Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

The Effect of Arts Education

As arts managers, it’s important to look at the diversity of the audience attending cultural events. The classical music world is notorious for attracting an older generation. So how do we bring in younger audiences? Well studies have shown that most of the people attending these types of concerts are educated in that particular artistic field. 

Many research has shown the benefit of arts education not only for the benefit of future classical music, but on brain and academic development as well. This article takes an interesting approach on music education, studying the brain function of disadvantaged children when exposed to music lessons. I definitely would like to see more research on this topic, as this article does not provide that much. However, I think it would be an interesting topic to explore. 

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6 comments on “The Effect of Arts Education

  1. jaredchamoff
    September 5, 2014

    What a compelling article! While I always have considered the music class I had in elementary school to be integral to my interests in pursuing a career in the arts I hadn’t really thought of the neurological effects that music could bring. Organizations like the Harmony Project can do so much for young people.

    It reminds me of the Venezuelan music program El Sistema, which similarly to the Harmony Project takes kids in lower socio-economic backgrounds and puts them in intensive music programs. The results have been astounding, giving the world amazing musicians such as the LA Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel (and his hair…) and the Berlin Phil bassist Edicson Rudiz.

  2. sarasps85
    September 5, 2014

    I am very interested in this field. Was surprised to see on “Standing Room Only” by Joanne Bernstein that

    “(…)a Harris Poll conducted about the attitudes of Americans toward arts education revealed that 93 percent of Americans agree that the arts are vital to providing a well-rounded education for children. (…)”
    It goes on with some interesting facts and figures even though it´s just a simple overview.

    This article discusses more the real involvement in music as a vehicle for academic success but science has proved that the contact with ANY artistic language develops multiple potentialities in children and adults.

    Yet, is academia talking about it enough? I believe things are improving in this area as many cities (not only capitals) plan social programs with a strong artistic component. However, I believe there is still a lot to be done when it comes to public schools curriculum, at least in Europe.

  3. torisharbaugh
    September 5, 2014

    I think there is lots of research out there on the issue of arts education for children, but who knows if it is actually taken seriously. With the amount of art, music and theater programs being cut in public schools in the last decade, it would seem like it is not. I would love to see these programs that promote arts education come full force into the mainstream public sphere and make a major impact on education policy.

  4. trishayoung
    September 5, 2014

    This is a great article and I am always passionate when arts and healing are combined. My nephew, who is autistic, didn’t speak or make eye contact for a long time. As we began to recognize and treat his illness, therapists noticed that he responded best to songs and used songs as a technique to teach him speech. He is now able to communicate through speech and it is anticipated that he’ll be able to matriculate into regular kindergarten by next year when he turns five.

    From a dancing perspective, one technique I appreciate is brain dance which is a technique used in dance classes but began as a sequence to reconnect your body and mind. They are basically focus techniques that can be used at all ages. http://creativedance.org/about/braindance/

  5. gaochang619
    September 5, 2014

    Great statement about significant arts education! It is learnt in our readings that art can cultivate people and I believe it may include some neurobiological cultivation. As a matter of fact, although music classes are included in the 9-year compulsory education in China, I query the cultivation effect of this kind of general musical education from many aspect. For example, the uneven quality of music educators, especially in primary schools, the unbalanced proportion of music classes to other “more important” disciplines and the spoon-feeding process without letting students get involved with music personally all lead to a minute change in children’s artistic brains. No wonder piles of money flow to private art training classes because parents are eager to cultivate their chidren in real arts. So it is high time we developed the general arts education in schools and therefore children suffered from poverty could have access to better arts.

  6. laurenelizabethdickel
    September 6, 2014

    This is such reassuring research. I have long been sad to see how the importance of music education in schools keeps declining. During my undergrad I was involved in an after school music therapy program in a struggling community near Cleveland. It was always such a joy to see the effect that music teaching had on young listeners and how their attitudes changed over time.
    I really hope research like this catches on and continues to show positive correlation’s between music and brain development. In our Marketing reading from last week, the author also specifically pointed out significant lack of music education in schools and its correlation to the low active interest in attending classical concerts.

    Lets keep a look out for more supporting research. As we all know, for something to change it has to be an issue that is talked about and proven in many more studies than one.

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