Why studying the arts in school is important
During the recent midterm elections, California voted in favor to fund arts and music programs. The influx of funds will ensure that every program pertaining to the arts will be able to tailor art courses to the specific needs of the students that arise in each public school. This vote also ensures that the money cannot be spent on anything other than these programs. California will now have the largest arts program funding in the nation, but why is this result important? Why would citizens want to make sure there is adequate funding in place for arts and music programs?
Art programs are often the first to be cut when budgets shrink, deemed low priority compared to other programs, but they are actually important for the growth and development of students. Here are a few reasons why students need arts and music programs.
Music Boosts Brain Power
Music stimulates different parts of our brains including areas that hold academic achievement, such as reading and math. Music can also stimulate the area of the brain, known as the limbic system that enables emotional development and establishes a strong memory. Having music as a regular part of a student’s education can enhance their overall academic success.
Exposing children, especially young children, to music can lead to improved memory. It also exposes students to new words, sounds, and meanings. Music also leads to dancing which improves motor skills and coordination. Students of all ages have shown to have increased memory when exposed to music.
Art Improves Academic Success
There is a growth of studies with findings that conclude that students who are exposed to the arts achieve higher academic success than the students who have little to no exposure. Exposure to the arts can increase the motivation in students in addition to improve academic performance. According to the non-profit organization, Americans for the Arts, they claimed the following in their Arts Education Navigator article that students who are involved in arts are:
- 4x more likely to be recognized for their academic achievements.
- 3x more likely to win an award for attendance
- 4x more likely to participate in math and science fairs
- 3x more likely to be elected to a class office
Also, it’s been proven that the arts lead to lower dropout rates and higher graduation rates, particularly for students coming from lower income households.
Arts and Music Enhances Creativity
Students who participate in music and the arts develop skills in innovation which leads to an increase in creative thinking. Arts and music inspire students but also allows them to express themselves and through the creative process, students learn to take risks by trying something new and then later showcasing these talents. Later in life, these skills are important in nearly all careers.
Music Improves Social Skills
It is often thought that team sports teach important social skills such as teamwork, discipline, problem-solving, performing under pressure, but playing an instrument for an orchestra (no matter the size) teaches students those same skills. During these music sessions, the group will need to work together harmoniously to craft proper work. Plus, these skills are helpful for students to make friends and later in life, interact with their coworkers.
Music and arts Improve Language and Reading Skills
Students who are exposed to music have faster developments in their brains, particularly the areas that are associated with reading skills and language development. Students introduced to the arts at a young age learn words for colors and shapes used to create their art projects. Arts and music are essential in encouraging students to improve language learning, communication skills, and reading skills.
Students who are exposed to the arts and music have an increase in creativity, confidence, reading, math, language skills, and memory. There are a number of different ways that students can be exposed to the arts. Parents can insist that schools improve these needed programs. If there is not a good arts and music program at the desired school, parents can homeschool or hire a tutor. Homeschooling and tutoring ensure that the arts and music are interwoven into the core curriculum, so the student is exposed to them and its many benefits.