Arts Education: A partner in Developing Young Minds

Arts Education: A partner in Developing Young Minds

In recent years the debate about the significance of arts in the development of children has been leaning more and more in favor of arts. Earlier, a scientific mind was always given priority over an artistic one and as a result, pursuing arts was termed as a hobby and scientific engagement as a clear career goal. This point of view arose from the fact that most people were ignorant of the role that arts education plays in the development of young minds. But it’s not the case anymore. Today, an online music lesson or online dance lesson is placed on a similar plane as a science-oriented course. This change in attitude primarily came in because people began to understand the importance of arts education and its contribution to science and other varied disciplines. Arts began to be perceived not as a field void of scientific thought but a field that has the potential to lay the foundation for scientific growth. As a result, more and more people as per their convenience began to engage with offline or online lessons in the arts-related fields of their choice. But how did this change in attitude come in? To understand this, let’s have a closer look at how arts education promotes the overall development of an individual. 

Last year the Indian Education Policy 2020 came into being and the most interesting part about it was its focus on art-integrated learning. This inclusion of art-based learning was in a sense acceptance on the behalf of the ministry itself regarding the significance of arts in educating children. As per the guidelines, the National Research Foundation will not only be focused on scientific research but will also promote research in fields related to all art-based fields including music, philosophy, dance, writing, etc. Now, a decision of this scale must not merely be an impulsive one but would be a product of rational study. What needs to be considered here are the reasons which prompted the education ministry to incorporate arts into its education policy? One significant reason is that this inclusion promotes the revival of dying local art forms and also creates more diverse job opportunities. But behind these obvious reasons lies the acceptance of the overall benefits of arts education. So, let’s have a look at what these benefits could be. 

The first being that arts education promotes creativity and encourages children to think out of the box. Deviating from the mechanical way of thinking, arts promote the idea of free play where every child explores their ways of looking at the world rather than conforming to one rational way of thinking. For instance, papercraft for kids is gaining a lot of attention today. The reason is that more than being a fun activity, it familiarises children with the potential of the most minimalistic things around them. Also, a fun paper craft class could be an interesting lesson on symmetry and mathematics. This brings us to our next point on how arts education promotes the cognitive development of children. Cognitive skills include everything starting from memory, reasoning power, problem-solving capability, sense of perception and ability to think. What if I say that arts contribute to all of these elements? You would have to agree because it is not just a point of view but a valid argument with scientific backing. A study conducted by the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute in 2016 proved that “musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development”. Also, in March 2018 at the National Institutes of Health Kennedy Center Workshop on Music and the Brain, the participating scientists presented factual data proving the positive impact that music had on the development of several cognitive functions including “attention, visual-spatial perception, and executive function”. Even think on your terms. Consider a child who is attending an offline or online piano class. To excel in the art, he/she should memorise the keys, be attentive towards the lessons and develop a higher level of coordination between his mind and body. Such developments won’t happen in a matter of a day but these would be the results of a regular engagement. 

Moving on, through arts, children learn a form of self-expression which helps them to better connect with the world around them. While choosing to paint an object in a certain way and even while painting the sky pink, a child expresses his/her perception of the world. And when that child tries to express the reasoning behind that choice in an offline or online art class, it triggers the development of communication skills. Also, when a child showcases his/her artwork in front of parents or gives his/her first dance performance on stage, the appreciation received boosts their self-confidence. This is also why taking formal art classes or considering the present situation taking online art classes or online dance classes is important. When children participate in collective learning, they interact with others with similar interests, helping them develop a sense of belonging and a professional environment of such classes always directs them in the right direction. Considering all these elements, Craqit has come to the forefront as a platform that promotes arts of all kinds. The experts at Craqit understand how much a platform that provides professional online lessons in all arts-based fields would be beneficial for the overall growth of children and adults alike. So, let us all follow suit and begin a journey towards developing young minds taking the most artistic route possible.

Craqit Publications