Why The Arts?
Need some back-up to support your desire to sing, dance, act and have fun while teaching the arts?
Here are some observations, thoughts and links to professional articles, and research results about the benefits of education in the arts.
Watch young children. What are they very often doing when left to their own devices?
That's right - Play-acting. It seems to come naturally. Kids "play house", pretending to be mommy or daddy; dash around acting like a superhero, or raise their arms in victory when emulating a favourite sports star. Most children come into formal educational situations having gone through their imitative stage of play and having experienced some imaginative, creative, self-directed play.
Tapping into this natural interest in drama can give educators a way of providing students of any age with an enjoyable learning experience through which they not only gain knowledge but develop many life skills.
Anywhere along the continuum from informal role playing to formal staged and costumed musical drama learning opportunities abound.
With or without what we think of as "talent" most children enjoy and respond to music on some level. Is it our imagination, or are children who take music lessons actually higher achievers? Research has shown that children who are given a regular vocal and instrumental music lessons enjoy greater success in reading, mathematics and science.
Children love to move! Integrating dance into a program, does not have to mean a formal dance lesson. Using movement to teach spelling ... math .... social studies ........science? Greater understanding and retention of information can come about through the use of the body in motion!
...... paint ....... sculpt ....... create .....
As with music, natural talent is not a factor when it comes to the benefits of the visual arts in education. It is more in the process of creation than in the look of the final product that learning happens. Children need to have as many opportunities as possible to communicate with a very visual world.
Check out Cybermuse art Education and Research Site of the National Gallery of Canada