We recently came across an article titled “How Arts Training Improves Attention and Cognition.” It was published on the website for The Dana Foundation (www.dana.org), an organization dedicated to supporting science, health, and education.

We wanted to share this article with you because it’s relevant to what you do every day. This article provides a scientific reason why arts education is so vital for the development of our children.

The article goes in depth explaining the research that supports why the authors believe training in the arts transfers to other cognitive abilities—namely, attention, learning, memory, and decision-making.

The article is long, so here are the 7 major points:

  1. Focused training in any art (music, dance, theater) strengthens our attention system.
  2. If your attention is improved, your overall cognitive ability improves.
  3. Music training changes the regions in our brain for musical processing, motor skills, and auditory skills.
  4. The executive attention network helps control emotions, focus our thoughts, build empathy, and control our impulses. If it’s working and efficient, we will do better in school. (and it may also up our IQ).
  5. Research suggests that training in the arts improves the efficiency of our executive attention network…thereby improving our IQ!
  6. Arts training is not a “one size fits all” solution. It will depend on the child’s personality and genetic predispositions.
  7. There’s some evidence that music training also helps with math and reading skills.

We highly recommend you read the article in full. It’s full of good information and research. To read the article in it’s entirety, click here.