Cut the Arts at Your Own Risk

Researchers warn that cutting arts programs in schools is a grave mistake. The arts programs provide cognitive, academic, behavioural, and social benefits that go far beyond simply learning how to play music or perform scenes in a play.
In a major new study from Rice University involving 10,000 students in third through eighth grades, researchers determined that expanding a school’s arts programs improved writing scores, increased the students’ compassion for others, and reduced disciplinary infractions. The benefits of such programs may be especially pronounced for students who come from low-income families, according to a 10 year study of 30,000 students released in 2019.
Unexpectedly, another recent study in 2019 found that artistic commitment – think of a budding violinist or passionate young thespian – can boost executive function skills like focus and working memory, linking the arts to a set of overlooked skills that are highly correlated to success in both academics and life.

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