#BecauseofArtsEd: Arts Education and Me

Reminiscing on the impact arts education had on me

Posted Sep 14, 2016

Image courtesy of istockphoto.com
Source: Image courtesy of istockphoto.com

It will come as no surprise to those who follow my blog posts that I am a big proponent of arts education. I’ve blogged about the reported benefits of including arts in education, have provided ideas of engaging young kids in music, and have highlighted the intrinsic benefits of being trained as a musician

This week marks the annual National Arts in Education week sponsored by Americans for the Arts. In support of the cause, I share with you how having an education that included the arts impacted me.

In other words, #becauseofartsed:

  1. I have found work about which I am truly passionate.
  2. I had a strong group of friends in high school and college.
  3. I gained in confidence and self-esteem.
  4. I got to travel the world. 
  5. I experienced handling defeat and disappointment.
  6. I learned and practiced discipline.
  7. I’ve reaped the results of hard work.
  8. I’ve a deep appreciation for beauty—in nature, buildings, visual arts, musical arts, people…
  9. I became a leader.
  10. I started my children in their own arts education experience early…and regularly get to witness the joy on their face as they play, perform, improvise, and compose music.

These are the ways in which my education in the arts (in music specifically for me) impacted my childhood and adolescent years, and continues to impact me as an adult.

It's worth pointing out that nothing on this list speaks to an extrinsic benefit of arts education. When I think of how my experiences in music education impacted me, I don't think of my math skills or language skills. Rather, the most poignant benefits are social, emotional, experiential, and character-building in nature. They relate to shared experiences I had with friends. They involve persistence and the rewards involved in working hard towards a goal and meeting (or even not meeting) said goal. They include life and character-building lessons I value and try to instill in my own children. 

The trajectory of my life right now is largely #becauseofartsed, and I'm grateful for that.

So tell me…what impact did arts education have on you?

Follow me on Twitter @KimberlySMoore for daily updates on the latest research and articles related to music, music therapy, and music and the brain. I invite you also to check out my website, www.MusicTherapyMaven.com, for additional information, resources, and strategies.