Kids aren’t meant to sit stationary in classroom lessons all day. They might get fidgety or have problems focusing during lessons. As teachers know, kids have excess energy, especially while at school, and many schools lack the resources to serve their classrooms’ creative needs. Until Proposition 28 passed, schools were forced to work with budget cuts while still seeking ways to bring art education programs to their districts. But now, in the state of California, schools finally get much-needed funding for after-school programs in the arts. Let’s explore the benefits of this together!
Why After-School Art Education Programs Are Crucial To School Districts (and Kids)
Music and movement-based programs in schools teach students social skills, fine motor and spatial skills, and how to entertain their imaginations in solving problems. As the American Academy of Arts & Sciences’ “The Case for Arts Education” report found, exposing kids to art had overwhelming benefits.
One study of a school-museum partnership program demonstrated a link between arts education and critical thinking outcomes. This included increased tolerance, increased empathy, and higher motivation to engage with arts and culture. More recent studies have also found improvements in students’ standardized writing scores, reductions in disciplinary infractions, and improved school engagement, attendance, and college aspirations.
Learning Social and Emotional Connections in a Group
Arts education encourages empathy and an appreciation of differences in expression. This helps kids take in new perspectives and see the world through the lens of their peers. Communication, self-awareness of both one’s body and breath (in yoga classes), and other skills are practiced in after-school programs. For kids who need to master skills like coordination, self-control, and discipline, martial arts classes are the perfect avenue to channel excess energy into something constructive. And not to mention the kinesthetic benefits of the arts!
Sharpening Creative Thinking and Encouraging a Sense of Self
Creative thinking involves imaginative possibilities and seeing problems and solutions from different perspectives. Kids will use these valuable relational skills for their entire lives. Scientific studies are showing how arts education programs like music are linked to the development of more gray matter in specific regions of the brain of musicians than non-musicians. Playing music involves practicing things like hand-eye coordination, memorizing music, and pattern recognition. These things directly benefit kids for the rest of their academic careers.
Fostering Confidence and Teaching Performance Skills
Kids love to express themselves. And helping kids hold on to their creative play and vibrancy is our aim in teaching them performance skills. Whether it’s at an annual recital for violin class or onstage in theater class, kids learn how to emote creatively, memorize a script, or use their voice as an instrument. Expressing their personality and uniqueness is part of what brings kids the confidence to be who they are in the world. This is the gift of being a music educator.
How After School Music Academy Does Art Education Programs Differently
At After School Music Academy, we take art education seriously but also have a lot of fun. Our classes are no longer than 60 minutes. This means we don’t exceed 9 hours of combined in-class and after-school instruction time, which helps kids to stay engaged. Our experienced art, music, and dance instructors bring a playful and educational energy to each one of their lessons. We love the classics but aren’t afraid to switch things up by bringing songs kids love into lessons and learning those, too! After School Music Academy classes involve minimal setup time and can work in various gym or classroom settings. We do all the setup and tear down required, returning the space as we found it for regular in-school instruction time.
Responsibility and preparedness are our cornerstone values, and we deliver even more than we promise with our art education programs. Best of all, we try not to rely too much on technology in our lessons, understanding that kids are exposed to a lot of it during school time or at home. We get them up, moving, and staying engaged in the activities that bring them joy!
After School Music Academy Wants to Hear From Your California School District
Sound like the perfect program for your school district? Explore the benefits of an art education program for every child enrolled in your school by contacting us. We can suggest our most popular class programs, talk space considerations, and help you find the right answers needed to host us in your district. Explore our helpful FAQ resources for information about teacher-to-student ratios, summer programming, and more!