Why Are the Arts Important?
The arts change lives. Exploring the arts in education raises student achievement, increases school engagement, and serves as dropout prevention. Students in the arts have higher attendance rates. Carrollton-Farmers Branch is supporting the research by opening four Fine Arts Academies in our community.
“Arts Education is critical for helping students develop creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving abilities.” – Megan Cherini
Creativity is one of the top three personality traits most important to career success. The achievement of a degree in the arts is among the most significant indicators of a candidate’s creativity and innovation skills. An education in the arts will prepare your student for the workforce in a highly measurable and valued ways.
How else can the arts make an impact on our children’s lives? The arts improve problem-solving skills, self-direction, social responsibility, technology fluency, collaboration & cooperative skills, communication, creativity and organization.
What is a Fine Arts Academy?
A Fine Arts Academy infuses Art, Dance, Music and Theatre into the regular school day at the elementary level.
The Fine Arts Student…
- will exhibit strong communication skills and growing self-confidence.
- will explore who they are and self-discover on a deeper level.
- will perform better in school and on their SATs.
- will outperform their peers on virtually every measure.
The Fine Arts Classroom…
- features innovative, effective instruction and student engagement.
- is a safe-space for exploration and personal growth.
- shapes the mind and body during critical developmental phases.
- is vibrant and filled with energy and nurture.
The Fine Arts School…
- enjoys an improved school climate and culture.
- has stronger engagement within the community.
- fosters creativity as a normal part of everyday life.
- makes students want to go to school.
CFBISD offers four Fine Arts Academies to choose from…..
Apply Today at www.cfbimagine.com
“I would teach children music, physics, and philosophy; but most importantly music, for the patterns in music and all the arts are the keys to learning.” – Plato
Academic Benefits of Fine Arts
It’s no surprise that there are countless studies showing the academic benefits of the arts. The arts allow a creativity for students that isn’t always found in math, science, and reading, simply due to their objective nature. In the arts, students are not only required to know answers, but to think about why those answers exist. The arts allow students a near-infinite amount of prospective, turning those who explore the arts into well-rounded and capable members of our society.
Learning music teaches teamwork, requiring students to leave their differences behind and work towards a greater goal. Art teaches focus and planning, allowing students the opportunity to create a vision and see it through to its end. Dance is a form of self-expression like no other, where students thrive through creative impulse and self-awareness. Theater builds confidence and social skills that are invaluable to the success of virtually any employer.
In the CFBISD Fine Arts Academies, students will be exposed to these ideas every day.
Art Education in Elementary Schools
Art is essential, not extra! Over recent years, art in education has proven to be beneficial to the development of children. Art has a direct impact on motor skills, cognitive development, language development, visual-spatial skills, and ingenuity.
– Motor Skills
- Gripping and using the art tools strengthens fine motor muscles.
– Cognitive Development
- According to Bloom’s Taxonomy, the classification of levels of intellectual behavior related to learning, evaluating and creating are the two highest levels of cognitive understanding.
- Through group discussion, critiques, and self-evaluations, students are sharpening their critical thinking skills on a daily basis.
– Language Skills
- Descriptive words and critical vocabulary is introduced and used on a daily basis to enhance their language skills. This is achieved through the introduction of new materials, sharing, describing, and critiquing works of art.
– Visual-Spatial Skills
- One of the first forms of learning is observing. Art Education has honed in on the importance of learning through observation. This is accomplished by showing students how to take in visual information from gestures, pictures, three-dimensional objects, books, the world around them and digital media.
- Art encourages students to express themselves, push their creativity, discover new ways of doing things and develop a sense of innovation.
Dance Education in Elementary Schools
Everyone dances. We are born to move, and the exploration of dance in elementary school begins the journey of communicating through movement. Early training in dance develops body awareness, self-control, respect for others, and self-esteem. Physical strength and coordination are enhanced as well as cognitive development and learning the language of movement.
“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” – Martha Graham
Dance explores culture and identity for all people. Boys and girls learn to move and express themselves in the dance classroom through creative movement, modern dance, ballet, jazz, hip hop, cultural dance and tap as well as creating choreography (the art of making dance). Dance students explore feelings and emotions as well as the sheer joy of moving.
Music Education in Elementary Schools
Did you know that there is a growing interest in researching the relationship between music and your health, specifically your BRAIN health? In recent years, there are an increasing number of studies that show how very beneficial music is to one’s everyday life. the US Dept of Health and Human services even has an initiative known as Sound Health that explores this relationship.
Dr. Robert Finkelstein, a Neuroscientist who co-leads this initiative states in a January 2018 article, “When you listen to or create music, it affects how you think, feel, move, and more…” and “…modern technologies are helping researchers learn more about how the brain works, what parts of the brain respond to music…”
What are these studies showing? Well, one finding that seems to be consistent is that children (and teens) who are exposed to creating music and who play instrument(s) “engage many parts of the brain at once”, which is especially beneficial because their brains are still developing! When kids are involved in making music, they are developing multiple areas of the brain at once!
Check out this 5 minute video for a quick look at “your Brain on Music”:
Check out this graph of musician’s SAT scores compared to the national average. 29% higher than the Texas average! We are building pathways in the brain that enforces learning in all areas! STEAM ahead, Fine Arts!
Theatre Education in Elementary Schools
Theatre is an essential part of your child’s elementary curriculum; one which we are proud to offer here in Carrollton Farmers Branch ISD! The study of Theatre carries a slew of benefits beyond the ability to speak in front of an audience. Drama programs in our K-5 schools are your child’s gateway to better social skills, creativity, and overall academic well-being.
According to The National Education Association, “Social Emotional Learning is critical to developing competencies besides academic content knowledge that are necessary to succeed in college and in careers”, (NEA, “The Importance Of Social Emotional Learning For All Students Across All Grades”). Students learn and practice many facets of SEL through the study of Theatre. They develop their ability to empathize as they learn how to become a character and step outside their own experience.
Theatre is, by nature, completely collaborative; it teaches students the art of communication and compromise. It is also the best way I know to learn how to honor a deadline. As they always say, the show must go on! Theatre is full of challenges which promote creativity and critical thinking.
According to research done by the National Endowment for the Arts, engagement in the arts led to higher grades and college enrollment for students from a low socioeconomic background. Additionally, they found that the study of “drama increases reading readiness in early grades and improves reading comprehension and writing skills throughout middle and high school”, (James S. Catterall, Gillian Hampton-Thompson, 2012).
Last but not least, Theatre is just plain fun! Dramatic play allows children to be children while learning. Students have a chance to let their creativity soar while also reinforcing important skills which lead to long term academic success.
The arts change lives. Remember, exploring the arts in education raises student achievement, increases school engagement, and serves as dropout prevention. Students in the arts have higher attendance rates.
Make sure to visit www.cfbimagine.com to find out how your child can apply for one of four Fine art Academies in CFBISD.
Do you have questions about Fine Arts education in elementary, or have questions about CFBISD’s Fine Art academies? Please leave your questions in the comment section below.
Resources & Sources:
-Arts Facts…Preparing Students for the Workplace
-Summary of Key Additional Arts Education Research and Facts
-Art Students Outperform Non Arts Students on SATs
Dance For Young Children: Finding the Magic in Movement
Sue Stinson, 1988
The American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance p. 4-9
First Steps in Teaching Creative Dance to Children
Mary Joyce, 1980
Mayfield Publishing Company p. 4-9
Dancing to Learn: The Brain’s Cognition, Emotion, and Movement
Judith Lynne Hanna, 2015
Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Company pgs. 25-40, 149-164
links to article cited: