Amazing Kids! Magazine

Benefits of Arts Education

By Isabella Taylor, Poetry Editor

 

Music and Arts education has been an integral part of the U.S. educational system and it has a centuries old history. The benefits of The Arts in educations has now been accepted and engrained in U.S. society. So much so that the arts is defined as a core subject by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. However, the recent economic crisis and current shrinking budgets have lead many communities to decrease or talk about decreasing the availability of these programs as part of their school curriculums.

Keeping art and music in school curriculums is crucial for a well-rounded education as it is incorporated into the definition of core subject. For the student, arts in schools provide an important tool for self-expression as well as contain benefits extending beyond their field, leading to increased academic achievement in general. However, the greatest benefit of this investment will be reaped by our society in the form of the many contributions provided by former students of the arts.

Art and music programs contribute to our society in many important ways. Nowadays, most businesses rely on an effective web design. It is not surprising that the very best engineers and technical designers in the Silicon Valley industry are, nearly without exception, practicing musicians. The arts boost our entire economy by job creation, tourism, and “spur growth in related businesses such as hotels, restaurants, printing, etc.” (childrensmusicworkshop). In 1996, the American Art Alliance reported that on a national level nonprofit arts institutions and organizations generate approximately 37 billion dollars in economic activity and return 3.4 billion in federal income taxes to the U.S. Treasury each year. The economic benefits are well documented as a benefit to society. The Harris Interactive study confirmed that children who study music early would grow up to seek higher education, ultimately earning a higher salary. On a more global level, many feel that our country is losing ground in its status as a super power in many areas as several countries outperform us on math and reading. Those countries “require extensive education in the arts” (Kalish). If there is a correlation between the arts and higher achievement then by eliminating the arts programs in schools across the nation, we will continue to lose ground.

The importance of music and art education as part of a well-rounded curriculum is crucial as it promotes self-expression, improves academic achievement and benefits our society as a whole. Our ability to express ourselves leads to improved self-esteem and facilitates a better understanding of ourselves. Higher academic achievement has been documented in many studies across the world. Countries that emphasize extensive education in the arts “without narrowing their curriculum” consistently outperform us (Kalish). Our society benefits from art and music programs as they foster creativity and provide us with innovative creators of our future. “Creativity is like a muscle. It gets stronger with use, and withers with inactivity. If we cut music and arts education funding, where will our children exercise?” (Craig M. Cortello)

Sources cited:

Kalish, Nancy. “Support Music: View an Entry.” MENC- The National Association for

Music Education – Home. Jan. 2011. Web. 02 June 2011.

<http://www.menc.org/supportmusic_cases/view/714>.

“Twelve Benefits of Music Education.” Childrensmusicworkshop.com. Advocacy.

26 May 2011. <http://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/12benefits.