How Participation in the Arts Boosts Academic Achievement
If you’re a student, excelling in your education is very important. Similarly, if you’re a teacher, you certainly want your students to succeed. Past research done on different aspects of educational success suggests a strong positive correlation between students’ participation in arts and academic success. Unfortunately, despite the overwhelming evidence that participation in arts programs improves students’ academic achievements, many schools are still hesitant to incorporate the arts in their education system. As a parent, you may also be afraid that nurturing your child’s artistic talent will make their education suffer. However, education professionals, like those who provide tutoring in Sydney, recommend taking art classes, because art creates neural connections in the brain and helps in learning various disciplines. ________________________________________________________________________________________  To help you make an informed choice, we look at how participation in arts can help boost your child’s academic achievement. ________________________________________________________________________________________  1.     Participation in Art Boost the Development of Young Brains ________________________________________________________________________________________  When young children create art, they are making connections that positively improve brain development. According to a study by USC’s Brain and Creativity Institute (BCI), learning to play a musical instrument accelerates brain development among young children. This development also helps children grow in other areas other than music, including reading and language. As students learn to compose music, read musical notes, act in a drama, create a painting, or memorize dance steps, they also build the areas of the brain that will help them learn how to understand and speak a new language. ________________________________________________________________________________________  Similarly, arts require students to learn how to measure and manipulate numbers. For instance, during dance lessons, students learn how to create patterns. Some music instructions also allow students to develop spatial-temporal reasoning, which refers to understanding the association between objects and ideas. The mastery of such skills improves the student’s ability to understand mathematics in class. This observation is also supported by one study where students who studied arts were shown to perform better at mathematics assessments than their non-art peers.  ________________________________________________________________________________________  2.     Improved Commitment in Academics   ________________________________________________________________________________________  When students are involved in arts, they are less likely to engage in indiscipline activities. A study done in Missouri reported an inverse association between arts education and disciplinary infractions. School districts that had a high enrollment in Art programs reported fewer disciplinary issues and out-of-school suspensions compared to those that had low arts classes enrollments. When schools integrate different art programs in their curriculum, the disciplinary referrals reduce as the schools can now meet the diverse needs of the students. ________________________________________________________________________________________  Similarly, the same study revealed that student attendance rates were higher in schools with high art classes enrollment than those with low art enrollment rates. Further, participating in art classes encourages students to join other academic programs. According to the Americans for the Arts, students in art classes are four times more likely to participate in science or math fairs and three times more likely to be given academic achievement awards. ________________________________________________________________________________________  3.     Leads to the Growth of Positive Habits Crucial for Academic Achievement ________________________________________________________________________________________    By engaging in arts, students develop habits such as resilience, discipline, grit, and competitiveness. Moreover, art activities help students grow social skills such as teamwork, self-confidence, empathy, and self-control. These skills do not only help them become better at their craft but also help them succeed academically and in life.  ________________________________________________________________________________________  If you’re an art teacher, ensure you set clear goals for your students. You should also draw a clear relationship between the students' work and the results. This way, you’ll motivate your students to work hard in school and life to achieve their goals. Students of low economic status are likely to benefit from engaging in arts programs. Students from economically disadvantaged neighborhoods who engage in the arts have developed critical competencies and behaviors that help them do well academically. In one study, students from low-income families that were highly engaged in art classes were shown to be twice as likely to graduate compared to their peers who weren’t involved in arts. ________________________________________________________________________________________  4.     Arts Improve Memory ________________________________________________________________________________________  When students engage in artistic activities, their brain absorbs information, which improves retention. In one article on USA Today, art was shown to have the ability to enhance memories for people who have Alzheimer’s disease. Some schools have encouraged students to use sketching, where students take notes with drawings incorporated in them. The use of this method has been shown to help boost retention during lectures.  ________________________________________________________________________________________  And recent research backs the use of drawings rather than writings as an effective means to boost memory. A 2016 study done by a team of researchers reported that drawing or illustrating a word’s meaning led to a higher level of memory recall among participants compared to writing the word’s meanings repeatedly. In closing, participation in arts helps create a positive school environment conducive for both students and teachers to succeed. From the benefits above, it’s evident that allowing your child to develop their artistic skill is better for them in multiple ways.