Fredericksburg Parent

January 2017

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20 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • January 2017 ages & stages ART EDUCATION: Worth the Investment The Arts & Success Art education has been linked with higher overall academic suc- cess. Lisa Avery, director of Avery Ballet, states, "The arts nurture self-esteem and the discipline required reinforces good manners, etiquette and important personal ethics." Qualities that extend into scholastic habits and work ethic. Art education has also been shown to hone language development. Whether by learning about shapes, colors and patterns as a young toddler, or discovering new ways of self-expression as a school- aged child, artistic expression paves the way for enhanced commu- nication and public speaking skills. The music and math connec- tion is well established. Visual art helps with motor skills and visual processing," explains Taryn Lane, youth chair of Stage Door Productions. The arts can promote crucial skills important to a child's academic, social and life success. In fact, the benefits of study- ing the arts may prove more important than first believed. As James Roberson, owner of Roberson's Music, points out, "Art education is key to the success of the next generation." But given the increasing push for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) in the curriculum, art education can often get left by the wayside, which is why it's imperative that the arts remain an integral component to a child's development. WRITTEN BY DEBRA CAFFREY Similarly, studying the arts is a great means of developing social aptitudes, which is why so much of the arts is collaborative in nature. "Kids who work together in theater groups develop a very strong sense of community and support," says Lane. "Being part of a team is com- forting, but it is also a responsibility that helps students learn that others are counting on them." This sense of accountability can be vital to a child's ability to learn from failure and develop determination. "Dance and its related arts require hard work to achieve progress and success," Avery says. "I believe the perseverance and patience that is needed to attain a goal is something that has been lost within this age of instant gratification." The arts also instill confidence and self-esteem. "Art enables children to express their feelings and emotions in a safe way," says Michelle Crow- Dolby, education and communications manager at Gari Melchers Home & Studio. "Instilling the belief in each child that their art explorations are valid and important helps build personal confidence." Learning from mistakes and problem-solving in order to convey one's artistic expression appro- priately deepens a child's ability to reason and overcome challenges, making them better pre- pared not only academically but for any future "

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