Lois Chisolm is the creator behind My Music Lady. With over 20 years of experience teaching children aged 2 and over music, dance, art, drama with the objective of developing their leadership potential, and strong moral character to help them be more caring, responsible people for this world.
Over the past several years, we’ve all seen the trend of schools cutting the arts from their curriculum. Music, art, theater—gone for so many.
There’s no doubt that the arts are fun for kids. Whether finger painting, dancing or acting in a play, through the arts kids develop on many fundamental levels.
Here are the top ten ways that the arts help kids learn and develop important characteristics they will need as adults:
1. Creativity. As the Washington Post says: In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in six different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.
2. Improved Academic Performance. PBS says, “A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) 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.”
3. Motor Skills. Learning to play an instrument, make jewelry, or hold a paint brush does wonders to help kids improve their fine motor skills.
4. Confidence. While mastering a subject certainly builds a student’s confidence, there is something special about participating in the arts. Performing on a stage gives kids a chance to step outside their comfort zone. Hearing, seeing and feeling an audience clapping for you builds a sense of accomplishment and confidence like nothing else.
5. Visual Learning. Especially for young kids, drawing, painting, and sculpting in art class help develop visual-spatial skills. Dr. Kerry Freedman, Head of Art and Design Education at Northern Illinois University says, Children need to know more about the world than just what they can learn through text and numbers. Art education teaches students how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information, and how to make choices based on it.
6. Decision Making. The arts strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills. Having to make decisions on how to express feelings through dance, drama and art teaches the valuable skill of thinking through life choices in an out of the box way.
7. Perseverance. Having to practice a music piece or a part for a play over and over again until you are able to perform it without thinking teaches the importance of being able to perservere through anything that comes your way.
8. Focus. As you persevere through painting or singing or learning a part in a play, focus is imperative. And certainly focus is vital for studying and learning in class as well as doing a job well or owning your own business later in life.
9. Collaboration. Many of the arts such as band, choir, and theater require kids to work together. It takes them sharing responsibility and compromising with others for the common goal of a great performance. Everyone's position on the team is vital for success. The lead actor will not perform well if the sound and lighting engineers, the stage hands, or the wardrobe assistant didn't perform well.
10. Accountability. No performance is perfect. Mistakes are a part of life, and learning to accept them, fix them, and move on will serve kids well as they grow older.