Advantages of the Fine Arts in Education
As previously stated, the fine arts in relation to education are broken up into four categories: dance, theater/drama, music, and visual arts. Each of these areas provides the student different advantages which can be implemented into all other academic classes. “Recent studies prove that integrating the arts into education enhances a student's development and performance. Students learning through the arts are more able to think at a higher level, collaborate with their peers, and score higher on standardized tests” (AATE, 2003).
Dance is a key aspect of the fine arts. “Dance in education uses dance to help students understand basic concepts taught in other mainstream subjects . . . Dance education explores body movement, instilling in the process, creative thinking in the child” (Rodgers, 2004). Dance also helps children to gain self-confidence because they learn techniques and are able to perform them. Theater also educates students with memorization and performance skills. “Linking live theatre with students is an excellent way to develop students cultural identity, strengthen ties to the community and improve student learning” (AATE, 2003). Music in education is also a highly valued discipline. “The benefits conveyed by music education can be grouped in four categories: success in society, success in school, success in developing intelligence, and success in life” (MENC, 2003). Finally, visual arts is an essential element of fine arts in application to other academics. It helps with perception, production, knowledge, communication, evaluation, and connection. “Visual arts education is a multifaceted creative process. It includes the development of perceptual awareness and the ability to use materials expressively. In addition, creative and critical thinking are taught and identified as: generative, imaginative, metaphorical, analytical, synthetic, and collaborative” (NCPS, 2004).
The main evaluation that teachers use to assess students in fine art classes in school is performance-based tests. These tests vary from each area, and judge different aspects within the discipline. In all areas of fine arts, performance-based tests require the student to physically demonstrate his or her abilities to the instructor.
One area of fine arts education is dance. “Dance is the art of gesture and movement. It transforms images, ideas, and feelings into sequences that are personally and socially significant. Dance organizes physical energy within time and space, and may draw from the power of music, literature, drama, and the visual arts. It is a natural means of communication and expression that integrates movement, feeling, and intellect” (Ministry of Education, 1998). Dance in education can have a myriad of positive effects on students. Skills and abilities learned in a dance classroom can also be applied to all academic settings. It teaches you how to work in groups as...