PHOTO COURTESY OF WWW.CREATIVE-STUDIO.CN
By STEVEN RISLEY
There has always been a discussion about the positive effects of arts on children. While many will argue that art is unimportant, which is made evident by the fact that when budget cuts are necessary, art programs are usually the first to go. With 80% of United States school districts experiencing some type of cuts, it seems that art programs are becoming somewhat of a dying art. Although they are being done away with, art programs are essential for the development of children.
It is a proven fact that there are physiological benefits to exposing children to art. The brain functions in the two hemispheres, being the left and the right. The left hemisphere takes control over logical thinking and analytical process. In school, these are usually the things that are focused on when it comes to your four major subjects being Math, English, Science, and History. Art stimulates the right hemisphere, which is responsible for creativity, emotional perception, and intuition. The school system usually neglects the training of these functions, but it is not clear as to why.
In order for the brain to work efficiently, both hemispheres have to work in unison. By stimulating the right side, art helps to strengthen the connection between the hemispheres. Children should be exposed to art as to train both hemispheres equally. This would allow both sides to develop together and work more in harmony, thus allowing the child to reach the mind’s full potential.
There are other benefits besides the main one listed above. To go along with the positive impacts on the function of the brain, the arts help children be more creative. They also help children observe and analyze the world around them. Arts allow children to view the world through multiple perspectives, as there is no wrong answer in art. Children build more confidence through the arts, as there is no wrong way to make art. Every child can be proud of their work no matter what.
Art is a doorway that leads to the opening of the mind. Children should be exposed to art at a young age and throughout the schooling process in an effort to maximize the minds of our youth. Whether the student continues practicing in the arts throughout life is up to them, but it is evident that they are beneficial to us all. The argument can be made that students who are uninterested shouldn’t be forced to practice arts. With that same logic, why are kids who are interested in the arts have to suffer? By cutting arts from the budget, the school system is prioritizing one group of kids over the others. Not only is this unethical, but it is affecting the children entirely by stripping them of necessary life skills.