Deputy Head of Secondary
10 Reasons why engagement in the Performing Arts is critical for future success
‘Whether they are exposed to the arts in school or through community classes 25 years as an educator has taught me that children who perform in school excel in the future’
1. Improves Academic Achievement
Students involved in the arts have tremendous academic benefits compared to students without exposure to the arts. Art inspires students to excel in and out of the classroom. Involvement increases motivation, improves attitudes and attendance, and improves academic performance.
According to Americans for the Arts 2018, a student involved in the arts is:
- 4x more likely to be recognised for academic achievement.
- 4x more likely to participate in a math or science competitions.
- 3x more likely to win an award for school attendance.
- 3x more likely to be elected to a leadership position in school.
2. Improve Memory
Want your child to remember their homework assignments, where they put their shoes, or to brush their teeth before bed? Music might help. Research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve memory. Exposing children to music in early development helps children learn word sounds and meanings, dancing helps build motor skills. Even adults can experience memory benefits from just listening to music.
3. Music Boosts Young Brains
Immersing children in music can help boost their brain power. Music stimulates the parts of the brain associated with academic achievement, such as reading and math, and emotional development. Instead of viewing music as an extracurricular activity, consider it an overall part of your child’s education.
4. Enhances Creativity
This may sound like an obvious benefit, but the effects of enhanced creativity will extend to many aspects of your child’s life. Children develop innovation skills when they’re encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art and playing music. Those skills can open doors later in life; 72% of employers in the US in 2018 say that creativity is the #1 skill they look for when hiring. The hardest positions to fill are those that combine Arts and IT skills.
5. Improves Social Skills
It’s not always team sports that teach important social skills; playing an instrument can help, too. Music groups and ensembles can help kids develop important life skills such as teamwork, developing leadership skills, discipline, and how to relate to others.
6. Improves Language and Reading Skills
Children’s brains develop faster with music, particularly in areas associated with language acquisition and reading skills, according to a 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute. For young children, making arts provides opportunities for language development. Toddlers learn words for colors and shapes as they create art. If you want to encourage language learning, communication, and reading in your kids, art and music are essential.
7. Enhances Critical Thinking Skills
The creativity involved in art education strengthens critical thinking skills for kids. Visually learning through drawing, sculpting, and painting develops visual-spatial skills. This teaches kids how to interpret and use visual information.
As for music, a study of 3-4 year olds learning to play piano scored significantly higher on spatial-temporal reasoning tests compared to those with no music instruction. Spatial-temporal reasoning is a precursor to logical thinking, abstract thinking, and problem solving needed for the brain to function in mathematics, engineering, and physics.
8. Builds Confidence
As a child develops skills in performance and refines those skills through repetition and practice, they build confidence in themselves. Studies have shown that when children participate in arts activities with peers and provide criticism and praise to one another, the feedback they give to each other builds self-respect.
9. Creates Cultural and Personal Connections
Immersion in the arts can foster a sense of cultural awareness. As students interpret visual imagery from artists and learn about art history, it helps them understand the concept of cultural diversity. Seeing a different culture explored through a visual medium such as sculptures or paintings helps children process information differently than reading about it in a text book.
Learning about musical history and exploring different types of music can help kids connect with different cultures. Art and music help people feel more connected to one another, as well.
10. Instills Discipline
Dedicating themselves to the arts teaches children important concepts of discipline. While some children may show a natural talent in one area or another, the truth is that ongoing commitment and practice is required to improve. By committing to stick with lessons and practicing outside of classrooms and lessons, they learn discipline skills that will benefit them in many aspects of life.
Immersing children in the arts through additional extracurricular lessons, at school and the wider community, provides undeniable benefits that will help them throughout their lives.