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One way or another, art is present in the life of all people. There are two forms of knowing the world. The first is logical, scientific, or objective; it is built on laws and reasons. At the same time, there is also an emotionally-shaped perception of the world. People navigate through their lives with the help the like/dislike, love/hate, beautiful/ugly concepts as well. It is a necessary component of the human experience of life, which adds to the feeling of completion and satisfaction. It is art that helps people inherit, transmit, and interpret their own experience of sensations and emotions for other people to relate and feel less lonely. Art is actively involved in shaping the value picture of the world.

Art Lessons

Music Lessons: The extra boost for the brain

Art helps people inherit, transmit, and interpret their own experience of sensations and emotions for other people to relate and feel less lonely.

It is historically known that making music brings fun and helps people to relax. Nevertheless, few know that music also facilitates achievements in other subjects. One can compare it to a loud-speaker, which increases the strength and reach of a natural voice. The Feversham Primary School in Bradford poses a vivid example of the power of music lessons. Specifically, the school enjoyed a dubious reputation as its students always showed results below average in performance tests. However, almost ten years ago, the director ventured to change the schedule. He appointed an extra music class to all the children. Thus, students now practice singing or playing instruments for up to six hours per week.

The result is impressive: today, elementary school is among the best in the country in terms of reading, writing, and arithmetic. Namely, "...it is in the top 10% of schools in England when it comes to progressing children's learning in core subjects like maths and English. For the eldest pupils at the school who have come through the system, their progress in reading and maths places them in the top 2% and 1% respectively in England" (Shaw, 2018). The director explained that music-making helps children concentrate, memorize vocabulary, and learn social skills such as teamwork and perseverance.

Art Lessons: Own project design

Due to the introduction of PISA standards and amending of the schedule, 'insignificant' subjects like art are the first to fall out. The opinion that drawing is not essential for the future career is shared by many, but it is a misconception that is easy to fall for. There is a lack of general understanding of the benefits of aesthetic education as an alternative approach to cognitive work. In other words, not only subject-oriented goals are important. One must also teach techniques to justify design decisions and interpret them. From the social perspective, students develop open-mindedness and tolerance for pictures and works of art, even if these initially seem incomprehensible to them. Precisely because art is somewhat alien to many learners, art lessons have to lead to this unknown area of life and broaden the cultural horizon. Therefore, art lessons, involving art history, are equally important to natural sciences and political issues (help with which can be received from WritingCheap).

That means that art lessons are especially valuable for the personal development of children. Not only they relax them but also build outlook and communication skills. On the one hand, drawing and playing on musical instruments are great for physical coordination and motor skills. On the other hand, artistic work also strengthens other important competencies such as decision-making, drafting a plan of action, and finding unique, creative solutions. These are key skills both for work and life. You can learn more here.

The actual benefit

When it comes to the immediate benefits of the art lessons, there is a list of competencies that a child acquires through continuous exposure to art.

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1) With the help of art, students see the world from an unusual angle, which makes them notice new details and develop a more comprehensive understanding of life. What was considered ordinary and mundane even will reveal new layers to it. It is essential because the ability to see the beauty in simple things indicates inner harmony. Besides, reading the meaning of an art piece from its details cultivates attentiveness and self-reflection, which are necessary for successful career growth.

2) From the biological perspective, art classes stimulate the areas of the brain responsible for thinking, speech, visual and motor memory, and coordination. The drawing requires an ongoing work of both hemispheres, which results in the active creation of interhemispheric connections. Those connections facilitate memorizing skills significantly and in such a manner, make the study more productive for students. Critically, "Van Meter (2001) found that drawing while reading a text about Newton’s Laws was more effective than answering prompts in writing" (Bobek & Tversky, 2016). It means that art and science are both necessary for effective learning.

3) In contrast to the majority of sciences, drawing allows students to see and touch an immediate result of their work. In other words, it teaches them following their plan and achieving success. When a person sees the positive outcome of their work, they feel exceptionally motivated and confident in their own skills. Moreover, they learn to set a goal and concentrate on it. For sure, these qualities are necessary for the person to make progress in any sphere of life.

4) Art is a gentle and respectful way to monitor the psychological state of children. As it has been mentioned above, art often takes the place of a primary means of self-expression both in children and adults. In this relation, attention to the drawing or music of a person can reveal a lot about their psychological condition: whether they feel anxious; their actual mood; whether they have a proneness to depression or need help. It all finds reflection in what a student creates. Parents and teachers have to collaborate in the modern world to raise healthy and well-rounded people. For this purpose, they can use art to monitor the condition of the children without unnecessary intrusion.

5) Through art practice, students discover their own way of perceiving reality and learn that other people also see it in their unique way. This leads to respect and acceptance of different views and the emergence of critical thinking in a child. Instead of violence, they will learn to support and define their stance peacefully, which is a way to win the trust of their mates and accumulate confidence in themselves.

In light of the mentioned above, art teachers should combine a variety of educational goals with art practice. They serve general education purposes, and they aim to broaden students' horizon and convey design abilities and skills. Especially against the background of the dominance of intellectual skills, great importance is attributed to creative activity. Teaching children being creative means helping the world progress from a technical viewpoint. At the same time, it will become a more accepting place if students learn to voice and explain their art concepts and will appreciate the work and vision of others.

Nicky Quinton

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