Would you believe me if I said arts education promotes self-directed learning, improves school attendance and sharpens critical and creative skills? What if I told you that new findings in brain research and cognitive development embrace a variety of approaches that use the arts as a learning tool (i.e. musical notes to teach fractions); incorporating arts into other core classes (writing and performing a play about say, the gold rush); creating a school environment rich in arts and culture (listening to Mozart while doing schoolwork or throughout the day) and hands-on arts instruction? Even the late Steve Jobs, co-founder and CEO of Apple stated when introducing the iPad 2 in 2011, that “It is in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough—it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.”

According to a 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts, arts education ‘can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing,’ creating the foundation to form social and community bonds.

Strong arts education programs help students receive a well-rounded education as part of their curriculum, so that they can all have an equal opportunity at academic achievement. From Mozart for babies, to tutus for toddlers, to family trips to the museum, children that have these opportunities get exposed to the arts whether or not public schools provide them. Low-income children, however, do not. ‘Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences,’ says Eric Cooper, president and founder of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education.

Today, more than ever, arts education is needed by our young people as a forum for safe expression, communication, explorations, imagination, and cultural and historical understanding. K12 knows this and is dedicated to providing more than just arts education by encouraging creativity through the Annual Art Competition, online clubs like the Culinary and Music Clubs, DIY blog posts, and more.

So sing! Dance! Paint! Act! Do anything you want to use arts education to your advantage and become a better scholar and all-around advanced individual.

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Image credit: aep-arts.org

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