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Use Your Brain! The Many Brain Benefits of Visual Arts

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When it comes to developing an appreciation for the arts one has to consider all of the benefits that art can offer to a developing young mind. Did you know that when your child participates in visual arts programs they leave the classroom with more than just a pretty picture? As part of the learning process, valuable skills are obtained which help children excel in school subjects across the board.

Sitting still for another hour after school has just let out is an exercise in focus and concentration in itself, but art classes offer even more than that.

With younger children especially, we see a big improvement with fine motor skills. More and more hand control is gained with each careful and purposeful stroke of a brush or marker.

Visual processing (noticing the shape of lines, letters and words) and symbolic processing (transferring the visual shape to a symbolic representation) are both required as instructors help the students to look closely at a picture to reveal lines and negative spaces that resemble letters and familiar geometric shapes. Shape recognition such as this can also assist young artists in learning to read.

As students actively watch an instructor teach a drawing and then translate it to their own artwork in front of them, they are required to closely observe and improve their spatial thinking. This is particularly relevant when dealing with proportion and making sure the entire animal, person, or building fits on the page.

“Research and the experience of countless classroom educators support the view that visual arts have strong positive cognitive, emotional, social, collaborative, and neurological effects” (From Arts with the Brain in Mind, p. 68).

[ABOUT] Art Explorers classes not only build skills, but also help develop an appreciation for the arts by teaching about the history behind it. One way we do this is by teaching children about famous artists and the masterpieces they have created. Students get to explore different styles of art and then use that inspiration to create their own beautiful artwork. One example can be seen in this students painting of a bull, done in the abstract cubist style of Pablo Picasso.

June 10, 2015

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