Culture is defined as the beliefs, customs and arts upheld in a group within society. Access to an arts education is crucial to a child’s development as it develops the child’s earliest notions of culture. For years, many have worried that schools around the globe are facing funding cuts to arts programs, while witnessing a shift in support for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) related fields. In order to help level up arts education, we need to transform STEM into STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math).
To make the equation complete, we need to spread the message within our communities, helping society understand how crucial it is for arts education to be implemented in curricula. To help save you time researching the topic, we’ve highlighted ten ways that arts can help children understand what culture is and the fundamental skills that come with an arts education:
Through arts, children can express themselves in whichever way they want! In many arts programs, instructors may ask their students to do different variations of a piece of art that may already exist. This could be in the form of taking a painting from the Renaissance such as the Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa and painting it in an expressionist manner, or taking a musical composition like Beethoven’s Für Elise and rearranging it in a different style such as hip hop.
This process is called remixing, and through these processes, children are taught to tap into their innovative side to think creatively and out of the box, in search for new ideas and concepts.
2. Cultural Awareness
Experiences that take place through the arts boost critical thinking and engages children to be careful and thorough about how to observe the world. Society overall has never been so diverse as it is now. This enables all kinds of messages and perspectives to reach and influence children. They need to critically think about them and see how they correlate to their developing world views.
Through the arts, there is access to other cultures and their art forms, which children can contextualize into their understandings, at the same time, they are also developing an insight into other, modern, ways of being.
3.Improved Academic Performance
The arts inherent creativity and with that children learn an essential skill set for success! A report done by PBS states: “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.”
4. Motor Skills
Art in many forms is hands-on. There are lots of physical motions involvedin a creative process such as holding a paintbrush, scribbling with a crayon, and holding an instrument, which are all examples of a child developing their motor skills.
The National Institute of Health states that around age three is when a child should be able to draw a circle and start using safety scissors. Around age four is when they should be able to draw a square and cut straight lines
Through processes of drawing, reading a script, and looking at a sheet of music, children can develop visual-spatial skills.
Dr Kerry Freedman, who is Head of Art and Design Education at the Northern Illinois Universitystates that the world is much more than just text and numbers. Through processes of creating art, children can interpret, criticize and use visual information at their disposal for stylistic and aesthetic choices. Having developed a sense of visual literacy will help children and young adults navigate their way through a world that is bombarded with thousands of media messages and images by becoming smart consumers of media products and other commodities in general.
6. Problem Solving
Creative and critical thinking go hand in hand in all forms of the arts. Both sides of the brain are engaged, which happens when having to deal with a problem. Exercising both sides helps children understand that problems can have more than one solution and questions might have more than one answer.
Elliot Eisner, a Professor of Education at Stanford University states that this concept has a global scale as there are many ways to see and interpret the entire world. This view of the arts leads us away from the fact that art is only for aesthetic and provides entertainment, and parents are also able to understand that art is quite innovative.
7. Decision Making
We’ve already learned that art strengthens problem-solving and critical thinking skills, which are both a part of decision making. As artists, children have the freedom to make any choices they want when it comes to their artwork.
Questions such as: How do I express sadness in my dance routine? What colour should I paint the character’s dress? How should I play this character? or How should I change my tone to convey different emotions? are all questions an artist, and children, can ask themselves. Learning to make these decisions early on can pay offlater in other areas of their life and since that skill is learned so early on, it carries over into adolescence when life can feel a little unstable at times.
Taking up and ‘mastering’ anything will be a time-consuming process. Many people have the misconceptionthat"it can’t be very hard to draw, paint, act, play an instrument", etc. That misconception is tested when the concept of “practice makes perfect” comes into the equation.
Children are more susceptible tofeeling frustrated, and even quitting,when learning a skill doesn’t come to them right away, since all they want to want to do draw, play, sing or dance to their fullest potential. Through constant reminders that it takes time and practice, they learn that hard work and perseverance eventually pays off. This mindset is essential in higher levels of academia and in a workplace, as they will constantly be learning new skills and working through difficult processes on a journey of career development and progression.
The arts heavily rely on collaboration to make great things happen. In groups such as theatre, choir, or band, children are required to constantly work together. They are also required to share the responsibility for the work and compromise certain elements to meet a common goal among all members.
Through collaboration, children can understand that their role in the project impacts the overall success of everyone! As adults, we know all too well that collaboration becomes fundamental in home life, the workforce and in later education.
Accountability is a huge factor in the arts, especially if the work is to be completed as a group. When a child is accountable for their own part or contribution within a group they learn about responsibility and dependency. If they choose to not to participate with a performance/project, they often realize how impactful it can be to let others down and what it feels like to take ownership of such outcomes.
Accountability in school and in the workforce is highly imperative if you are working in collaboration or if there is a deadline approaching. If nothing is met at the end of the day, the entire structure has fallen because they relied on the individual and all the onus is on them. Making mistakes is a part of being human, but so is learning to accept them and take ownership in order to fix them.
The common phrase we kept stating over and over is that art is a process and that’s because it is. Being an active participant in the arts means learning the skills and tasks that all fit into the overarching process of being creative. Becoming an active participant of the arts also means having a better understanding of culture and learning to create and appreciate visual aesthetics, which contributes to having a better understanding of the world around you!
Simple things such as going to the local museum or performing arts center with your children and attending local events centered around art appreciation are great ways to develop an early onset appreciation around art! Get a head start this summer by enrolling your child in a local arts education program, whether it be art, music, dance, theatre, all these programs contain the same benefits!
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Artistic activities foster intellectual development and some of their benefits are: Stimulates both sides of the brain. Increases the capacity of memory, attention and concentration. Helps develop reading skills and children do better in math and science. Introduces children to new vocabulary and concepts.What are 3 reasons why art education is important? ›
There are strong reasons to suspect that engagement in arts education can improve school climate, empower students with a sense of purpose and ownership, and enhance mutual respect for their teachers and peers.What are 4 reasons art education is valuable? ›
Art instruction helps children with the development of motor skills, language skills, social skills, decision-making, risk-taking, and inventiveness. Visual arts teach learners about color, layout, perspective, and balance: all techniques that are necessary in presentations (visual, digital) of academic work.What are the benefits of the arts in early childhood development? ›
Visual Processing: Looking at art helps children develop observation and interpretation skills. They learn important concepts like symbolism and abstraction while also strengthening pattern recognition and visual-spatial skills to understand relationships between parts of a whole.What are 5 incredible benefits of art for kids? ›
The benefits of arts for kids are many and include problem-solving abilities, creativity, literacy, fine & gross motor skills, connection, and understanding.What are the 5 importance of art? ›
- It promotes expression and creativity. ...
- It helps all of us develop necessary soft skills. ...
- It provides historical context. ...
- Art leads to healthy and thoughtful cultural discussions. ...
- It gives us a place to gather as a society.
- Creativity. Through arts, children can express themselves in whichever way they want! ...
- Cultural Awareness. ...
- Improved Academic Performance. ...
- Motor Skills. ...
- Visual Learning. ...
- Problem Solving. ...
- Decision Making. ...
Arts education provides students with a creative outlet that can improve their problem-solving skills. They learn how to think outside the box and explore topics in an unconventional way. Some of these topics are often difficult to teach in the classroom, such as emotions, time, and space.What are 3 benefits of doing art? ›
Relieving stress, training your brain and providing opportunities to connect and socialise with others are some of the many benefits of art that you may not know. There are many studies shown that creating art can benefit your mental health and improve brain elasticity.What is the top 10 reasons why study art appreciation? ›
- Art keeps kids in school. ...
- Art prepares students for the future. ...
- Art impacts the “whole child.” ...
- Art builds leadership. ...
- Art builds cultural awareness and empathy. ...
- Art promotes innovation. ...
- Art allows for self-expression. ...
- Art impacts the entire school culture.
Art can uplift, provoke, soothe, entertain and educate us and is an important part of our lives.How does art influence children's development? ›
Art activities give children a much-needed chance to express their ideas, build on their observational skills, gain confidence, promote feelings of self-worth and develop their creativity and imagination, as well as offering them time to relax.What are the benefits of arts learning? ›
An arts-rich education from an early age develops individual creativity and self-expression. School-based arts participation can increase learners' confidence and motivation, thereby improving school attendance rates, academic outcomes and the well-being and life skills of children and young people.What are the 6 purposes of art? ›
There are six functions that art fulfills. It is for delight, persuasion, self-expression, worship and ritual and commentary.What is the 7 purpose of art? ›
Art is a form of creative human expression, a way of enriching the human experience. We use art for our entertainment, cultural appreciation, aesthetics, personal improvement, and even social change. Whether or not we are aware of it, we allow art to affect our lives one way or another.What are the 7 points of art? ›
ELEMENTS OF ART: The visual components of color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value.What are the 5 elements of art for kids? ›
The goal of this unit is to introduce students to the basic elements of art (color, line, shape, form, and texture) and to show students how artists use these elements in different ways in their work.What is art Why is art so important for kids? ›
Creating art expands a child's ability to interact with the world around them, and provides a new set of skills for self-expression and communication. Not only does art help to develop the right side of the brain, it also cultivates important skills that benefit a child's development.What are the 7 principles of art kids? ›
The Principles of Art (balance, contrast, emphasis, movement, pattern, rhythm, and unity/variety) represent how the Elements of Art (line, shape, color, value, form, texture, and space) are used by an artist to create a painting, drawing, or other work of art.What are the 10 art elements list? ›
They are color, form, line, shape, space, texture, and value. The ten common principles of art are balance, emphasis, harmony, movement, pattern, proportion, repetition, rhythm, unity, and variety. Many of these concepts are not only related to one another but also overlap to create an artistic vision.
The elements of art are the building blocks of an artwork: color, line, shape, form, value, texture, and space. They are the tools artists use when creating an artwork. The principles of design are how those building blocks are arranged: contrast, rhythm, proportion, balance, unity, emphasis, movement, and variety.Why is art important 10 reasons? ›
It helps to develop motor skills, eye-hand coordination and has a large impact on their social and emotional growth. It also enhances their cognitive development which can have a positive effect on math skills and other related subjects. Promote creativity in your child's life in as many ways as you can.