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Who is responsible for ARTs education? by Raette Meredith

Our mission at ARTAZINE is to eliminate the barriers between Americans and the ARTs.

In study after study we learn how important the ARTs are for the development of the human mind. So why is it that our government decides that ARTs education is unnecessary in public education? Why are we cutting the classes that expand our ability to learn language arts and mathematics? Why aren’t we doing everything we can to ensure that all children are exposed to the arts? Below, we have included a couple of excerpts that we found at http://www.psychologytoday.com that you may find interesting.

Music lessons enhance everything from vocabulary to life skills
Published on June 1, 2010
by Vivian Wagner, Ph.D.

Many studies have shown the benefits of music and music education to the development of the brain. One that was published July 1, 2009 in the Psychology of Musicby Joseph Piro & Camilo Ortiz, called "The effect of piano lessons on the vocabulary and verbal sequencing skills of primary grade students," for instance, compared two groups of second grade students over three years. One had piano instruction, and the other did not. At the end of the period, the group that had piano instruction showed better vocabulary and verbal sequencing skills. As the authors explain in their abstract, "Data from this study will help to clarify the role of music study on cognition and shed light on the question of the potential of music to enhance school performance in language and literacy."

Visit Vivian’s blog at http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/melody-maker for the rest of this article.

Music Lessons Help with Memory
Kid musicians remember better than their non-musical counterparts.
By Thomas Sexton, published on August 01, 2003

Keeping your kids in music lessons may be more beneficial than you thought. According to a recent study, children with regular music training have better verbal memories than those who don't play an instrument, and this advantage seems to last even after the training is discontinued.

Researchers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong studied 90 boys ages six to 15. Of the group, half had music training both from individual lessons and participation in their schools' string orchestras. When tested for verbal memory, the young musicians performed significantly better than their non-musical peers. No such difference was seen in tests of visual memory.

Researchers, led by Agnes S. Chan, Ph.D., believe that this relationship is due to the fact that both music and verbal memory are centered in the left brain. The music training may have served as a type of exercise for the brain, allowing it to perform better in other, related tasks.

What it comes down to is funding. The state of California and many others are (or practically are) bankrupt. Budget cuts simply have to be made in public funded education.
We are not politicians, nor do we want to go that direction in this article. We simply know that there is no funding in the public school system for ARTs.
What we care about is our kids and their friends who have long lives in front of them. We as Americans are facing many changes that involve other nations who may or may not be more educated than us. Our children are going to be facing an entirely different country than we grew up with. Of course, we want them to have every opportunity to come out ahead. Our thinking is that if they are learning at their highest capacity, they will have a better chance at succeeding. ARTs education is the best way to stimulate their entire mind. Yes, English, math, history, geography, economics, and science are all priority. Music, visual, literary, and theater arts will help them learn those subjects at a higher capacity. Isn’t that what we want?
If the public schools don't have money for it, who cares? We do. We the parents of the next generation have the responsibility to ensure that our children receive what they need, and there are plenty of talented instructors who are looking for students. We say, forget waiting for the State of California to fund our children's education. Our children's sucess is our responsibility. Our children's education is top priority for the sake of survival in our changing nation.
We care about our kids.

Thank you to all of the hard working artists who inspire, encourage and support the arts with their talents.

Raette Meredith
editor/founder of ARTAZINE
raette@artazine.org

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2 Responses »

  1. Bravo! You've said it: It's time we stopped depending on the government to do everything for us. In fact, we never should have in the first place, and now it's clear why. The arts (as everything else that we hold important in our lives) can be supported by our own efforts - All the arts, and may I add, foreign languages, have long been proven to expand our minds and make us better able to deal with the challenges life gives us. Of all of these, music is the one "par excellence," universally understood, and clearly a major part of a healthy life. Thank you, Artazine, for providing a great resource to teachers of the arts, and thank you, Raette, for giving us Artazine!

  2. It's up to music educators to be creative and reach larger audiences. To that end I give you http://www.discoverlearnandplay.com - our group rates allow access to an online curriculum for $1 per student per month. We're doing our part to make professional music education and support available for as many people as possible. If we put our minds together and think outside the box - anything is possible!

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