Top 10 Skills Children Learn from the Arts

By Lisa Phillips (Americans for the Arts)
1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet will distinguish your child from others. When they have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.
2. Confidence – Arts training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in a safe environment.
3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop this important skill necessary for success in any career.
4. Perseverance – In an increasingly competitive world where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.
5. 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. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.
6. Non-Verbal Communication – Children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions.
7. Receiving Constructive Feedback – Children learn that feedback is part of learning and is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally; it is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills, and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built-in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.
8. Collaboration – Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When participating, children begin to understand their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences, children gain confidence and start to learn their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.
9. Dedication – When kids gets to practicing following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment.
10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

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