Statistics Showing the Importance of Art & Music Programs

As schools across the U.S. tighten their budgets, art and music programs are often on the list of cuts. This concerns educators and public citizens who feel strongly that the arts help children in many ways. Arts involvement can build strong friendships, provide comfort and self-fulfillment, increase the desire to set and achieve goals, teach a positive work ethic and grow appreciation for other things.

Statistics Showing the Importance of Art & Music Programs
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Public Support

The public believes there is more to the arts than learning how to play an instrument or paint a landscape. An April 2005 poll from Douglas Gould and Company and Keep Arts in Schools reveals 41 percent of U.S. adults support integrating arts and education because it “educates the whole child.” Keep Arts in Schools reports 48 percent of American adults want more art and music implemented into elementary schools, and 36 percent want more arts in high schools.

The public believes there is more to the arts than learning how to play an instrument or paint a landscape.
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Reading

Statistics show an understanding of music improves reading skills. Both have rhythmic and phonetic qualities. Americans for the Arts cites a 1998 report by Educational Leadership in which first-graders who received music instruction performed better at reading than those who did not receive the instruction. Students who learned about melodies and rhythm in music scored an average of 16 percent higher on reading performance tests.

Statistics show an understanding of music improves reading skills.
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Mental Development

Music has a positive effect upon mental reasoning. Children with autism often undergo music therapy. Americans for the Arts lists a 2002 report by Critical Links that states “emotionally disturbed” fourth-graders who listened to music while writing were more proficient in quality and quantity than when writing in complete silence. This supports a concept called the “Mozart effect” that suggests listening to Mozart’s music enhances mental development.

Music has a positive effect upon mental reasoning.
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Math

Music students consistently perform well in math, regardless of socioeconomic status, according to Americans for the Arts and a 1999 report by Champions of Change. In the report, active music involvement by 12th-graders of low socioeconomic status saw more than twice as many with high math skills than those 12th-graders not involved in music.

Music students consistently perform well in math, regardless of socioeconomic status.
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Behavior

Music and art in the classroom in combination with academic learning produces favorable results. Americans for the Arts mentions a 2002 finding by Critical Links in which fourth, fifth and sixth grade urban students who were artistic but lacked academic success behaved more favorably when taught with a curriculum integrating the arts as a teaching aide. The students paid more attention and showed increased interest. The U.S. Department of Justice YouthARTS Development Project also finds a correlation between the arts and behavior. Of the delinquent minors who participated in the arts program in San Antonio, 16.4 percent had significantly improved behavior and attitudes toward school compared to 3.4 percent from a similar group not involved in the arts.

Creativity

Musicians and artists are very creative. Americans for the Arts cites a 1999 report by Champions of Change that indicates students with more involved arts instruction were more creative than those with little arts training. Creativity is needed for many careers. It enhances originality and encourages open-mindedness to conjure up a variety of ideas and solutions.

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