Creating art or music can bring ample rewards, in the moment and in the student and community’s future. Consider these research-based examples:
Students who had arts-rich experiences in high school were more likely to have higher GPAs and attend college than students who lacked the arts. Some 61 percent of 12th graders with ample arts in high school planned to earn a bachelor’s degree, compared to 42 percent of those with low arts involvement, according to National Endowment for the Arts, or NEA, research.
Students with intensive arts experiences in high school were three times more likely than students who lacked such experiences to earn a bachelor’s degree. That means 17 percent of arts students graduated from a university compared to 5 percent of those without arts, according to the NEA. And they are also almost twice as likely to have volunteered within two years.
Learning to play Chopin or paint like Monet could lead to business or scientific rewards later. Children who had art or music classes eventually were far more likely to become a CEO or research scientists with patents to their credit, Michigan State University researchers found. See this article in Quartz, "CEOs and inventors most likely took art or music lessons as a kid." Or this one by Michigan State University Today, "A Young Picasso or Beethoven Could Be the Next Edison."
Young people who have a passion or identity project – such as making art or dancing – are more likely to graduate from high school – and also more likely to be in college or working – than those without it. These passions serve as a life raft, keeping them out of gangs and off the streets and in school, according to researchers Coming of Age in the Other America research in Baltimore found. Click here to read the first chapter of Coming of Age in the Other America, '“Different Privileges That Different People Inherit”: Social Reproduction and the Transition to Adulthood.' Or this article from The Atlantic gives a quick overview of their findings: Read "Why Do Some Poor Kids Thrive?" here.