The Importance of Teaching the Arts in the Classroom
Integrated arts in the classroom are about much more than learning to draw, play the recorder, sing, or act out a play. For many children, art is a tool that encourages critical thought as well as problem-solving skills. The teaching the arts goes far beyond concrete creative practices.
Exploration, experimentation, and reasoning play an important role in a quality study plan involving art. Arts integration in the classroom helps foster these abilities. What’s more, it benefits children in their development and progress.
“The arts are en essential element of education, just like reading, writing, and arithmetic… Music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.”
– William Bennet, Former US Secretary of Education –
Improved academic performance
A report published by Americans for the Arts linked the teaching of the arts with improved academic performance. Students learn to question things and get more out of what they learn.
Furthermore, when students research art from other cultures and civilizations, they learn about cultures that are different from their own. In other words, teaching the arts is capable of opening children’s minds.
Teaching the arts in the classroom broadens social and emotional development
Participating in group activities like theater, art festivals, and art spectacles helps children to develop a very healthy sense of self-esteem. What’s more, these activities also help to cultivate their social abilities.
Children learn new forms of interacting with their classmates, parents, the public, and even with the school faculty. So, teaching the arts creates new friendships and teaches children the basics of teamwork. What’s more, artistic teaching has a positive impact on the brain.
“Individuals that study and practice art display superior memory abilities and are sharper observers.”
– The American Association for the Advancement of the Arts –
Increased cognitive abilities
Teaching the arts stimulates cognitive abilities. Through art, students are able to express themselves and communicate with others by means of a unique personal language.
In arts education, we can observe a gradual intellectual development in children’s awareness of themselves and their surroundings. They understand that what they do comes from themselves. And this aids in their future understanding of possible problems that can arise in other forms of expression.
Teaching the arts and perseverance
When children open the cover of a piano for the first time, they quickly realize the hard work that goes into playing. Being able to play a sonata by Beethoven takes time. So, they start to practice, to develop techniques and abilities, and keep working at it. And, as a result, perseverance starts to become a habit.
When children practice and work on their artistic abilities, this leads to a finished product or presentation. So, they learn to associate dedication and perseverance with a sense of achievement.
Feedback is always constructive
Children learn to value constructive criticism – the feedback they get during their artistic learning. This feedback doesn’t offend them, but rather, they’re able to take advantage of it as something useful. Therefore, feedback plays a role in the teaching-learning process.
The objective of this continuous feedback is to improve their abilities. In this quest, evaluation is a fundamental part of the process. Each artistic lesson is capable of making criticism into a valuable experience that contributes to the success of the final product.
In short, teaching the arts allows children to express themselves in a healthy and free manner. Each child sees the world in a different way. And as children develop and grow as individuals, their forms of expression change. So, artistic education encourages a sensitivity that will be fundamental in their future as adults.
“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.”
– Sydney Gurewitz Clemens –