Art is certainly an essential aspect of our humanity. In all forms, its power of expression and personalized interpretations can transform lives. We can all think of examples where art has touched us deeply. For this music-loving writer, the gift of a Jeffrey Gaines CD from a friend years ago particularly spoke to me and changed the trajectory of my whole life (yes,…for the better).
An education in the arts at a young age can help to develop a well-rounded individual. Evidence shows that art education can aid social and emotional development in children, helping them become more comfortable, confident, and sociable. In “The Effects of Art on the Brain of an Underprivileged Child,” Christina Pili makes the case that “through creative enhancing techniques such as dance or movement, drawing and music, all children, underprivileged children especially, can advance their development”.
Art education is a valuable component of the overall education experience. For children who struggle in other subjects, art may provide an opportunity for them to shine and build confidence. The experience can increase academic performance in other areas. For parents, the subject of art can provide a more comfortable subject to engage in with children, especially as the child take up subjects the parent has mostly forgotten or maybe didn’t excel in themselves (Physics, chemistry, calculus…anyone?).
In the parent/child relationship, art can also serve as an effective tool for the communication of ideas and emotions – in both directions. Children often can more comfortably convey their problems and emotions via their creativity and their imagination. In a relaxed and supportive atmosphere with Mom , Dad, a caregiver, or teacher, the interaction can help a young one cope with overwhelming and painful feelings that may otherwise lead to emotional and behavioral issues.
The experience of sharing art can build a framework for family activities outside of the academic and home settings, too. Shared exposure to the arts through a child’s art education can uncover or develop mutual interests and open up new family activities: visits to art museums or galleries, collaborative art projects, or maybe even a shared research project that becomes the focal point of a voyage. Such activities not only can increase the whole families’ appreciation of the arts, but also deliver new value to family time in an increasingly face-paced world where time together has become rarer for many families.
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