When we talk about ‘the arts’, we’re referring to visual art (drawing, painting etc.), music, drama and dance. These aren’t just ‘nice to have’ subjects. There's a heap of reasons why it’s vital these subjects are included in the New Zealand school curriculum.
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1. The arts offer children ways of learning and expressing their thoughts and feelings that aren’t always reliant on words and numbers.
2. The arts are primarily about helping children give expression to their innate creativity but the skills children master in these subjects tend to positively impact on traditional learning subjects such as reading, writing and maths.
3. To develop musicality in young children, sing with them, play music, dance, talk about music and bring them to live concerts.
4. Music lessons are valuable and experts say switching instruments can be a positive thing as children learn to transfer their skills.
5. Speech and drama is especially important in this age of digital communication. It helps children to listen, to speak clearly and say what they want to say. It also helps them to develop confidence in their bodies and expands their vocabulary.