There are many ways that art education helps people of all ages, but the benefits for young children are both immediate and long lasting. Here are 10 important reasons why art education for children will make a difference throughout their lives.
Focus: When a child is working on a drawing, singing a song, or learning a part in the school play, focus is necessary. Learning how to focus and enjoy focusing is important for being eager to study and learn in class. Making art encourages sustained focus, which is a key life skill for adults.
Perseverance: Can a child have discipline to stick to a task, day after day? If he/she is taking music lessons, this is one of the skills developed. And…there are rewards and satisfactions, too. The child learns that by practicing, the pay off is beautiful music.
Art education, especially in the form of music lessons, is an excellent way to develop the mind-set to work hard and the confidence to believe that hard work pays off. As adults, we are asked to learn new skills and continually work through difficult projects.
Collaboration: Many art forms are not solo activities, theater and music especially. By working together, students learn that they must share responsibility to achieve their common goal. They also see that everyone plays a part, and is necessary for the group’s success. Learning accountability is part of the group effort, too, since not being responsible for your share of the work has consequences. There are similarities here to team sports. Both types of group projects encourage learning to be team players.
Creativity: Art education encourages self-expression and self-awareness. It also teaches experimenting with different interpretations. A student may be asked to act out a character’s lines different ways, or to make up new rhythms and dance moves. In the visual arts, he/she might be asked to find new ways to do a portrait. Art education actively teaches creative thought, which is vital for problem solving later in life.
Confidence: Kids love to see their artwork displayed publicly, and take pride in being recognized for their artwork. Performing music, dance or theater is another way that the arts boost confidence and self-esteem, especially as continued effort shows continued improvement and recognition. Participating in the arts gives kids a chance to shine and be stars.
Motor Skills: Younger children have a lot to master, like learning how to write. As their brains and muscles develop, learning how to play an instrument or holding a paint brush and crayons, can make important contributions to developing a child’s fine motor skills.
Independent Decision Making: Art requires constant decisions. How do I make this feeling known when I dance? Which shapes and colors should I use in this painting? Art is one of the few activities where a child is encouraged to make their own decisions then applauded for doing something different than everybody else. Art education encourages original thinking. Certainly, there are fundamental skills to learn, like mastering a musical instrument or dance steps, but we celebrate original compositions, choreography, paintings, murals and sculptures.
Inventiveness: Art classes are a safe place for kids to take risks. Students are encouraged to innovate and try new approaches, new materials, new expressions. In adult society, we need people who can follow directions — that’s important. But we also need people whose creative thought empowers them to innovate, to find new methods and create new inventions. Art education helps develop future generations of innovators and creative thinkers.
Visual Learning: Today, even toddlers know how to work a smart phone or tablet. As a society, we are ever-more bombarded with visual information. Our children are learning more from graphic sources today than at any time in the past. Art education can teach children how to interpret visual information. They can learn how to think critically about images, and how to make more informed choices based on what they are seeing. To become smart consumers as adults, children need to learn to “read” more than just text and numbers. They also need the skills to interpret images. Learning how to make art, and learning how to analyze art teaches students to become aware of the ideas behind visual images.
Cultural Awareness and Inclusion: Art brings people together. There’s a place for everyone’s self-expression. As adults, we admire creative work from fashion design to city murals to exciting music, and so much more from different cultures. Through art and art appreciation, we extend our hands in friendship and open our hearts to people around the world. Through the arts, it’s easy for children to celebrate the diversity of many voices and many cultures.
At Art and Color Press, we are passionate about the value of teaching art to children. That’s why 100% of our profits from everything we sell goes to fund art education in public schools. For more information about our donations, go to http://artandcolorpress.com/donations/
Art can make a difference in everybody’s life!