Welcome back to the Raising smART Kids Podcast. On today’s solo show I’d like to address research, specifically as a relates to the arts and the benefits to our kids. The question of the day is “Why The Arts?”

Let me share a few stats with you.

According to the International Child Art Foundation research indicates that a child who’s expose to the arts will have a better chance to grow up to be more creative, imaginative, expressive, confident, self-reliant, and critically thinking.

Young people who participate in the arts are:

+ 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement
+ 3 times more likely to be elected to class office within their schools
+ 4 times more likely to participate in a math and science fair
+ 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance
+ 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem

Young Dancers and artists, as compared with their peers, are likely to:

+ Attend music, art and dance classes nearly three times as frequently
+ Participate in youth groups nearly four times as frequently
+ Read for pleasure nearly twice as often
+ Perform community service more than four times as often

Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

Long gone are the days when arts classes were part of every day education. As budgets grow smaller and classes grow larger, access to the arts is a dwindling commodity.

Arts-focused classes are quickly being replaced with activities that are meant to prepare kids for (and I’ll be blunt) standardized tests. The absence of the arts in schools leaves many children without a healthy forum in which to express themselves. Without a means of positive self-expression during the day, the enjoyment of school can diminish and many negative behaviors may follow.

As exposure to the arts in schools vanishes, it is up to parents to create such opportunities or seek them out in their communities.

The ways in which the arts positively affect lives is truly endless. Each person experiences the arts in his or her own way. While one student may gravitate towards self expression through dance, another may choose the language of martial arts or acting. Supporting and encouraging your child to discover themselves through the arts by creating their own unique voice is certainly a worthwhile endeavor.

If a child is able to engage their critical thinking and problem solving skills in an arts classroom, just image what he or she can do with those skills in any other setting – in school, in the community, in a career, for the world!

Self Confidence

Aside from engaging critical thinking and problem solving skills, the study of the arts contributes to increased self-confidence.

While the structure of each type of arts class may vary slightly, the end goals are for students to gain an appreciation of the art form, learn skills and execute them with confidence and precision, and demonstrate those skills publicly through demonstrations and performances.

In any group arts class, students are taught to work independently as well as with others. Students gain a tremendous amount of skills in his or her preferred art form independently in a group setting (i.e., learning the French terminology and execution of skills in ballet or Japanese terminology in Karate). Students then practice these skills as a group thereby creating a dynamic learning environment. The confidence and self-worth gained by learning skills independently, working as a group to demonstrate proficiency, and taking to the stage can be life changing.

Even with our youngest performers, the confidence gained throughout a season is quite remarkable. When teachers sit in the audience and direct the children continuously (which is often seen at dance shows and competitions), they never learn to rely on their own abilities to succeed.

If you’re interested in learning more about any of our arts programs at Academy of the Arts or how we can help you raise a smarter kid through the arts, we’d love to help! Whether you give us a call (775.753.5327) and we would be honored to guide you in your arts adventures!

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