Schools across the country have been faced with situations in which they have had to cut funding for programs like art, music, and choir. These programs are not considered essential to the education of a child, where schools are struggling to help children learn to read and do math on grade level. Despite the need for excellence in language arts, social studies, math, and science, research has shown that fine arts activities such as music, can help students excel in school.
Take music, for example. There are many benefits of a musical education as they can help support what students are doing in the traditional classroom to a great extent. According to the National Association of Musical Education, musical education can help children develop the part of the brain that handles language and reasoning. Students learn to memorise, recognise patterns, and fine-tune their work, which are skills that are needed in all subjects.
Music can also help build children’s imaginations and their curiosity about life. An attitude of wanting to learn is essential for anyone to succeed in school. As far as the effects of music education on standardised tests, one study in America found that students who took music appreciation classes scored 44 more points higher on math and 63 on the verbal section of the SAT (The scholastic assessment tests completed in American schools)
Beyond these benefits of music education, perhaps more important is the development in the ability to think outside the box. Innovative workers and creators are necessary in the new economy where there is more freedom of thought and a push to create new solutions to old and emerging problems.
According to a Stanford University study, cited by to the June 2016 Arts and Education Research Brief from the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, students who took part in fine arts classes for at least three to four hours a day for three days in a week, were “4 times more likely to be recognised for academic achievement, “among many other similar academic successes.
It is important to note that there is more than academic benefit to a fine arts education. The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation brief states that “[t]his success in school also transfers to success in life. Children learn self-discipline and attentiveness, as well as develop critical emotional, social, and cognitive tools. A fine arts education allows children to express themselves and learn to connect with others.”
Additionally, the Katy Independent School District in Texas noted that “fine arts also provide learners with non-academic benefits such as promoting self-esteem, motivation aesthetic awareness, cultural exposure, creativity, improved emotional expression, as well as social harmony and appreciation of diversity.”
Children should take part in fine arts activities because they are essential to not just their academic success but also to their success as individuals in life. As a result of a fine arts education, children can become more creative, more socially aware and competent, and develop skills to think creatively and to work hard to attain a goal. Fine arts education is more than just a budget line item to cut. It can critical to a child’s life success.