Art. It comes in a plethora of shapes and forms, colors and sizes. One thing that is the same about all art though, is the many positive effects it has and how they change our surroundings and even ourselves. Never being noted though, the arts make a huge impact in our favor. Art programs can have positive effects on student education, an individual itself, and the economy.
You may be wondering, “How does art education even have a beneficial impact on learning?”, and as surprising as it sounds, it contributes to a huge part of the overall success of a student. It is shown that there is a link between changes in behavior for students who participate in the performing arts, visual arts, and music programs. In a study of pre-kindergarten students who participated in music, it was found that the program was an effective motivator for increasing good behavior and decreasing undesirable behavior (Standley, 1996). Fewer emotional and behavioral problems along with the unlikeliness of engaging in violent or risky behavior have been linked to a group of middle school students that took part in the visual arts and drama programs at their school (Wright et al., 2006; Respress & Lufti, 2006).
Overall achievement in school is also a positive effect art programs can have on student education. Research has shown that the things students learn in the arts can help them better understand more core subjects like math, reading, and social studies. Participating in fine arts programs as a child can prepare them for achievement in reading and writing by giving them a better understanding of stories and helping them with oral language skills. At the middle and high school level, participating in the drama and visual arts programs has found to be linked to the increase use of the ability to express themselves and the use of more complex language. Along with achievement, test scores have had shown positive feedback from those who have been involved in any of the arts. Using over 25, 000 middle and high school students, a national study was performed and analyzed by the researchers from the University of California. They found that students with a significant amount of involvement in the arts performed better on standardized tests than students who weren’t participating in any of the art programs (NAASA- Arts). Many independent studies have also shown that high SAT math and verbal scores are tied with years of participation in art courses. According to results recorded from a 2005 study, students who took four or more years of arts coursework had outperformed those who have had half a year or less of the courses by 38 points on the math portion and 58 points on the verbal part of the SAT (JSTOR). Have you ever thought about or have spent money on expensive massage treatments because of stress related problems? Or have forcefully swallowed a couple of pain relievers a day just to get rid of the aches and pains? Instead of spending money or popping pills, you could always just go with art. Scientists have found evidence to support the claim that the arts help reduce stress and anxiety, enhance the way our body’s fight infection, and improves our well-being. Studies have proved that singing releases substances that serve as the brain’s own natural pain killers. In addition, listening to music helps to raise the levels of molecules that are needed for fighting infection. Not only is music helpful, but so is drawing and painting. A rehabilitation process called art therapy, can help ease stress and pain and improve quality of life. Drawing or painting images from traumatic memories helps progress to forming words that describe the events, which moves the trauma out of isolation and onto the page, and then into positive exchange with a therapist. Smaller studies have proved that art therapy can improve health status, coping behaviors, and depression in chemotherapy patients, as well as improving...
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