Learning, Arts, and the Brain
5/26/2008 2:36:42 PM
I believe that the arts makes people smarter. While studies have not been conclusive, one by Laura-Ann Petitto from the University of Toronto showed that students involved in either dance or music taught students to selectively focus their attention on specific tasks and resist responding to competing signals.
Ms. Petitto's findings are further supported by results found by Peter Perret, conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony. After his introduction of music classes at Bolton Elementary School the percent of students at or above state standards shot up by 45%. This was just after one year!
Think of how musically educating students for 13 years, from K to 12th grade, could affect their intellects. Personally, at the high school I attend (I am a freshmen), most (about half) of the top 10% of students are involved in music, whether it be chorus, band, or orchestra. I find that band helps me learn to be more open-minded and to manage my time more efficiently.