Art enriches lives and can be used to connect people from all walks of life. Among the many additional benefits of art is its effects on young people and the development of their brains. The American Association of School Administrators notes that neuroscience research has shown that the effects of the arts on a young brain’s cognitive, social and emotional development can be profound.
- Art helps to wire the brain. The AASA notes that especially young children spend much of their time playing, and that play often includes forms of art such as singing, drawing and dancing. These artistic activities engage various senses and help to wire the brain so it can learn. As children age, these seemingly basic activities remain essential for young brains.
- Art helps children develop their motor skills. Dancing and other movements that might be prompted by exposure to art help children develop motor skills. Motor skills are necessary for kids to perform important and necessary daily tasks while also promoting independence.
- Art helps kids learn to think. The AASA notes that art can be a valuable tool in instilling essential thinking tools in children, including the ability to recognize and develop patterns, the ability to form mental representations of what is observed or imagined, and the ability to observe the world around them.
- Art can improve memory and focus. The AASA cites studies that listening to music can stimulate parts of the brain responsible for memory recall and visual imagery. In addition, background music played in a classroom has been shown to help students remain focused while completing certain learning tasks.
- Art can positively affect how students approach other courses. Studies have shown that incorporating arts into core curriculums can have a number of positive effects on students’ overall academic performance and benefit students socially. Studies indicate that students involved in such integrative programs are more emotionally invested in their classes and work more diligently than those not studying in such conditions. In addition, students may learn more from one another when the arts are integrated into core curriculums than when they are not.
Art is often mistakenly seen as a strictly fun component of children’s education. But the effects of art on young brains is considerable, helping young people develop in ways that may surprise many men and women.