Why learn art?

There are many benefits of learning art.

  • Art is a way for children to experience education in a creative and positive manner; it allows children to foster a talent.
  • The ability to communicate ideas, thoughts, through visual form is an advantage in any working environment.
  • Art fosters sensory/ self-awareness & artistic/ creative skills.
  • Creating Art is relaxing & rewarding as it helps boost self-confidence/esteem & self-worth, turning us into creative individuals. All these contributions make art education an extremely valuable subject.

What the experts say about the benefits of learning art?

 

Elliot Eisner, Professors Emeritus of Child Education at Stanford University: “With the arts, children learn to see. We want our children to have basic skills. But we also will need sophisticated cognition, and they can learn that through the visual arts.”

 

Lois Hetland and Ellen Winner in the Studio Thinking quoted: “While students in art classes learn techniques specific to art, such as how to draw or how to mix paint, they’re also taught a remarkable array of mental habits not emphasised elsewhere in schools.”

 

Well, according to research by the National School Boards Association & Americans for the Arts, young people who participate in the arts for at least 3 hours on 3 days each week through at least one full year are:

  • 4 times more likely to be recognised 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
  • 4 times more likely to win an award for writing an essay or poem.

 

In the article titled Myths, Misconceptions, Problems and Issues in Arts Education, James Boyd of Griffith University, Brisbane Australia : ” arts educators in particular, recognises that the arts assist with the development of high level skills such as the student’s ability to handle complexity and ambiguity, problem-solving, communication skills, self-discipline and team work. These skills are recognised as essential for success in the new high technology, high-information and inclusive world in which we live.”

In Summary, What are the Benefits of Learning Art?

#1 Art Promotes Creativity

According to the International Child Art Foundation, “Research indicates that a child who is exposed to the arts acquires a special ability to think creatively, be original, discover, innovate, and create intellectual property—key attributes for individual success and social prosperity in the twenty-first century.”

#2 Art Encourages Neural Connections

Art is an activity that can employ all the senses—sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste—depending on the activity.

#3 Art Builds Fine Motor Skills

Gripping a paintbrush, an oil pastel, drawing dots and lines, mixing of colours, cutting with scissors, rolling and modelling of clays, tearing papers etc, all of these task require increasing amounts of patience, concentration, skill and coordination, yet they are so fun and rewarding that children want to do them over and over again.

#4 Doodling and Scribbling is a Precursor to Writing

Children of a younger age begin by doodling and scribbling randomly on papers and walls. The more they scribble, the more they are able to control the oil pastel and its movement across paper. As children learn to control their scribbling, eventually making all the variety shapes into necessary form of an alphabet.

#5 Art Develops Problem-Solving Abilities

Open and close-ended, process-oriented art is nothing but an endless opportunity for making choices, coming to conclusions, second-guessing decisions and evaluating results. Children become more comfortable with uncertainty and remain flexible thinkers, which is key for creativity and confidence. The more experience they have with variety of materials and technique, the more likely they are to try new combinations and ideas.

#6 Art is a Brain Food

In fact, art is a brain food and it can help to stimulate the brain. If you start drawing or colouring, it will help developing you coordination, reaction, social participation in some kind of art to get cognitive benefit from it. If you lack self-esteem, arts will certainly help you developing it. Moreover, it will increase the levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter, which is responsible for good mood and motivation. It would also contribute to better concentration, drive and focus. Due to it, we start thinking critically, which simultaneously increases our intelligence. Of course, it requires time and effort, but the result is worth that.

#7 Art Improves Academic Performance

The skills they learn spill over into academic achievement. A report by Americans for the Arts states that young people who participate regularly in the arts (three hours a day on three days each week through one full year) are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, to participate in a math and science fair or to win an award for writing an essay or poem than children who do not participate.