Skip Navigation
Arts in Education
Always among the highest expression of every culture, the arts teach us much about every historical period through its literature, visual arts, music, dance, and drama. Today it is recognized that to be truly well educated one must not only learn to appreciate the arts, but must have rich opportunities to actively participate in creative work. The arts are languages that most people speak, cutting through individual differences in culture, educational background, and ability. They can bring every subject to life and turn abstractions into concrete reality. Learning through the arts often results in greater academic achievement and higher test scores.


Learning Through the Arts
Dee Dickinson
This report presents a synthesis of the research on the contribution of arts education to learning. It presents information on Seattle schools and others that have incorporated the arts successfully. The report discusses the relationship between the arts and cognition and the ways each art form promotes unique ways of knowing.

Research-Based Justification for the Highline School District Elementary and Secondary School Music Programs
Sandra Locklear
A report updated for 2008 on current research indicating the positive outcomes of an arts education for all children.

Arts, Neuroscience, and Learning
James E. Zull
Is it possible to discuss art in terms of science? If all human behavior and achievement is the result of physical and chemical events in our brain, then ultimately we should be able to do this.

Getting to the Top: Arts Essential Academic Learning Requirements
Doug Herbert
How to make the arts a core subject.

Arts Essential Learnings
How students can demonstrate their learning in the arts.

A Conversation with Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee on his 2004-06 Education Commission of the States Chairman's Initiative: The Arts – A Lifetime of Learning
The Education Commission of the States Focuses on Integrating the Arts in Education. A press release of the announcement is followed by an interview with new chairman, Governor Mike Huckabee.

Teaching Basics Through the Arts
Mona Brookes
The founder of Monart Drawing Schools discusses the important role drawing can play in elementary education.

Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Social and Academic Development
James Catterall
The results of numerous studies on the arts in education further cement the importance of the arts.

Boston Public Schools as Arts-Integrated Learning Organizations
Eric Oddleifson
The arts as core curriculum.

Every Child Needs the Arts
Charles Fowler
According to Dr Fowler, "if human beings are to survive, we need all the symbolic forms at our command because they permit us not only to preserve and pass along our accumulated wisdom but also to give voice to the invention of new visions."

The Necessary Role of the Arts in Education and Society: Finding the Creative Power Within Us to Control Our Lives and Shape Our Destinies Eric Oddleifson
How the arts can transform society as we know it.

The Window: Saving Creativity in Teens
Sebastian Lockwood
A college teacher and bard urges educators to continue to teach students to develop the processes of creativity as they grow.

Learning Through Creative Play
Leah Mann
Director Emeritus and Co-Founder of Lelavision shows us how learning and play can reinforce each other.

A Case for the Arts in Education
Christine Goodheart
The director for the K-12 Initiatives for Education at the University of Washington makes a case for the importance of the arts in education.

Why Arts Are Important
Dee Dickinson
Fifteen answers to the question "why are arts important?" are listed here.

The Arts are Nice, But . . .
Stephanie B. Perrin
An arts education is part of the "real world."

A Fifty School Arts Education Demonstration Project
Eric Oddleifson
How the arts can help failing schools succeed.

Building a School Culture of High Standards
Ron Berger
What does a conception of art have to do with high standards? It means seeing art as inextricably a part of all that we produce and share.

Confessions of a Professional Volunteer
Mary Anne Dorward
A mother relates the story of her volunteer work at her daughter's elementary school and the transformation she was able to bring about. A story to inspire us all.

I Made It By Myself
Richard Lewis
Play is the great discoverer, and its discoveries are the frontiers and landscapes of our imagining mind. While our hands play, the inner realms of our imagination grow. We literally learn to see through playing and imagining, a world not only in front of us, but a deeper world suggested by the dance of our imagining self.

Education Through the Arts in Secondary Schools
Stephanie B. Perrin
Intensive arts training, far from being impractical and elitist, can prepare students for life and work by developing in them the general skills and attitudes, the habits of heart and mind they need to prevail in postmodern society no matter what career they chose.

Creative Schools, Connected Communities: Developing Partnerships for Arts Education
Louis Fox and Christine Goodheart
How do schools create an effective arts program without proper funding? This article explains the partnership idea and shows us how vital the arts are to education.

Arts-Infused Summer School
Susy Watts
A national consultant in arts consultant in arts curriculum demonstrates the effect of integrated instruction on student achievement in literacy and mathematics.

Report on the Learning Through the Arts Conference at IslandWood
Lee Ann Woolery
A report on a recent, highly successful conference on Learning Through the Arts, With Emphasis on Math, Language Arts, and Science.

Arts Learning and the Creative Economy
Jack Yantis
Integrated Arts educator recognizes that creativity is essential to the way we live and work today and contemplates how professional development will be reformed to discover new ways to foster creativity while providing a structure in which to produce and manage work.

Community Schools: Arts and Academics After School
Joel Isaksen
The Community Schools Manager for Seattle's Powerful Schools describes the five guiding principles in the development of their programs.

The Story of Arts Corps
Lisa Fitzhugh
The story of a remarkable arts organization and its founder will inspire many on both personal and professional levels.

Filling the Gap in After-School Arts Education: A report on a new organization's progress in the community
Lisa Fitzhugh
The results of the Arts Corps program, whose mission is to providing quality after-school arts education classes free to youth, particularly in underserved, low- and middle-income neighborhoods, support their vision that art has a transforming effect on youth that will have a ripple effect in the community, building communities that are more compassionate and innovative.

Coming Up Taller
Judith Weitz
The Coming Up Taller Awards support after school, weekend, and summer arts and humanities programs that use the arts, words, and ideas to provide children with paths to self-discovery, self-expression, and self-confidence.

The Value of the Arts to the Community and Education
AnnRené Joseph
Ms. Joseph shares numerous quotations that reinforce the importance of the arts in education.

More Arts! It's Essential and the Law!
AnnRené Joseph
The Program Supervisor for the Arts at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Olympia, Washington offers critically important , practical, and timely information regarding the importance of the arts in education.

Education at the Museum of Glass
Susan Warner
Director of Education for the Museum of Glass describes the value of active, integrated project-based learning in their program.

Seattle Center Academy: Reach For It
Cinda Johnson
The evaluator of a highly successful, unique summer program in the arts describes how special needs students benefit from inclusion in such a program.

ArtsPlace: It Really Works!
Sharon Nesbitt Davis and Claire Rotolo
An out of school program in Illinois puts teens to work as apprentices to local artists.

Art Therapy: A Proposal for Inclusion in School Settings
Eve C. Jarboe
Ms. Jarboe explains the basics of art therapy and makes a case for its addition to school counseling programs.

An Interview with Robert E. Horn
Robert E. Horn Horn talks about his research on visual language and the implications for curriculum development and teaching.

The Nature Journal as a Tool for Learning
Karen Matsumoto
Drawing their observations in a field journal can be a powerful way for students to get to know their natural community and the geography of their home environment.

Knowing the Language of Place Through the Arts
Lee Ann Woolery
Arts Coordinator of IslandWood uses art as a way of connecting with the landscape to more deeply understand the ecology and make a stronger connection to place.

Finding a Relationship To Place Through Natural Fiber Weaving
Melinda West
Hands-on natural fiber projects derived from the local traditional cultures and native plants of any given area of the world can open a doorway to place, providing new skills for expressing a relationship to the land.

Music and the Mind
Dee Dickinson
Dee Dickinson discusses reports that attest to the connection between music and academic achievement.

Music for Educators: Music, Literacy and Standards
Alan Warhaftig
With so much attention focused on reading and math, what will be the role of the arts, including music, in the new order of education? Alan Warhaftig shows us the vital role the arts play in teaching standards.

Music and Learning: Integrating Music in the Classroom
Chris Brewer
A musician and master teacher offers successful guidelines and strategies for incorporating music into the learning environment.

Interactive Music Strategies for the Academic Curriculum
Michelle Lazar
A gifted musician and teacher describes practical ways to use music as another multi-sensory approach to teaching math, literacy, science, and social studies.

Left Handed Music Making
Ryan Thomson
This article explores the tradition of violin playing that has the player fingering with the left hand and bowing with the right. It challenges this form as "the right way" for those who are naturally left-handed, and explores a number of related handedness issues.

"Musicians' Tools" for the Workplace
Peggy Rostron
The author, founder of the Maestro Effect, director of the Rostron Piano School and symphony pianist, describes how adults who have never had musical training can learn aspects of music and music-making and use it to enhance workplace performance.

An Excerpt from Learning From Lyrics
Johnathan Chase
Chase makes a case for the educational use of songs by teachers in all subject areas.

Making Music With Your Child
Kia Portafekas
A music educator shows how to create and use music in all types of everyday situations in and out of the classroom.

Music Activities as a Cognitive Tool for the Enhancement of Analytical Perception, Comparison, and Synthesis for the Blind Learner
Adena Portowitz
Music can be used to train the mind in abstract thought.

Waldorf Approach Offers Hope in Schools for Juvenile Offenders
Arline Monks
An experimental program for juvenile offenders in Yuba County, California utilizes Waldorf methods and curricula in two schools, T.E. Mathews Community School, a school for twelve-to-eighteen year-old offenders who are under a court order to attend, and The Garden Court School in Juvenile Hall, a lock-up facility. Waldorf methods have had a dramatic affect on teachers and students, and principal Ruth Mikkelson is looking to apply the approach in other schools that serve at-risk youth.

Providing Meaningful Learning Through Story and an Inquiry Approach to Science Education
Kathleen Carroll
The author discusses her book and audiotape Sing a Song of Science which teachers can use to reinforce students' concrete experiences with scientific phenomena.

Creative Dramatics in the Classroom
Dee Dickinson
All teachers can use these strategies for bringing any subject to life through dramatic improvisation.

Drama and Teaching Math
Mark Wahl
Arts integration is for every discipline. Mark Wahl shows us how drama can enhance the teaching of math.

The Cappies: Celebrating High School Theater Like Never Before
Bill Strauss and Judy Bowns
A new program for showcasing the acheivements of high school theater students and critics.

Festival in the Workplace: Igniting Passion for World Class Excellence
Roosevelt Finlayson and Patrice A. Francis
Ways in which drama and artistic creation can make work fun.

Limbic Limbo
Leah Mann
An accomplished dancer and gymnast describes the importance of helping all students to develop imagination and creative thinking, tapping into their inner artist.

Language of Dance Distance Exchange Program: Drop From Above-- Dance Across the Pond
Jane Dulieu
The author discusses bringing children of two different cultures together with dance.

Movement is the Key to Learning
Anne Green Gilbert
Bringing dance into your classroom will not only increase learning, but will make your classroom a healthier, happier place to learn and teach.

A Brain Compatible Approach to Studio Dance
Anne Green Gilbert
The Artistic Director of Seattle Creative Dance Center details her studio's approach of integrating current brain research into the teaching of dance concepts and techniques.

Natural Connections: Developing the Personal Intelligences Though Music and Movement
Judy Bonne
The author, Principal of Grayline Elementary, explains the POWER SKILLS program which the school pilots as part of its School Improvement Plan. Based upon the musical, inter and interpersonal components of the theory of multiple intelligences, the program is in its third year of schoolwide implementation. The results are significant. The interventions are powerful enough to improve learning.

The Arts Journey in Progress
AnnRené Joseph
The Program Supervisor for the Arts at the Washington State Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction updates her report on Washington State's arts assessment program to assure the inclusion of the arts as an Essential Academic Learning Requirement in the K-12 curriculum.

Recommended Reading


The Power of the Arts: Creative Strategies for Teaching Exceptional Learners
by Sally L. Smith
Paul H. Brookes Publishing Company, 2001
ISBN 1557664846

Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning
Edited by Edward B. Fiske
The Arts Education Partnership
The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Releasing the Imagination: Essays on Education, the Arts, and Social Change
by Maxine Greene
Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated, 2000
ISBN: 0-7879-5291—5

Coming Up Taller
Edited by Elizabeth Murfee
Arts and Humanities Programs for Children and Youth at Risk President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities

Art Matters
Eileen S. Prince
Zephyr Press, 2001
ISBN: 1569761299

Making Music With Your Child
Kia Portafekas and Karen E.Marlow
MMB Music, 2001
ISBN: 1581060130

Visual Language: Global Communication for the 21st Century
Robert E. Horn
MacroVU Press, 1999
ISBN 1-892637-09-X

The Mozart Effect for Children: Awakening Your Child's Mind, Health and Creativity with Music
by Don Campbell
William Morrow, 2000
ISBN: 0-380-97782-6

Science Songs and Stories
by Kathleen Carroll
Zephyr Press, 1999
ISBN 156976090X

Creativity: The Flowering Tornado
Ginny Ruffner
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2003
ISBN: 0892800402

Related Links

Arts Resources on the Web compiled by Jonathan Block

Arts in Education
Links from Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory. Be patient, this link takes a minute to open because it is a large database.

The national arts and education network, based at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. This site offers lesson plan ideas.

National Arts & Learning Collaborative
NALC is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming US schools by providing students with opportunities to learn in and through the arts in school and in after school programs. NALC works to develop, implement, and evaluate model programs incorporating the arts into urban school districts where the needs are greatest.

The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
View artworks and find teacher guides and other learning resources here. Large image database.

The National Gallery of Art
Digital images, tours and more.

Centre for Creative Communities
The centre, based in the UK, believes that the arts and creativity are central to human development and essential elements in building sustainable communities.

CARTS: Cultural Arts Resources for Teachers and Students
A clearinghouse of online resources pertaining to folklore, anthropology, traditional arts, oral history, and community-based education. Co-sponsored by the National Task Force on Folk Arts in Education and City Lore, CARTS is designed to serve the needs of K-12 educators, students, and community members interested in developing meaningful linkages between school curricula and local cultural traditions. Teachers will be interested in the folklorist mentoring project. A stipend is available for teachers to develop folklore-related projects in their classrooms.

Musicians United for Songs In the Classroom, Inc.
M.U.S.I.C. is a nonprofit organization promoting arts integration through the study of popular music.

Jeffrey Peyton of Puppetools says "using puppets (visual, emotive, playful media) will lead you into a different dimension of teaching and communicating. It will challenge and transcend the limited behavior and communication patterns handed down to you by your training and expected of you in the classroom. " Visit the website for a free teacher workshop and puppet patterns.

Connecting Math and Art
The article is illustrated with examples of math/art projects that are aesthetically beautiful and mathematically interesting.

© August 2006

Search New Horizons


New Horizons Links

New Horizons home

About Us (NHFL)

Current Journal

Submission Guidelines


Follow us on Facebook, Linked In, and Twitter!

Facebook Icon Twitter Icon LinkedIn Icon

New Horizons Shop

Featured Item: Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning: Insights from a Neurologist and Classroom Teacher

By Judy Willis | Purchase

Visit the New Horizons store on for more selections

New Horizons store on