The Many Benefits of Art on Young People
Strangely, many people can enjoy the arts, and its many genres (music, painting, sculpture, film, stage, photography, dancing, literature, poetry), and never realize the tremendously positive impact it has had upon their lives—during their entire lifetime! However, this tremendously positive impact not only begins immediately but can begin at a very young age.
The very first time a child is exposed to art say, for example, the music of Beethoven or Chopin, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing in one of their classic films, a van Gogh painting or Ansel Adams photograph, or a Michelangelo sculpture, the manifestation of positive impact (and influence) begins in a young person’s mind. And the immediate sparking of and connection between neural pathways in the brain also begins.
The Power of Beauty Around Us, Surrounds Us!
What makes the world beautiful is what our eyes can see and ears can hear that accomplishes this feat and brings immense joy to our senses, thought processes and well-being. But our sense of smell and taste can also get in on the action, which is why cooking and cuisine are often consider an art form, and a rose (and most every other flower) our nose enjoys as much as our eyes.
Throughout many centuries simple observation has shown how art can have a huge positive impact upon a child’s development, and such development can continue into adulthood and even old age. In other words, you’re never too old to appreciate and benefit from a beautiful symphony or painting and a glass of aged Burgundy and a plate of French crepes while reading Lord Byron in your flower-filled garden. Beautiful art is bountiful and all around us!
The Practical Benefits of Art Are Plentiful
A vast amount of research of a more scientific kind during the last hundred years, however, has shown that exposure to the arts can help children and adolescents develop numerous positive skills and abilities. These are skills highly valued by employers, the job market and every kind of business in the professional world.
Such qualities include critical thinking, persistence, creativity, imagination, ability to collaborate, initiative, problem solving, self-motivation, self-discipline and ambition. In addition, scientific studies show that exposure to art can improve young people’sself-confidence, learning speed and academic performance.
Art is of particular benefit to at-risk youth and adults who come from a low socio-economic status. A study in 2012 by the US National Endowment for the Arts showed that such students involved long-term in art activities achieved better academic performance, higher career goals and better employment opportunities.
Such exposure not only fosters better grades but higher rates of college enrollment and degree attainment. Children grow into adults who are more civically engaged, possessing greater empathy and concern for others and their community, and more likely to pursue a career in medicine, law, engineering, business, leadership, management, education, technology and art.
The Benefits of Art Exposure is Substantiated!
Substantial evidence, especially over the last century, from thousands of schools and academic institutions, and a wide range of community-based, government-sponsored and private-art programs across the globe have shown that long-term (and even short-term) exposure to the arts is instrumental in positive child development and societal improvement. Not only intellectually, creatively and academically but emotionally, for physical health and in the development of moral character and behavior.
Here at Spirit Within Art we continue to advise parents to enroll their children in schools and programs that offer real artistic exposure.