Arts Education for KidsNo doubt about it: Arts education for kids has manifold benefits.  Yet in countless schools around the world, the arts are getting short shrift.  It’s beyond my scope to try to describe the many causes and reasons, to outline solutions.  What I hope is to tap into your own experience of the arts, of creativity, imagination, expression, and to plant a seed, or rekindle the fire, around the importance of arts education for kids.
Creativity and imagination are among the most critical skills for the future. Children are born with these talents, but, as we have seen and probably know personally, over time we begin to lose them. So it would seem a no-brainer, that arts education for kids is more important today than ever. There are many good resources outlining the benefits of arts education for kids.  One site that has recently come to my attention is called We The Parents, and they have a section specifically devoted to the benefits of Arts Education for Kids. They list, count ‘em, 51!  Benefits for Character and Personality, Brain and Mind, Happiness and Wellbeing, Social Skills, Academic Performance, and Physical Development.
Fred Rogers, while not specifically speaking about arts education for kids, poignantly said, “Life is not a Math Test.” 🙂 You can bet he was an advocate of encouraging creativity and imagination in kids.  Following is a small sampling of quotes, from business, people, scientists, educators and former POTUSs on the meaning and value of the arts.  Enjoy, and then consider supporting arts Arts Education for Kidseducation for kids if, when, and where you can.
“Especially in difficult economic times, the arts are essential.” -Maria Shriver, Award-Winning Journalist and Author
“Music, dance, painting, and theater are all keys that unlock profound human understanding and accomplishment.” -William Bennett, Former US Secretary of Education
“Arts education is a big part of building a 21st century creative mind, and I think that we have let way too many kids lose their way by not drawing in their young minds with music, dance, painting and the other various ways we can express those things we do not have words for.”  Heather Watts
Arts Education for Kids“Art helps us see connections & brings a more coherent meaning to our world.” – Earnest Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation
“Logic will get your from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” -Albert Einstein
“For anyone to grow up complete, art is imperative.” -Paul Harvey
“The future belongs to young people with an education and the imagination to create.” -Barack Obama
“Science and the arts equally are expressions of man’s marvelous plasticity of mind.” -Jacob Bronowski, scientist, formerly of the Salk Institute
“Art has the potential to unify. It can speak in many languages without a translator. “ – Barbara Jordan, Former Texas Congresswoman
Arts Education for KidsMusic, in particular, is near and dear to my soul.  And here’s a site about how to bring music into kids’ lives.  It’s on Mom Loves Best, about Music for Kids.
And music is obviously not just for kids!  Music in one of my passions, and I’m in my 7th decade :-).  FYI, a recent blog post is called, “Music is Good for the Soul”, and another, a while ago, “Music, of all the Arts…”  Both contain links to fascinating studies and information on the benefits of music, for children, and people of all ages.  I’m thrilled that my choir starts up again in a few days.  Playing piano and singing together enliven my heart, kindle my passion, light up my life. How about you?  I’d love to hear your experience of arts education and music.
Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-)
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