Educational impacts of arts and culture

This section comprises a relatively large number of studies that describe the educational impact of engaging in arts and culture. Most of the research focuses on children and young people. This includes activity within formal educational settings as well as out-of-school and informal learning experiences.

For more information about this area of research we would advise contacting the Cultural Learning Alliance or visiting ArtsEdSearch (a resource specifically dedicated to research in this area).

The summaries in this category are:

Arts education for disadvantaged children improves test scores and behaviour

This research was conducted by Adam Winsler and four others at George Mason University and the University of California Irvine, USA.

Summary

This paper charts the early school years of more than 30,000 children from low income backgrounds at 190 schools in Florida, USA. It concentrates on children aged 11 …

Music lessons associated with improved test scores for Science, Maths and English

This research was conducted by Martin Guhn, Scott D. Emerson, and Peter Gouzouasis at The University of British Columbia, Canada

Summary

This study is based on data from more than 110,000 public school students in Canada. It examined the relationships between music education, which included ‘any participation, type of participation …

Using the arts to help prepare children for school success

This research was conducted by Mary Lou Greene and Shlomo Sawilowsky at Marygrove College and Wayne State University, USA

Summary

This study looked at students, teachers, parents and carers in Detroit who were participants in the Wolf Trap’s ‘Early Learning Through the Arts’ programme. This programme included dedicated activities for …

Low-income children benefit emotionally from arts-integrated preschool programming

This research was conducted by Eleanor D. Brown and Kacey L. Sax at West Chester University of Pennsylvania, USA.

Summary

This study reports on the effects of a preschool arts enrichment programme on the emotional functioning of low-income children at risk of school problems. Results showed greater expression of positive emotions …

By | 8 March 2018 |

Music can enhance children’s transition to school

This research was conducted by Shulamit Ritblatt, Sascha Longstreth, Audrey Hokoda, Bobbi-Nicole Cannon and Joanna Weston at San Diego State University, USA.

Summary

In the United States the notion that by school age 'all children will be ready to learn' is a national education goal. In reality this is often not …

By | 1 March 2018 |

Prolonged arts education reduces stress in children from low-income households

This research was conducted by Eleanor D. Brown, Mallory L. Garnett, and Kate E. Anderson at West Chester University and Jean-Philippe Laurenceau at the University of Delaware, USA.

Summary

Children growing up in deprived households are known to experience higher levels of physiological stress, which in turn results in a range …

By | 19 February 2018 |

An art museum visit can enhance students’ critical thinking skills

This research was conducted by Brian Kisida, Daniel H. Bowen, and JP Greene at the University of Arkansas, USA.

Summary

This study highlights the positive influence school visits to museums can have on the critical thinking skills of grade 3-12 students (aged 8-18). The results suggest that in some instances, disadvantaged …

By | 12 February 2018 |

The positive impacts of active music participation for infants

This research was conducted by David Gerry, Andrea Unrau and Laurel J. Trainor at McMaster University, Canada.

Summary

To understand the developmental impact of active participation in music, this study worked with two groups of six-month old infants who attended music-based sessions with teachers and their parents. One group participated in …

By | 10 August 2017 |

The effects of music training on hearing in children

This research was conducted by Asal Habibi, B. Rael Cahn, Antonio Damasio and Hanna Damasio at the University of Southern California, USA.

Summary

This study found that children engaged in music training had an enhanced ability to detect changes in pitch and to process sounds, compared with children who were not …

By | 3 August 2017 |

Playing a musical instrument increases educational attainment

This research was conducted by Philip Yang at Eberhard Karls University, Germany

Summary

This research used a survey of German teenagers to investigate the relationship between educational attainment and playing a musical instrument, either in early childhood or during one’s teenage years. The survey asked a sample of 17 year-olds …

By | 2 March 2016 |