Why Preschool and the Arts?
Research studies have shown that exposing children to the fine and performing arts helps them improve their critical thinking skills and develop self-confidence. Preschoolers naturally respond to music, dance, art, and drama. Studies have proven that early education in performing arts and music helps children excel in other areas such as mathematics, languages, and science.
The early childhood years are important years when it comes to musical development. Children who play or sing music regularly perform better in reading and math when they begin elementary school.
Since playing, singing and dancing to music increase both fine and gross motor skills and help develop hand-eye coordination, children who are exposed early in life are better able to control their bodies. Those actively involved in music also tend to have high self-esteem and are better at playing with others.
Just 15 minutes a week of private keyboard instruction, along with group singing at pre-school, dramatically improved a kind of intelligence needed for high-level math and science, suggests a new study. “Music lessons appear to strengthen the links between brain neurons and build new spatial reasoning,” says psychologist Frances Rauscher of the University of California-Irvine.
“Music instruction can improve a child’s spatial intelligence for long periods of time — perhaps permanently, ” Rauscher told the American Psychological Association.
Her study compared 19 preschoolers who took the lessons and 14 preschool classmates enrolled in no special music programs, and the results were impressive. After eight months, she found:
- A 46% boost in spatial IQ’s for the young musicians.
- Only a 6% improvement for children not taught music.