By Nick Stamanis, Director of Fine Arts/Instrumental Music at Henderson International
A trend is being seen regarding the benefits of Fine Arts within a curriculum for students of all ages. One of the core realizations has been how the Fine Arts develop students by engaging all of their senses. Educators have known that differentiated teaching has long been a key that unlocks young minds. How better to do this than with the Fine Arts? The Fine Arts engage kinesthetic action, auditory, fine motor skills and visual acuity all at the same time.The Fine Arts teach the intangibles such as creativity, self-expression and individualism. Researchers have found the study in the Fine Arts connects the whole mind. Using cognitive and creative processes of the mind together create new synapses and connections that in turn benefit critical thinking. Students who study music engage senses, muscles, and intellect simultaneously. This has been proven by brain scans taken during musical performances of student musicians playing an instrument and reading music.
Dramatic plays and singing build reading skills through scripts and text. The art of Dance helps motor skills and control. It gives students a sense of how their body works and helps them follow directions. They must follow the music and move their bodies within the structure of a piece of music containing pulse, color, and emotion.
Visual art develops skills that help students see the world around them in different ways. Understanding color, shapes and perspective broaden and give students an appreciation to everything around them. It improves fine motor skills through drawing, cutting, shaping and sculpting.
The Fine Arts as a whole build other life skills at the same time. The Fine Arts teach group dynamics and working together. The Fine Arts instill an appreciation for other student’s abilities and talents. Students learn to express themselves through non-verbal means and genre. Most importantly students come to understand the true meaning of the word perseverance. It is the pursuit of goals in the Fine Arts that students experience diligent practice and its rewards. Mastery is the result of consistent practice and reward. Through hard work students of the Fine Arts learn to keep moving forward and to never give up. This mental set applies in academia but more importantly it strengthens the development of self through self-expression, self-esteem, and individualism.