There’s no doubt that the arts are fun, but arts education goes far beyond that. Many schools perceive the arts as frivolous and unnecessary, but there’s plenty of research that proves its undeniable and worthwhile benefits. Whether it’s in school, the house, or at work, there’s no doubt that the arts foster crucial and beneficial skills for students. With that, here are some of the fundamental characteristics that students gain from the arts.
It may seem obvious that the arts foster creativity, but it is one of the best ways for students to learn that there are many solutions to a problem. Being involved in the arts offers endless opportunities for students to practice and apply their creativity. From creating a scene to choreographing a dance, the arts present a variety of prompts and obstacles that push students to develop out-of-the-box thinking and a growth mindset. This builds resilience and prepares students for jumping hurdles in life.
By showing off one’s creativity and skills through the arts, students gain a positive attitude and natural confidence in themselves. Since there is no such thing as a “perfect” artist, there are no limits as to how much students can grow and improve themselves. There is also no right or wrong when it comes to the arts, so students are able to freely express themselves and do what makes them happiest. Students are also pushed out of their comfort zone when they perform on stage and make themselves vulnerable. This helps them get over their fears and insecurities while providing them with the belief that if they can perform in front of an audience, they can accomplish anything.
Communication is probably one of the most important skills an individual can possess. The arts are all about learning how to express yourself through movements or through a scene. Rather than resort to violence or harm, students can use art to vent their emotions in a supportive and growth-inducing environment. Students practice conveying their emotions in a way that doesn’t necessarily require words and is understandable and universal to an audience. This teaches students how to properly present themselves to the outside world and be aware of how their actions or words may come across.
The arts involve constant movement and interaction with others. By practicing how to control their movements through dance moves or gestures on stage, students are developing their fine motor skills and control of their bodies. When students gain control and awareness of their movements, they are better able to regulate their actions and gain self-control of their behavior.
Teamwork and Collaboration
Being able to work well in a team is fundamental whether it’s in school or at work. In the arts, students are exposed to endless opportunities for teamwork and collaboration from sharing the stage to collaborating with peers to choreograph a routine or write a script. Students learn that compromising and cooperating with others are imperative for achieving success and reaching a common goal. The constant interactions involved in the arts develop essential social skills and the ability to work well with different personalities.
Accountability and Responsibility
The constant teamwork means that students are always relying on each other. When involved in the arts, students realize that other people suffer from their careless mistakes such as not being on-time or prepared. The consequences of slacking off become more apparent and students learn how their actions can affect those around them. From this, students gain ownership of their actions and build healthy habits that push them to be dedicated and involved in their work.
Memory and Concentration
The arts push students to hone in on specific topics which improve focus and concentration. Students are constantly enhancing their memorization whether it’s memorizing lines to a play or steps to a dance combination. Through the arts, students also realize that getting distracted is a hindrance to productivity, and they learn to deepen their focus when completing important tasks. This fosters detail-oriented thinking and enhanced focus which are fundamental skills to possess when it comes to succeeding in school or at work.
In the arts, students must constantly push themselves if they want to improve. The common saying that “practice makes perfect” is especially true in the arts, and students learn that a consistent work ethic is required to get better. When it comes to working on challenging and long-term projects, students learn that the more work you put in, the bigger the payoff. This mindset allows students to associate hard work with achievement and success while motivating them to increase their work ethic in other areas of life. This enhanced work ethic fosters diligence and a desire to work hard on not only assignments and projects, but also on growing and improving themselves.
- Students exposed to drama, dance, and music are more proficient at reading, writing, and math. (Henry, 2002)
- Arts education improves literacy and critical thinking skills such as thorough reasoning and hypothesizing. (Kennedy, 2006)
- Education in the arts leads to fewer disciplinary infractions and higher attendance rates, graduation rates, and test scores. (Scheuler, 2010)
- Arts education can help close the gap between socioeconomic groups and create a level playing between those who are more privileged and those who are not. (McCarthy, Ondaatje, Brooks, Szanto, 2005)
- Students who participate regularly in the arts 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 those who do not participate. (Lynch, 2012)
These are just a few of the benefits that students can gain from the arts! Taking the initiative to develop these skills early on means that they will come naturally in school or later in life. Kids deserve a safe and supportive environment to express and be true to themselves, and the arts are a worthwhile experience that welcomes any student regardless of their background.