The arts are essential to every child’s education. Similar to English, math, science and the other core subjects, the d visual and performing arts) are challenging subjects with rigorous content and achievement standards at the state and national levels. They require highly qualified teachers who challenge all students, not just those who are considered artistically talented, to perform works of art, create their own works, and respond to works of art and the ideas they impart.
In addition to studying the arts for their own sake, experiencing and making works of art benefits students in their intellectual, personal, and social development, and can be particularly beneficial for students who are at risk of not succeeding in school. Research studies point to strong relationships between learning in the arts and fundamental cognitive skills and capacities used to master other core subjects, including reading, writing, and mathematics.
Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, cognitive ability, critical thinking, and verbal skill. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual’s life. According to the report, they “can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing,” creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion.
Common Core Standards and 21st Century Learning needs are based on new findings in brain research and cognitive development, and they embrace a variety of approaches: using the arts as a learning tool (for example, musical notes to teach fractions); incorporating arts into other core classes (writing and performing a play about, say, slavery); creating a school environment rich in arts and culture (Mozart in the hallways every day) and hands-on arts instruction.
Brain research confirms that Arts education strengthens student problem-solving and critical thinking skills, adding to overall academic achievement, school success, and preparation for the work world. Art classes provide students a chance to develop cognitive and creative skills, and to develop their imaginations. For some students Art is their motivation for coming to school and an area where they have success or excel, providing an important balance in their total educational experience.
Due to the collaborative nature of art, students develop crucial skills in cooperative decision-making, leadership, clear communication, and complex problem solving while working with others. Regular participation in the arts develops self-confidence, self-discipline, persistence, and the knowledge of how to make multiple revisions to create high quality work. The skills and experience that students develop by learning to perform, create, and respond to works of art provides a foundation for the kinds of literacy students must have to communicate and work successfully in our ever-changing media, technology, and information age. Art Education supports not only the adolescents intellectual and educational development but also their personal and social development. Arts education helps develop a positive work ethic, flexibility, and pride in a job well done.
At Grace Lutheran School in Huntington Beach, California we not only believe in the importance of art education but music, performing arts, foreigh language and physical education for all students. We offer music, arts, physical education, after school competitive sports, and Spanish for students in our preschool through 8th grade programs.