Exposure to art and music is important for children. No matter where they're exposed to it, it provides more than a creative boost. Photo: Pexels
Exposure to art and music is important for children. No matter where they're exposed to it, it provides more than a creative boost. Photo: Pexels

Art and music shown to have many benefits

By Michelle Lorber Time of article published Nov 3, 2020

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Exposure to art and music is important for our children. No matter where they're exposed to it, it provides more than a creative boost. It has also been shown to have emotional, mental and educational benefits.

Music

Music invigorates the parts of the brain which are involved with academic achievement - reading, mathematics and emotional development.

Exposure to music at a young age can help improve memory. Children also pick up word sounds and meanings from listening to music. Music also helps children acquire language and reading skills. Dancing helps them in building motor skills and co-ordination. Music also inspires creativity. Children who are encouraged to express themselves, and who experiment in creating art and learning to play music, are more innovative. These skills will benefit them throughout their lives. They also learn valuable life skills such as teamwork, expanding leadership skills and interaction with others.

Art

Pupils who have some kind of exposure to art also reap benefits. Being creative motivates students to shine, both in and outside of the classroom. Children are more motivated to be at school, show more motivation and an improved outlook. Academic performance is also improved. Besides teaching children patience and the importance of practice, there's collaboration, which improves social skills.

Children also learn that goals can be achieved in several different ways. Exploration and experimentation that is not restricted in early years assists children to form connections in their brain, which enhances learning.

Participation in the arts also contributes to higher test scores and grades, increased graduation rates, and makes the pursuit of a tertiary education more likely. A student involved in the arts is four times more likely to be awarded for academic achievement, or to become involved in maths and science competitions, and three times more likely to have a strong school attendance record or to be elected to class office.

Students from a lower income background who are very involved with arts are more than twice as likely to graduate and have a five times lower dropout rate than their peers.

Art will also create a chance for children to develop more language and communication skills which are essential for verbal reasoning and emotional skills. As they create art, they learn vocabulary associated with colours and shapes. They also absorb lessons about cause and effect and learn thinking skills by mentally preparing and picturing what they are going to create, and following through on their plans. They also learn about texture and patterning.

Familiarity with both art and music contribute to critical thinking skills. Visual learning developed by drawing and painting or designing improves visual spatial skills, which will assist children in interpreting and using visual information.

Children learning to play piano, for example, achieved much better results when given spatial-temporal reasoning tests. This kind of reasoning ability lays a foundation for logical and abstract thinking and problem solving. These qualities are essential for the brain to be able to process mathematics, engineering and physics.

Art and music participation will also develop the ability to evaluate - whether it's self-evaluation or involving the work of their peers. It also builds confidence.

Familiarity with both subjects will also build cultural awareness and diversity. Children can be exposed to, and learn from, different cultures - either visually, or through music and video.

Children will also acquire self-discipline in both fields. Continuous commitment and practice are necessary in order to improve.

The techniques used in both also contribute to overall IQ.

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