Anyone who has personally enjoyed or witnessed first-hand an arts education will understand the truly life-altering benefits that one can provide. However, across the school systems of the world, arts education often gets sidelined or forgotten all together. In this article James Wilkinson of Evolve Arts will explain the overwhelming benefits of an arts education.
Children can take their experiences of the world and transform them through the arts, making new connections and relationships through their inventive minds. Their knowledge, memories and fantasies all feed their imagination. Art allows children to explore, build on and record their own creative and imaginative ideas.
Many of the arts such as band, choir, and theatre require kids to work together. They must share responsibility and compromise to achieve their common goal. Kids learn that their contribution to the group is integral to its success—even if they don’t have the solo or lead role.
This applies mostly to younger kids who do art or play an instrument. Simple things like holding a paintbrush and scribbling with a crayon are an important element to developing a child’s fine motor skills. According to the National Institutes of Health, developmental milestones around age three should include drawing a circle and beginning to use safety scissors. Around age four, children may be able to draw a square and begin cutting straight lines with scissors.
Making art allows children to express their feelings and ideas, both as a means of self-expression and to communicate to others. These may include reliving a happy event they recently experienced (a birthday party or a day out), or drawing out some sad feelings as a therapeutic exercise. Older children may use the arts for more conceptual purposes, expressing their concerns and ideas.
When a child is trying to learn and master an instrument, for example, there will be many times when they become frustrated or want to quit. But if they persevere and practice hard, they will learn that hard work and perseverance pay off as they improve each day. This mindset will certainly matter as they grow—especially during their career where they will likely be asked to continually develop new skills and work through difficult projects.
Improved academic performance
The arts don’t just develop a child’s creativity—the skills they learn because of them spill over into academic achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.
Above, I have listed some of the benefits of an arts education but the list could go on and on. An arts education can enhance a child’s development in so many ways but possibly most importantly of all an arts education is FUN and ultimately, the best way for a child to learn and grow through education is to enjoy it.