Music and movement improves student outcomes
Recent research has shown that incorporating music, singing and movement into the classroom of the very youngest students can have a significant impact on their learning. In fact, an independent American Institutes of Research study showed how, in the classrooms of performing arts-trained teachers participating in a model STEM-focused program, students gained the equivalent of more than a month's additional math learning.
By integrating performing arts-based learning into the early childhood years of education, teachers can engage students by inspiring them to learn using all of their senses and their imaginations. By using songs, making lessons more active and incorporating role-playing exercises, students also cultivated their own creative skills and expression.
Taking this approach during daily lessons was shown to be especially useful in helping students make connections between concrete and abstract ideas – which is recognised as one of the most difficult cognitive skills to teach. Classroom results showed that learning improved in reading, math and science, as students became better critical thinkers and problem solvers.
In addition, arts integration in the classroom was shown to have the benefit of engaging with students who were shy, hesitant or disinterested, in school for the first time or who spoke a different language.