What does the research say about arts education?

I picked a second study from Best Evidence in Brief but this is too interesting not to share, although e.g. an earlier OECD-report on the same theme was a bit more nuanced on the last element mentioned.

Child Trends has released a new research brief that identifies “five ways the arts are good for kids.” The author, David Murphey, presents existing research on the topic from several sources such as the University of Pennsylvania, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as several published articles. The conclusions are as follows:
  • Arts participation is associated with numerous positive academic and personal outcomes. According to the brief, these outcomes include higher grades and test scores, enrollment in post-secondary education, attainment of a bachelor’s degree, and higher levels of literacy and civic engagement.
  • The benefits of arts participation may be greatest for children who are economically disadvantaged. For example, the research shows that young people from poor communities tend to benefit from having one or more projects that strengthen their sense of self and connect them with peers who share their interests.
  • Arts organizations can positively influence children’s neighborhoods. According to the brief, there is some evidence that the presence of arts organizations (including performance facilities, galleries, and artists’ workspaces) helps reduce a neighborhood’s concentrated poverty and attract other creative and high-tech enterprises.
  • Children’s arts participation varies by age, gender, and educational status. For example, the research shows that students are more likely to participate in school arts activities if their parents have attained higher degrees, and if they plan to attend a 4-year college themselves.
  • Music, in particular, may give children a brain boost. According to the brief, young people who have had music training demonstrate higher cognitive skills across disciplines
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