Point of Vue

Why Celebrate The Arts?

Creative thinking and reasoning have been identified and highlighted as an essential twenty-first-century skill by many business, education, community and government leaders. As children grow and develop, introducing them to the idea that the arts involve creative problem solving will teach them how to manage frustration, uncertainty and ambiguity with innovative ideas and solutions. Through the arts, our children can learn how to express their unique identities, while simultaneously developing habits of mind that will help them succeed anywhere, from the playground to the workplace.
Research supports the theory that the arts are an essential building block of child development. Involvement in the arts encourages self expression and positive self esteem. It facilitates learning in other academic areas and enhances skills that children inevitably apply to other aspects of life. Here are my top 10 reasons to involve your child in the arts:

 

1. Creativity: The arts allow for more self expression than does math or science. If children practice thinking creatively at an early age, it will become a natural part of their thinking patterns as they mature into adulthood.

 

2. Confidence: Performing in front of a crowd, seeing your writing published, or persevering through the progress and completion of a work of art pushes children to step outside their comfort zone. This has an effect on a child’s confidence and over time they can witness their own progress.

 

3. Perseverance: Persistence in the form of practice, editing, and redoing, lays the foundation for a more successful future. In most careers, one must continually develop new skills and think creatively to work through difficult tasks.

 

4. Focus: In practicing, editing, or redoing a task, focus is essential. This skill translates into being better prepared for academic rigor as it will certainly be imperative for studying and learning.

 

5. Decision Making: The arts strengthen problem solving and critical thinking skills. What color would best express this mood? How can my dance communicate a message? Learning to identify and make decisions is a skill that will have useful applications in the educational setting and into adulthood.

 

6. Improved Academic Performance: Research supports the connection between involvement in the arts and higher academic achievement.

 

7. Motor Skills: Children involved in the arts develop fine motor skills at an earlier age. Scribbling, drawing circles, dancing and/or clapping in rhythm, and singing or reciting are all important milestones in child development according to the National Institutes of Health.

 

8. Visual Learning: Arts education teaches children how to interpret, criticize, and use visual information. Younger children develop better visual-spacial skills when actively involved in drawing, painting, or sculpting.

 

9. Collaboration: Many of the arts such as band, choir, and theater require kids to work together. They must share responsibility and compromise to achieve their common goal. Children learn that their contribution to the group is integral to its success—even if they don’t have the solo or lead role.

 

10. Accountability: Just like collaboration, children in the arts learn that they are accountable for their contributions to the group. If they drop the ball or mess up, they realize that it’s important to take responsibility for what they did. Mistakes are a part of life, and learning to accept them, fix them, and move on will serve them well as they grow older.

 

 

Article by Judith Paternoster Treffinger
Arts Illustrated Kids Education Coordinator

 

 

 

 

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