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KiLynn Scott

Mrs. Cramer

Comp Pd. 2

30 Nov. 2018

The Arts Improve Students

“Teachers don’t teach a subject- they teach kids,” said Dick Deasy, Arts Education

Partnership Director. Arts education includes a wide variety of subjects, all of which build

different life skills. The arts, to many individuals like Deasy, are a wide range of subjects that

anyone can enjoy. A person only needs to be able to perform or create one. If a student has a

passion and talent for painting, then they wouldn’t join the band, right? They wouldn’t, just as

the band student wouldn’t normally wish to take up painting.1 The life skills learned from each

type of art can be used in normal everyday life, like math. Schools must teach the arts because

arts education teaches discipline and improves academic performance.

To start, the arts are a healthy way of expression and a release of creativity, giving room

for a student to find himself without causing trouble. A student who tends to find trouble, also

tends to do drugs such as marijuana or heroine. In a study done in 2013 by Elpus, it was found

that for adolescents, music students were twenty-five percent less likely to use marijuana and

dancers were forty-seven percent less likely to use marijuana 2 (Brown 3). The student involved

in the arts know what illegal substances can do to them and how it can affect their performance.

1Hypophora- This example gives readers a chance to think about how students feel when put in their elements.
2Logos- The percentages in this are from a study and are used to give the reader an amount. This is to show the
reader how each form of art changes the possibility of students illegally using marijuana.
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They also have a higher sense of attachment in school, because they are being occupied with

something to do in their spare time. Moreover, a student may feel like they cannot find “their

place” and will sulk through classes such as algebra or composition feeling bored and

unmotivated. Those same students act out in the classroom, the cafeteria, the halls. The arts are a

tool that can bring the student to be better behaved and more engaged. Therefore, the arts are a

way to engage them, and a more engaged student is one who learns more.

On the other hand, those who oppose the arts may say that the arts only make a

problematic student more troublesome and harder to control. They may say, “Once a trouble

maker, always a troublemaker.” 3 The student may take drastic measures to attend a practice,

rehearsal, or performance despite the student having been penalized by the school. A student

who was a large troublemaker and was deemed a problematic student was suspended around the

time he began helping for the school play. This student was sneaking back onto school grounds

despite being banned for a certain amount of days, for acting. He broke more rules and could

have had his suspension extended or he could have been expelled (Bauerlein). This student was

misbehaved, yet he was only engaging in something he found an interest in. The student

happened to only have found it a little late. The should have served the suspension and not have

snuck onto school grounds. However, he was engaging and showing discipline by being on time

and not missing a single rehearsal. A student involved drama or in the musical arts tends to have

more of a sense to be on time and to not skip lessons or practices.

Secondly, arts education improves a student’s overall academic performance. A study on

relationships of a student's involvement in the arts and his SAT scores showed that students

3 Parallelism- This shows the reader that people may see troublemakers as being nothing more than that.
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involved with the arts for four or more years, had higher test scores than those who had less time

in the arts (Ruppert). This showed that students who took a form of the arts had learned a

multitude of different skills to improve their understanding of certain subjects. The student can

learn multiple life skills with each type of art. These skills include; “critiquing themselves,

experimenting, reflecting, learning from their mistakes, managing behavior, making decisions,

maintaining a positive self-concept...” (Brown 2). The student is likely to gain more

understanding of the real world from an education in the arts, than one who does not indulge in

the arts.

However, people would say that the arts are unnecessary and teach nothing important.

There are people who believe the arts are a waste of funding and are less important than math.

These people believe that the arts do not teach as many life skills as science or math, when in

fact the arts do. The arts can teach a student about the popular ways a political view was

represented throughout history, or how the people in that time were portrayed. The student could

observe the way people lived, died, and the way that people were criticized in different points in

history. The student needs math to draw, sing, play an instrument, or dance. They need to be able

to count with rhythm to figure out where to play certain notes or do a certain move. The art

student needs to be able to measure so that their pottery, drawing, sketch, 3D model, or sculpture

is the correct size. The art student also learns geometry to be able to make their art the correct

shapes, and art students work with mathematical terms such as translation for a type of hand

drawn art. The arts teach a student not only life skills but enhance the things they learn from

other classes such as math or history.

Therefore, the arts in schools teach discipline and helps students improve academic

performance. A school is a place of learning, about oneself and the world around him. The
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student needs many factors to be successful in school. The key to a successful student is being

disciplined and excelling academically. The arts can help a student improve behaviorally and

academically. If a teacher is to teach students, then how is a student to learn if he cannot behave

or understand what is being taught?

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Works Cited

Bauerlein, Mark. "Advocating for Arts in the classroom: academic discipline or

instrument of personal change?" Education Next, vol. 10, no. 4, 2010, p. 42+.

Opposing Viewpoints in Context,


id=e86ce648. Accessed 26 Nov. 2018.

Brown, K. The arts and dropout prevention: The power of art to engage [White paper].

Clemson, SC: National Dropout Prevention Center/Network. (2017) Retrieved

from www.dropoutprevention.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/arts-and-dropout-

prevention-2017-10.pdf. Accessed 26 Nov. 2018

Ruppert, Sandra. Critical Evidence: How the ARTS Benefit Student Achievement.

Washington, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies in collaboration with the

Arts Education Partnership, 2006.