art kids benefits

7 ways arts in education benefit kids to no-end

If we were to turn back the clock, it would be fair to say that arts in education were one of the most prominent elements of the curriculum. Whether it was drama, art or music – it was all there, and the kids loved it.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen a steady decline of these subjects. They are slowly being abolished through curriculums around the country and today’s post is to take a look at some of the reasons this is hurting the people of tomorrow.

Let’s now take a look at how arts in education can help children develop so much.


Reason #1 – The confidence factor

There’s a lot of importance placed on confidence in children nowadays, and it’s for very good reason. This in itself makes it surprising that arts are being slowly removed from the curriculum.

When it comes to drama and music, these are activities that can throw most kids completely out of their comfort zone. As we all know, being out of your comfort zone is something that breeds immediate confidence. As you start to see that you can get up on stage, or can play that instrument in front of countless people, you develop as a person and your confidence simply multiplies.


Reason #2 – Visual learning

Studies have found that children need more than text and numbers to learn efficiently. Visual learning has proved to be one of the best ways to achieve this and naturally, drawing, painting and general creative tasks aid this learning approach in abundance.

The difference with this type of learning is that kids have to interpret it. They have to make choices based on the visual information which is placed in front of them – and this is why it benefits them in a completely different way than the traditional method of teaching.


Reason #3 – Working as a team

It’s a well-known fact that working as a team and collaborating are highly desirable skills (and this doesn’t just apply to kids).

Arts education is something that pushes these skills more than other subjects. When it comes to a drama performance, kids rarely work alone – they work as part of a group. It’s something that teaches them that they need to rely on others to achieve overall success – they can’t just rely on themselves.


Reason #4 – They become accountable

This point relates to the previous one we have just looked at. When kids are part of a team, particularly in something in which their actions are under the spotlight, accountability quickly comes into the picture. They start to understand that their actions impact the whole project; their successes will be there for all to see, but at the same time anything that they don’t do so well will also be focused on. The latter is particularly important, as kids nowadays don’t always get the chance to learn about mistakes and how important they are for development.


Reason #5 – It all benefits academic performance

This next reason will raise a few eyebrows, but studies have shown that arts can impact academic performance as well. A study found that those children who participate in arts for three hours a day, three days a week, are as much as four times more likely to succeed academically. This is most likely due to all of the other reasons we have documented through this guide.


Reason #6 – Decision making is improved

At times, standard education can become quite black and white. Kids follow a text book, or instructions, and there is little room to maneuver. This is where the arts differ. They are something that there is, strictly speaking at least, no right or wrong answer. They need to critically think about situations. For example, they might ask themselves how to play a character, or express an emotion through their dancing.


Reason #7 – The impact on motor skills

Finally, the impact the arts have on motor skills should also not be underestimated. A task such as holding a paintbrush might feel remarkably simple to a child, but it’s something which can work to develop their motor skills.

About The Author

Professor David Percival

Director of AHVC programme, and specialist in art and technology, including presence research, mixed and virtual reality.