The Effect of Fine Arts Instruction on Cognitive Development

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The Effect of Fine Arts Instruction on Cognitive Development Does participating in the fine arts really improve a students’ intelligence? Many researchers have conducted tests to see if music instruction has an effect. “The arts traditionally have been valued as enriching a person’s life, but new research has found that music and art also stimulate brain development and enhance cognitive development” (Ferguson, 2000, para. 1-2). Cognitive is defined as relating to, being, or involving intellectual activity (Merriam-Webster, 2003). Studies on cognitive development are about student intelligence developing and improving. Numerous research studies and tests have been conducted which have shown a positive correlation between fine arts instruction and education and cognitive development in children. Positive test results have shown that this is true. Different findings have suggested that “different types of music instruction affect different aspects of cognition” (Rauscher, 2003, pp. 3-4). Rauscher found effects from a number of research studies, connecting keyboard instruction and aspects of cognition. In one of these tests, the preschoolers that were tested showed a 46 percent boost in their spatial IQ after taking eight months of keyboard lessons (Rauscher, 2003). Another test showed students scoring 51 points higher on verbal and 39 points higher on math from their SATs after participating in fine arts (Mitofsky, 2002). Scientific studies have shown how active music making, as opposed to passive listening improves brainpower. This increases spatial-temporal reasoning, and increases test scores (AMC, 2004). Rauscher’s examples from research studies on keyboard instruction show how results are more effective... ... middle of paper ... ...peck23.html The OMA is a program designed to help keep fine arts alive and improve students’ intelligences through fine arts. It talks about how we can not afford to not have the fine arts. Waggoner, T. (1999). The center for educator development in fine arts. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://finearts.esc20.net/default.html. The Center for Educator Development in Fine Arts is designed to help fine art educators develop new and better ways of teaching. It describes useful technology, curriculums and ideas. Vandewarker, A. S. Music in technology. Retrieved October 20, 2004 from http://www.remc11.k12.mi.us/bstpract/bstpractNew/FineArtsEL.html This is a music lesson plan designed to incorporate technology into music. The idea is to let students learn about their favorite music while learning about today’s technology.

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