefore anyone can enroll in fine arts classes.
But why art? College students have enough on their plate, why add something new?
A Psychology Today article outlines the growing body of research pointing to the connection between dopamine levels and creativity.
“Having an outlet to express inner emotions is “a form of rejuvenation that is not only practical but also health-enhancing,” says Dr. Cathy Malchiodi in the same article.
There is, however, another reason to enroll in fine arts classes – it’s fun! Plus, Bethel offers every form of art one could think of – there is truly something for everyone.
For those interested in music, there are campus groups like the Chamber Orchestra, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, or Steel Drum Band. In fact, when it comes to the steel drum band, “No one is too inexperienced to join. In fact, it is highly unlikely that anyone would have any experience prior to taking the class,” said Brad Shores, the band’s director.
If a student is intimidated by larger ensembles but is intrigued by music, they can also enroll in private lessons.
“Everyone is a beginner at some point, so students shouldn't feel self-conscious about their lack of experience,” says Dr. Christina Liu, Bethel’s piano instructor. “Lessons are also tailored to each student's playing level and abilities. Piano is a great life-long skill to learn and cultivate.”
If acting or public speaking appeals more to someone, then they could consider auditioning for a theater production or joining the forensics team.
Perhaps the most accessible art department is the visual arts. “In many ways, there is an expectation on our part that a student has had no experience in art prior to coming to Bethel,” said art professor David Long. “Most students have never sat at a wheel or held a camera or stood before an easel to start their first painting.”
No matter the discipline, art is not meant to be exclusive. It is the physical, or aural intersection of dreams and reality. That is a part of life everyone should explore. The good news: Bethel is a great place to start.