“Because it’s the artists of the world, the feelers and the thinkers, who will ultimately save us, who can articulate, educate, defy, insist, sing, and shout the big dreams. Only the artists can turn the ‘Not Yet’ into reality. . . .” Leonard Bernstein
When students study voice, they are doing more than just learning how to sing – they are helping themselves in many other ways as well. They are learning judgment, as they listen to the sounds they are making, and learn to realistically assess and shape them into something that sounds musical. They are learning persistence, as they practice their songs over and over, improving with each repetition: this, in turn, develops memory skills. They are using critical thinking when judging and assessing new experiences, learning to make more grounded, informed decisions. They are learning communication skills, as they work as part of a team with their voice teacher. They are learning empathy as they share experiences with like-minded students. And finally, they learn pride in accomplishment, boosting their self-esteem and identity even as they recognize the value in working hard.
“When students engage with the arts, they may be able to develop skills that facilitate and enhance their learning throughout the school day and that will benefit them throughout their lives. From improving their ability to express themselves and honing their creativity, to promoting the value of hard work in achieving certain objectives, arts education can push children and adolescents to become more effective students and, in the long run, can better prepare them to navigate the challenges of the 21st century.”
from the NCTL Project, sponsored by the Wallace Foundation (2012)
“Students who have arts-rich experiences in school do better across-the-board academically, and they also become more active and engaged citizens, voting, volunteering, and generally participating at higher rates than their peers.”
from “The Arts and Achievement in At-Risk Youth,” sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts (2012)
“There is obviously a connection between involvement in arts courses and higher academic achievement. These findings are consistent with decades of research revealing that studying music and other arts disciplines improves cognitive abilities that are used in other academic areas such as mathematics, reading and science. Other studies have shown that fine arts courses keep students involved in school, thus reducing the drop out rate, and that is also reflected in this analysis.”
Robert Floyd, chair of the Texas Coalition for Quality Arts Education (2007)