Zachary Morris/Senior Writer
Do you believe that music and art are relevant to school? Well to many kids, music or art is their life–and according to the BR elementary long-term music substitute, Ms. Amanda Rispoli, it should be.
“Involvement in the arts has proven to raise test scores, help the brain grow, and even teach the brain new ways to learn,” says Rispoli.
In fact, most people recognize that music can enhance intellect. In fact, Kari McKeen, a character from Disney/Pixar’s The Incredibles says: “I also brought Mozart to play while he sleeps to make him smarter because leading experts say Mozart makes babies smarter.
The advantages are not just for developing improved I.Q.s.
“I think music develops social skills that you can’t get anywhere else.” said Rispoli.
Blue Ridge High School art teacher Sarrah Dibble-Camburn says, “I think that it is important for the students to have an avenue of expression, and the arts–art, music and theater–can create problems that have more than one solution, and create questions that can have more than one answer.”
“I also think it allows students to think through a process, and it can be an experiment and the art allows them to play,” says Camburn.
There is a lot of research which indicates that special needs people especially benefit from the arts.
“[For] kids with special needs, it (art) helps them learn more, and I have taken music therapy classes and it is a proven fact that it just helps them think about other things and can expand their minds to go places. And with art you can be messy.” said Rispoli.”
As for the social concern project, “it allows for expression, its hands on, it helps with fine motor skills. and helps with hand-eye coordination,” says Camburn.
As for how the arts work together, Rispoli says, “Art is a form of creative activity. Art expands your brain more than music. Basically I think art and music work very well together, they both expand your mind and thoughts to grow more.”
The academic benefits of the arts include learning about history and developing or refining math skills.
Camburn says, “Just like art, music has developed on a history timeline, so you can learn history among other things, also. Math and other subjects are found in music.”
Rispoli says, “Songs can help students’ skills in school. The kids in my fourth grade class compared music notes to fractions.”
The arts complete and round out a student’s education.
Says Camburn, “Technical skills and seeing skills are used in art. The arts, they celebrate multiple perspectives. Science, math and history can be learned through the arts. Students learn to help build, create, criticize, interpret, and evaluate.”