A great variety of art works attest to its significance in the evolution of the human race since their primary existence.
Art was used for thousands of years to conduct lessons of life and self discovery. Therefore, one cannot argue against its value as an educational tool. But how does a child in primary school actually utilize art and what are its effects?
A single drawing can speak volumes to and about its creator. Initially, it is a way that the child learns to use pencil, pen or crayons. Children possess an innate desire to depict what they see around them, especially anything they are drawn to. Research has illustrated that 80% of children are primarily visual-spatial and tactile learners. These learners need to see, touch and do in order to learn effectively.
That is why, even before kindergarten, children have the impulse to draw wherever available: telephone directory, blank pages of a story book or the wall. The mind is beckoning him/her to reimburse what the eye is seeing.
The visual learner is the one who has taken a crayon long before school time and has doodled, in the above mentioned areas, objects that depict people, animals or things. By extension, in school art class will allow this individual to relax and let off tension and feel confident while doing something he likes.
When the child is taught how to hold a coloring pencil so that his hand may make certain motions in order to form a ball, kite or the sun, or to color in areas so that they are smooth and uniform, his hand has the opportunity to become accustomed to forming shapes and eventually letters without effort.
Moreover, art is vital to the maturity of abstract thinking in children. It teaches the value of variety of effect. Centuries before, Maria Montessori (the first woman to study medicine in Italy) proved that through the arts children can better focus, develop internal discipline, learn how to put things in order and sequence them. Thus, they develop critical cognitive skills. For instance, the ability to think abstractly, understand shapes and how they are formed (essential in Geometry), they discover and expand image vocabulary, and they learn discipline and most importantly increase self-esteem.
Those are the benefits that drawing brings to the child, but teachers and parents benefit, too. A child’s single drawing can let the adult know whether the child is happy or suffering; learning or lacking in the learning process. Drawing is a precious tool of multiple applications and benefits.
Learning to express themselves through song or by playing a musical instrument has multiple benefits, as well. As with drawing, it helps to release tension; quite significant in being able to concentrate in other academic duties.
The ancient peoples of this world had long ago realized that creating music meant more than satisfying the ear. It more than merely moved their soul and uplifted their spirits, it made them work in an effortless way and it taught them skills in a most attractive manner.
Today specialists agree that music, whether it is singing it, dancing to it or producing it, most certainly does teach!
Since creating a musical sound via the voice or an instrument involves adjusting the sound which is made by either, this ultimately means that the brain must work to produce that sound. Hence, the child must learn to read music, count music, listen carefully to what he produces and finally feel very confident about the end result.
The above mentioned process has involved many skills required for the end result, therefore, those skills are sharpened and as a result the child’s self confidence is boosted. A high self-esteem is truly necessary in the development of psychologically healthy and stable future citizens.
All of the arts (drawing/painting, sculpture, music, drama/acting, dance, writing) undeniably offer knowledge to everyone involved. The magic of the arts is that children will ultimately become wiser and happier since the arts no only allow them to practice and become expert in what they like, but at the same time teach them history, maths and language. To school children it is an outlet where what is being presented academically can be better realized. In essence, the educational value of the arts is priceless as it literally means gaining knowledge and sharpening skills through effortless and enjoyable practices.