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The importance of the arts in schools

Whitney Coy is a freelance writer and editor based in Columbus, OH, where she lives with her husband and two daughters. She writes frequently for SheKnows, as well as several other websites. She writes on topics including parenting, trav...

Why arts matter

Districts all over the country find themselves slashing budgets to make ends meet and art programs are often left on the cutting room floor.

Art class

So are these programs important to students? You bet! Here’s why:

Gets them thinking

Young students need a way to get their brains moving and ready to absorb information. Arts, especially music, fit that bill. Music and dancing get little brains geared up to learn more and help them adjust to academic settings.

Well-rounded education

There’s no doubt that reading and math are important, but that shouldn’t be all that’s taught. Students need a more well-rounded education that includes insight into different ideas and cultures in the world around them, and the arts are one way to provide that. It may teach them to be more tolerant and open minded about the human experience.

Encourage creativity

Creativity is a big component to a happy and successful life, and students probably aren’t going to gain that while they sit in social studies class. Classes like art, music and dance encourage creativity and inventiveness and develop imaginations.

Make school fun

Some kids just don’t enjoy the academic classes, no matter how important they are and how hard the teachers try to make them fun. For those students, art programs may be the sole reason they come to school every day and sit through the classes that give them struggles.

Cooperation

While some components of art class include independent working, most require some amount of collaboration. Learning to be a team player is a big deal. This practice with teamwork will be valuable to students for the rest of their lives, especially when it’s time to enter the workforce.

Develop personal qualities

Participation in arts classes help students develop confidence in themselves and their work. They also learn self-discipline and persistence. Skills in the arts often take lots of practice, so they learn to try again and not to give up when they don’t succeed. It also teaches students to be flexible and take pride in a job well done.

Quick tip

If your schools don't support the arts, look for other ways to expose your kids within your community. Take classes or visit museums often.

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