Why the arts programs in children’s schools are important to keep and protect.
There’s a battle for time and resources in schools. In places where public school funding has been cut in recent years,Guest Posting funding for the arts in some districts was one of the first things to go. In an environment that places emphasis on standardized test performance in math and science, building in time for the arts in the school day can be a challenge.
Despite those circumstances, there is plenty of evidence to support how important arts education is for developing minds.
The Arts Are a Lifelong Passion
Children who connect with the arts at a young age are more likely to continue engaging with the arts through adulthood. Kids who learn an instrument or take a painting class early in their school years are practicing appreciation for an artform that they can carry throughout their lives. Graduate students who pursue a master in music education learn to inspire the next generation of arts lovers through a wide variety of teaching techniques, setting the stage for a lifelong passion that offers endless new experiences.
Arts Education Produces Well-Rounded Kids
Making art helps kids build an array of soft skills that are essential to succeeding later in life. Learning that practice is required to get better at playing the trumpet or drawing a portrait teaches kids to persevere through challenges. Creating art encourages children to be curious and try new skills, setting the stage for them to learn the type of adaptive thinking that drives successful businesses. Students working together on an art project or performing a group piece in orchestra class learn the importance of collaboration and how to listen to one another.
Students Who Succeed in the Arts Succeed in School
The arts advocacy nonprofit Young Audiences reports that students who spend a significant amount of time in the arts have a dropout rate of 4%. That’s compared to a dropout rate of 22% for those who don’t participate in the arts. Students who are excited about and engaged with the time they spend in arts courses are more likely to attend school and participate in other activities, including student government and math and science fairs.
The Arts Present Different Points of View
The arts offer students exposure to ideas and viewpoints that might be new to them. They can explore different periods in history, parts of the world and cultures through music, dance, visual art and theater. According to the nonprofit organization Art in Action, integrating the arts into the classroom can give students a way to connect with and talk about news events, different cultures and people from different backgrounds. Learning about other people through the art they make and enjoy helps students build empathy to better navigate the world as they grow.
Studying the Arts Positively Affects Other Subject Areas
According to a recent study by research group The Brookings Institution, increasing student access to arts education has a positive effect on academic outcomes in other areas, as well as social and emotional development. Elementary school students who participated in a large-scale study in the Houston area were given access to arts education experiences like field trips and in-school arts performances. The students who had those art-focused experiences reported fewer disciplinary issues, significant gains in scores on standardized writing tests and a measurable increase in the compassion they showed to other people. Studies like this one offer hard, science-based evidence that exposure to the arts even in a limited period of time can have broad ranging positive impacts on children.
Other studies have shown that children who dive into arts education see better results in areas including writing, literacy, science, math, social studies and reasoning.
Arts education provides students with a platform to experience the world outside of themselves. By creating art, children learn the importance of self-discipline, perseverance and collaboration. By applying their minds to making art, students see better outcomes in school attendance and participation. The benefits to keeping art in the schools are numerous.