Being in Australia I can't speak directly to your situation but maybe this will help.
I have a child who has just finished their IB diploma (final exams finished a week ago, grades not yet in). The IB diploma has 6 areas they must choose one subject from, one of these areas is "Art" which could be music, visual art, film, etc. They can sacrifice their Art line for a second science or humanities subject. Where we are, most kids do that. My child did Visual Art, and Math, Chemistry, English, Spanish and History. Incidentally my child was the only History student, most did economics for their humanities, some did psychology.
Most people perceive Art as "easy". Our family has a strong art background, a close relative with a PhD in fine art, an art history professor, etc. We don't see Art as easy, in fact if we counseled against Art it would be due to the a massive workload and how incredibly hard it is to do genuinely well, yet is undervalued. Our school's IB coordinator also seems to see Art (and History) as valuable, the IB coordinator is a math specialist, knows nothing about Art but agrees the Art kids are working VERY hard. The coordinator was highly supportive of our child choosing to use the Art line for Visual Art and suggested this should actually help them stand out from all the IB kids with Chem & Bio instead of an Art.
My child plans to go on to a science degree at a top uni. Offers don't come out for about 6 weeks, so I can't tell you for sure that they will get their first choice, but their school certainly expects them to. The two years of the super balanced curriculum from IB has been wonderful.
I am not sure how useful this is to your particular schooling situation, but maybe there is some insight.