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10 Reasons Why Art and Music Are Critical For Our Youth

3/27/2017 | By Johnny Cash Trail| Art, Johnny Cash Trail

Art and music are critical for our youth. Whether they are exposed to art and music in school or through private or community classes and lessons, the benefits are incredible. Art and music exposure does more than provide a creative outlet for kids; they provide mental, emotional, and educational benefits -- and more.

Here are ten incredible reasons our kids need arts and music in their lives:

1. Music Boosts Young Brains

Immersing children in music can help boost their brain power. Music stimulates the parts of the brain associated with academic achievement, such as reading and math, and emotional development. Instead of viewing music as an extracurricular activity, consider it an overall part of your child’s education.

2. Art Improves Academic Achievement

Students involved in the arts have tremendous academic benefits compared to students without exposure to the arts. Art inspires kids to excel in and out of the classroom. It helps students stay in school, increases motivation, improves attitudes and attendance, and improves academic performance.

According to Americans for the Arts, a student involved in the arts is:

  • 4x more likely to be recognized for academic achievement.
  • 4x more likely to participate in a math or science fair.
  • 3x more likely to win an award for school attendance.
  • 3x more likely to be elected to class office.

Lower income or socioeconomic students experience even greater benefits from the arts. Low income students highly engaged in the arts are more than twice as likely to graduate compared to their peers with no arts education, and have a 5x lower dropout rate.


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3. Music Can Improve Memory

Want your kids to remember their homework assignments, where they put their shoes, or to brush their teeth before bed? Music might help. Research has shown that participation in music at an early age can help improve memory. Exposing children to music in early development helps them learn word sounds and meanings, and dancing helps build motor skills. Even adults can experience memory benefits from just listening to music.

4. Music and Art Enhance Creativity

This may sound like an obvious benefit, but the effects of enhanced creativity will extend to many aspects of your child’s life. Children develop innovation skills when they’re encouraged to express themselves and take risks in creating art and playing music. Those skills can open doors later in life; 72% of employers say that creativity is the #1 skill they look for when hiring.

5. Music Improves Social Skills

It’s not always team sports that teach important social skills; playing an instrument can help, too. Music groups and ensembles can help kids develop important life skills such as teamwork, developing leadership skills, discipline, and how to relate to others.

6. Art and Music Improves Language and Reading Skills

Children’s brains develop faster with music, particularly in areas associated with language acquisition and reading skills, according to a 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute.

For young children, making arts provides opportunities for language development. Toddlers learn words for colors and shapes as they create art. If you want to encourage language learning, communication, and reading in your kids, art and music are essential.

7. Art and Music Enhance Critical Thinking Skills

The creativity involved in art education strengthens critical thinking skills for kids. Visually learning through drawing, sculpting, and painting develops visual-spatial skills. This teaches kids how to interpret and use visual information.

As for music, a study of 3-4 year olds learning to play piano scored significantly higher on spatial-temporal reasoning tests compared to those with no music instruction. Spatial-temporal reasoning is a precursor to logical thinking, abstract thinking, and problem solving needed for the brain to function in mathematics, engineering, and physics.

8. Art and Music Build Confidence

As kids develop skills in art and music, and improve those skills through repetition and practice, they build confidence in themselves. Studies have shown that when children participate in arts activities with peers and provide criticism and praise to one another, the feedback they give to each other builds self respect.

9. Art and Music Creates Cultural and Personal Connections

Immersion in art and music can foster a sense of cultural awareness in kids. As students interpret visual imagery from artists and learn about art history, it helps them understand the concept of cultural diversity. Seeing a different culture explored through a visual medium such as sculptures or paintings helps kids process information differently than reading about it in a text book.

Learning about musical history and exploring different types of music can help kids connect with different cultures. Art and music help people feel more connected to one another, as well.

10. Art and Music Instills Discipline

Dedicating themselves to art and music teaches kids important concepts of discipline. While some kids may show a natural talent in one area or another, the truth is that ongoing commitment and practice is required to improve. By committing to stick with lessons and practicing outside of classrooms and lessons, kids learn discipline skills that will benefit them in many aspects of life.

Immersing children in the arts and music, at home, through lessons, at school and in the community, provides undeniable benefits that will help them throughout their lives.


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