Essay on Art and Creativity

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Children deserve an education rich in arts opportunities. There is a direct correlation between exposure to the arts and creating successful, well-rounded students as well as a significant impact on individual academic achievement. In terms of education, art is classified into two pre-dominant categories, fine arts (including creative writing, painting, sculpting, film production, and mixed media) and performing arts (such as singing, dancing, acting, or playing an instrument). Domestic arts refers to cooking, sewing, metal work, and carpentry. Art is essential to child development as it aids the growing mind, body, and soul, promotes lifelong learning, contributes to the health of civil society, and prepares students for adulthood. One of the major benefits of arts education is that it requires engagement on every level: intellectual, emotional, social, and physical. In Canada, the effect of Premiere Doug Ford’s first year in office is being felt in the Ontario school system due to substantial educational budgetary cuts, particularly in the arts sector. The Ford Conservative government is set to cut $1 billion from education spending during its first four years in power in an effort to begin balancing the provincial deficit. As schools struggle to maintain a basic core curriculum with fewer teachers and larger class sizes, many electives are at risk, particularly in the areas of drama, music, visual, and domestic art. The potential lack of exposure to these integral programs will have a substantial impact on the development of students in many ways both emotionally and intellectually and will inhibit personal growth in regards to self-expression and wellness, cultural exposure, and career direction as a result of the provincial government’s inability to provide a well-rounded curriculum.

Creativity and happiness are intertwined. The opportunity to help create happy students is not only a major factor contributing to their individual ability to succeed but also important to our current and future society's function as a whole. Providing artistic pursuits for students helps foster creativity and encourage life skills such as communication, collaboration, and critical thinking and presents an opportunity to enrich the quality of our lives by utilizing creativity to turn the ordinary into extraordinary by helping to cultivate imagination. When people are asked what they most enjoy doing, the majority identify an arts-related activity first as they help people to feel they live more balanced, fulfilled lives (Upitis, 2011). In an age of such rapid technological advancement, we see the importance of arts exposure at a young age increase. Accessibility to art allows children to discover their own creativity and unlock potential natural talent enabling them to begin to have a stronger appreciation and understanding of their unique and individual compositions. Arts enable children to learn to develop their own feelings and ideas, as well as learn different ways to communicate without words, express themselves more effectively, and begin to understand the depth and complexity of human emotion. In infants and toddlers, arts integration is an essential tool to aid early fundamental language skills as it provides an opportunity to communicate through movement. As human beings, our ability to communicate effectively and feel understood directly impacts our perceived levels of happiness. A study at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro showed people use approximately 20% of their time for creative outlets and of those who reported feeling happy, the activities they were more likely to pursue included writing, playing music, or drawing (Conner, 2015). Those who scored high in remaining open to experience were also more likely to spend their time on creative activities (Conner, 2015). As creativity is not specific to one medium, the opportunity to create art is not inherently more valuable in one form or another, and one of the reasons artistic expression is so important for students is that it provides many avenues through which to express. From a very young age, exposure to arts activities also helps children learn how to better regulate their emotions and improve their mood while also offering adults the ability to see how a child may be feeling emotionally (Aalborg University, 2008). One of the most common and effective ways to connect and work with children is through drawing. For example, giving children the task of drawing what they like or don’t like, or asking them to draw how they feel or their family situation helps to provide great insight both positively and negatively to educators and parents about what children may be experiencing physically or emotionally but unable to fully comprehend and express themselves. By encouraging students to share their art, they are also learning to express themselves fully through thought, feeling, and emotion. Children with learning disabilities or challenges are also frequently able to communicate more effectively through art and, in particular, children with autism have been found to experience positive outcomes after exposure to arts participation such as the ability to maintain stronger eye contact (Aalborg University, 2008). Arts enrichment is proven to help children’s emotional development and particularly helps encourage positive social behaviors in young children such as sharing, caring, and empathizing with others (National Endowment for the Arts, December 2015). Students who have experienced trauma or emotional injury are proven to benefit from artistic activities such as music engagement, movement-based creative expression, visual arts therapy, and written expression aiding improved health and wellness, and healing (Nobel, February 2010). Children should be provided the opportunity to experience and create art in their scholastic lives because of its unique ability to help them understand themselves more fully and develop stronger interpersonal skills. This leads to a greater sense of pride and the chance to start realizing their full potential as well-rounded human beings as well as the skills to be able to study, examine and appreciate art within the tapestry of the world. Within the education system, the opportunity should be provided to learn in, about, and through the arts as there are many valuable reasons to utilize all of the approaches to aid child development, and more students can be reached and inspired than by traditional schooling methods alone. As resources in schools decrease, most of the current Ontario education curricula tend to give more focus to the fine and performing arts; however, a more comprehensive view of “the arts” is valuable in supporting the growth of the whole student and exposure to the domestic arts is essential to cultivate a rich education (Upitis, 2011). This wider view prioritizes and promotes a greater understanding of the importance of both mandated and non-mandated learning in the education system.

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There is significant research supporting the positive impact that early exposure to the arts has on brain and body development as well as intellectual stimulation and increased brain activity. Research suggests that arts-related experiences, especially those involving music, contribute strongly to the positive rewiring of the brain and the creation of higher functioning brainpower. For example, Jacob Devaney wrote “When you observe a profound piece of art you are potentially firing the same neurons as the artist did when they created it thus making new neural pathways and stimulating a state of inspiration. This sense of being drawn into a painting is called “embodied cognition” (Devaney, 2019). A study conducted by Professor Semir Zeki, chair in neuroaesthetics at University College London found that viewing art people categorized as “beautiful” increased blood flow to certain sections of the brain by as much as 10% (Mendick, 2011). Arts education aids the learning process itself by utilizing skills in the arts to increase learning potential as it either directly or indirectly uses all of the intelligence: linguistic, spatial, kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal, visual, musical, and naturalistic (Upitis, 2011). Visual art skills help with stronger reading function and skills learned in music are proven to significantly help mathematical understanding (President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, 2011). Significant research shows that integration of music in early childhood is the ideal time to create strong connection through the neural pathways in the brain (Kells, 2008) and some of the specific major benefits of young exposure to music include spatial-temporal reasoning, counting by rote (memorization technique that utilizes repetition) and the ability to recognize and determine patterns (Kells, 2008). There are many concepts adopted by both musicians and mathematicians such as the ability to understand and process numbers, rations, and proportions (Kells, 2008). The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has indicated that a typical “skill and drill” approach to teaching mathematics is not the most effective method for students’ retention and that learning through methods that promote problem-solving and thinking at the same time increases comprehension (Kells, 2008). Scientifically, students undertaking consistent musical training were found to benefit from changes in the brain structure allowing them to more efficiently and easily transfer motor skills to similar areas (Mariale Hardiman, 2009). Similarly, students who were passionately motivated to practice a specific art form of their choosing benefitted from the ability to focus more effectively and increased the efficiency of their attention network in its entirety regardless of their area of study (Mariale Hardiman, 2009). Brain function and development are significantly and positively enhanced by exposure to the arts because of the impact on brainwave patterns, emotions, and the nervous system which has the ability to increase serotonin levels.

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Essay on Art and Creativity. (2022, December 27). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
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