From Picasso to finger painting, Beethoven to Hot Cross Buns on a recorder, art appreciation should be a priority and value for all teachers and parents educating young people. At Self Development Academy, we highly value the arts, starting with our very youngest students.


There are so many studies on why the arts matter. Consider these benefits  of art appreciation to children and adults alike:


Art enables self expression and communication.


Regardless of age, artists memorialize, celebrate, lament, and capture a moment or idea to share with their audience. Children sing songs when they’re happy. Or scribble wildly when they’re angry. Or make Play-doh hamburgers just like mom made for dinner last night.


The act of creating art is a full-body experience. While the brain is firing up thoughts and ideas, hands tickle the ivory keys or dab paint. Ears tune in to melodies or deep breaths take in a fresh box of crayons. Observing a painting of an orange can elicit smells in the viewer, who might imagine exactly how it feels and tastes. Or a song composed by a heartbroken musician can bring a listener to tears.


Art cultivates a positive worldview and outlook.


When children learn to appreciate a piece of music, a dance, or visual art, they find beauty and meaning in the work of art.  Once we begin to recognize what we like about certain artists’ work, we find examples and inspiration everywhere.


A rainy day that may bring gloom and melancholy to one person will inspire another with the rhythm of raindrops, the smell of a storm, the beauty of steam dancing above hot asphalt.


Even pain and tragedy can be used for good when they inspire pieces of art and unify the community in shared grief and healing. Consider war memorials that draw viewers from around the world or headstones made of beautiful marble and embellished with blooming flowers.


Art creates well-rounded students and improves outcomes across the board.


Anyone can be an artist. We should all consider ourselves one, regardless of talent or skill. Appreciating others’ art and creating our own uses both the left and right sides of the brain. We analyze, investigate, emote, ponder, and so much more.


This study shows that art integration – that is weaving the arts into other subjects — improves outcomes across the board, especially for students in grades kindergarten through 8th grade. Performance in subjects like mathematics, reading, social studies, and science benefits from exposure to art in connection with the subject matter.


If you’re looking for a school that values the arts, check us out. Self Development Academy is recognized as one of the best K-8 charter schools nationwide. We have campuses in Phoenix and Mesa. Find email and phone numbers here. We can’t wait to hear from you!