Important life skills learned through the arts

25 Sep 2020

Growing up in a world that is more demanding than ever, it is important to prepare the youth
for the workplace which requires them to not only be knowledgeable, but also multifaceted to
stand out from the rest. Being book smart can take you places, but learning the arts such as
dance, theatre, music and visual art can take one even further. Here are a few important life
skills offered through education in the arts which will help students succeed in life and future

Through dance, theatre and visual arts classes, students are taught to be more
observational. For example, students are aware of the colors, textures and shapes of their
own artwork, or how well they executed a dance routine, while comparing themselves to
their fellow classmates. This form of comparison or healthy competition acts as a driving
force for students in the arts to outperform their peers by being more creative.

Based on a study on learning skills in visual arts published by the Journal of Elementary
Education, teachers spark creativity when they motivate students to be different and
experiment with different methods. Apart from creating artworks that are replications of
visible objects or following a teacher’s choreography, students will become more creative
and embrace their individuality by injecting their own personalities and creating their own
masterpiece from imagination. Students will then learn to think out of the box which benefits
them later in their careers.

Having an education in the arts, students will eventually develop a flexible mindset that will help them adapt to new environments better. With curiosity and creativity, students are inspired to innovate or provide alternative solutions, and that is how the problem-solving skill is cultivated.

According to an article published by Pearson, on how art education brings new perspectives to industry and business, art students tend to be more challenged when they learn to express through both concrete messages and abstract thoughts. Being skilled in problem-solving, students of the arts will develop better communication skills as they respond to crises more effectively later in the workplace. In addition, The Artistic Edge also reports that arts students will take problems as exciting opportunities to level up and be more creative.

For students of the arts, dance, music or drawings aren’t just a form of entertainment or physical beauty – it is a tool that conveys their stories or emotions non-verbally. 

As the saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Behind the colors and textures of a painting or the techniques of a dance routine are the emotions and feelings of the artist or dancer. A research by Language in India mentions that with careful use of shades, colors and scenes, an artist tends to use his or her art as a form of storytelling. Through practice in the arts, a student develops awareness on their methods of communication and how they are sending their messages to the world.

Furthermore, an education in the arts brings out a student’s ability to focus and concentrate especially when they learn to keep a balance between listening to instructions and contributing in class or through their work. The skill of focusing on current tasks in any given condition prepares students for the workplace in the future, which involves more situations of multi-tasking and self-management.

The ability to focus is a skill that is enhanced through the arts, as The Artistic Edge reports that students learn to concentrate in various aspects of life. A study from Frontiers in Psychology states that through creating art or performing on stage, a person gets into a flow that triggers the feeling of reward which helps reduce anxiety and self-consciousness. This in return helps performers and artists focus on their task despite distractions from the environment.

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