Top Skills Children Learn from Arts

Top Skills Children Learn from Arts

Yesterday we highlighted two studies that measured how exposure to art can help children learn important executive function skills.

For parents (and program professionals), it often helps to learn exactly what skills they can expect their child to learn. Today we highlight such a list: “Top 10 skills children learn from the arts” via the Washington Post.

The piece offers “a list of skills that young people learn from studying the arts. They serve as a reminder that the arts — while important to study for their intrinsic value — also promote skills seen as important in academic and life success.”

The lessons come from Lisa Phillips, author of “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World.”

Highlights include:

  • Creativity: “In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.”
  • Perseverance: “When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.”
  • Focus: “The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.”
  • Problem Solving: “Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding.“