The arts are considered a core subject under the No Child Left Behind Act, yet schools have been cutting down on creative education for years. It seems like a good idea when you look at it from a financial perspective. When schools do not have enough in their budgets to pay for things like music, theater and arts classes, it is hard to justify paying for such programs that bring in little revenue when compared to profitable sports programs.
However, cutting arts programs out of schools deprives students of essential education mediums that can improve their everyday lives. Though the arts may not be as necessary for everyday function as reading, they still have a multitude of benefits for childhood education. Here are five major advantages of including the arts in every education system.
1. Improved Social Skills
Research shows that kids who engage in the arts, particularly music, have a greater proclivity for social development. The majority of arts-based programs require an element of team work; teaching children to both lead and follow while playing nicely with each other. As a result, research shows that kids are more likely to share with others when they have spent some time learning a creative medium.
Additionally, studying the arts leads to a greater understanding of other cultures, which creates a sense of tolerance and social acceptance. Living in America requires a comprehension of many cultures for peace and happiness, and it will be easier for kids to make friends as a result.
2. Mentoring Opportunities
Mentoring programs do incredible things for kids, particularly those who come from a negative environment. Professionals involved in theater, music and art are renowned for volunteering their time to help kids in need.
When including arts in education, school districts have the opportunity to enlist the help of programs like Turnaround Arts, which brings professional artists into underserved classrooms to mentor students and teach them quality lessons in the arts.
3. Greater Academic Gains
The argument that it is more important for kids to spend time learning core subjects rather than those in the arts is useless because artistic education aids in the education of other core classes. Research shows that students in the arts have been known to excel in other subjects as a result of their creative output, particularly in reading and mathematics.
Arts classes are most useful to young children. They help them develop cognitive, motor and language skills more quickly since they help improve memory and concentration skills. Children involved in the arts are also more likely to develop critical thinking, communication, listening and decision making skills as a result of their creative studies.
4. Reduced High School Dropout Students
Have you seen the movie Take the Lead? It’s about a high school dance instructor (played by Antonio Banderas) who takes a group of delinquent kids on the verge of dropping out of high school, or worse, and turns them into great students with improved self-esteem by teaching them classic ballroom dance. Almost all of them finish high school and alter the course of their lives.
It is a fictional story, but the idea behind it has some scientific truth to it. Multiple studies have shown that when students are engaged in some form of arts class, they are less likely to drop out of high school. It gives them a purpose and something to look forward to daily, which sends them straight to graduation.
5. Greater Self-Esteem
Self-confidence is one area where a lot of kids need help. It’s a cutthroat world out there, even in the school systems and the weakest often get eaten alive. When kids believe in themselves, they are less likely to be bullied and get into fights.
Students in the arts are daily encouraged in their medium. Since much of creativity is in the eye of the beholder, students are able to explore without judgment and learn to stand up for themselves. This is one skill that is difficult to teach in the public school system, but is essential for success thereafter.
All educators should have the goal of setting their students up for success, and the arts are an important part of doing that. The benefits are clearly displayed, and millions of students take advantage of it daily. By investing money in the arts program of your school, you are investing money in your students.