Last night I turned on my TV and happened upon The X Factor, a show I don't normally watch. I would have just changed the channel then and there but something compelled me to keep watching. A high school-age boy named Carols Guevara was auditioning. He has Tourette's Syndrome and has tried every medication possible but to no avail. The only thing that seems to work at calming his tics is music.
So there was this boy, up on stage talking to the judges, trying to control his tics and explaining about his condition, but as soon as the music came on and he started singing, he was a new person. The tics went away and he embraced the crowd with his lovely voice.
I sat there and went into the Ugly Cry. I mean, I was full-on sobbing. That moment for Carlos not only shows how important the arts are in our world, but especially in education. These are not frivolous endeavors that we should be adding to school curricula only if there happens to be some extra money lying around. In Carlos's case, music has enhanced his quality of life, and for so many kids the arts don't just enhance their lives, they are life-savers.