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How Art Education Improves a Child’s Confidence and Self-Esteem

Boy music guitar

Building self-esteem and more through the arts

Art education can:

  • Instill pride and self-confidence
  • Build perseverance and a good work ethic
  • Help develop real-world skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication
  • Help with cognitive development, hand-eye coordination, and spatial recognition
  • Help children “find their voice” and express themselves
  • Improve test scores and academic achievement

With the increased emphasis on STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math), many educators worry that students might be missing an important element of a well-rounded education…the arts. While STEM subjects are vital to learn and apply, the arts are just as important. Some doubt the need for art education but it is integral to a child’s growth in several ways.

Performing and visual arts are essential to a children’s and teenager’s mental, emotional, and social development. Participating in music, drama, painting/drawing, dance, and more can help improve a child’s confidence and self-esteem. This, in turn, impacts one’s academic achievement and how they interact with others. 
 
Parents do all they can to help kids navigate the ups and downs of adolescence with their self-esteem intact. Art education has many benefits including improved self-confidence and pride. We explain how the arts can impact your child’s life in positive ways.

Why self-esteem matters

While physical health is clearly important, self-esteem is also an essential part of a child’s overall well-being. According to an author on children’s self-esteem, Dorothy Briggs, “…self-esteem is the mainspring that slates every child for success or failure as a human being.”

Self-esteem affects our decision-making, relationships, emotional health, and overall well-being. Healthy self-esteem spurs motivation because people with it feel confident in their abilities and inspired to take on new challenges. This helps translate to greater success in the classroom because children feel more confident in their academic abilities and prepared to tackle new subjects. 
 
There are several other benefits to participating in the arts as well such as the installation of pride, the development of real-life skills, and opportunities for self-expression. We discuss six below. 

1. Instill pride and confidence

Creating “something from nothing” is a uniquely beneficial endeavor. The act of drawing a portrait, writing a story, or performing in a play engages the senses and emotions in a way that few activities can provide. Completing a project takes a lot of time, which builds perseverance and a good work ethic. 
 
Along the way, your child will learn to problem-solve, work as part of a team, and enhance communication skills with art education. Once a project is done, your child will enjoy a feeling of accomplishment and pride that is all theirs. 

2. Develop skills for life

Singing, playing an instrument, acting, dancing, and drawing allows children to develop new skills. Creating an oil painting goes beyond developing art skills, however. These activities can also help a child develop real-world skills like critical thinking, problem-solving, motor skills, hand-eye coordination, spatial recognition, and communication. Children will also learn how to work as a team, share, and negotiate. 
 
Creating something as a group allows students to develop personal connections while engaging their minds in thought-provoking ways. It also promotes cooperation with others and sharing, which are necessary life skills. 
 

3. Higher academic achievement

Taking performing arts can affect how students “perform” in other classes and subjects. Students in performing arts learn concentration and focus while sharpening memorization skills. This can lead to higher grades and better overall academic achievement. 
 
The performing arts allow students to showcase their talents which leads to increased confidence in themselves. Confidence in one area can easily lead to confidence in another, such as academics. The focus that students learn when memorizing words for a play, for example, can lead to higher performance in academic subjects and studying. 

4. Improved math scores

Students who participate in music education often show improvement in math. Listening and processing musical sounds engages both hemispheres of the brain. This can improve cognitive development and ability. Many experts believe this can translate to a greater ability to learn math skills. And, performing music has even more benefits. Children who play an instrument can experience an improved ability to solve complex math problems.

5. Develop self-expression

The arts provide students with opportunities to express themselves in new ways. This can have an impact on a student’s engagement in the classroom, allowing them to take a more active role in their education. They will be able to “find their voice” to express their ideas, talk about their interests, and be their own advocate with teachers and other students. 

6. Increase empathy and understanding

Looking around the world, it is easy to see that compassion, empathy, and understanding are sometimes in short supply. While these values can be taught at home, the performing and visual arts can also be used to build them in the real world. 

The arts “mingle” with feelings, emotions, and creativity. They can open a window to different people and cultures. They provide one of the most intensive ways to show the human experience in an understandable way. Participating in musical performances, plays, dance recitals, and art shows is an ideal way to build empathy and understanding, which can bring us together in a completely different way.

6. Increase empathy and understanding

At American Heritage Schools, we understand the important role of the arts in a student’s overall education. Participating in music, drama, dance, and visual arts helps our students build self-esteem and confidence. That’s why we take pride in our Fine Arts programs

We offer a wide variety of curriculum in all disciplines, including:

  • Visual Arts – Drawing, painting, ceramics, graphics, and computer graphics 
  • Strings – Violin, viola, cello, etc. 
  • Bands – Brass, jazz, conventional, etc. 
  • Drama – Acting, musical theatre, dance, etc. 
  • Dance – Beginner to advanced
  • Piano & Guitar – Beginner to advanced

We also offer Pre-Professional Programs for high school students in subjects like Pre-Law, Pre-Med, Pre-Engineering, Computer Science, Biomedical Engineering, and Business & Entrepreneurship. 
 


American Heritage Schools is a leader in private education, academic excellence, and innovation. With two 40 acre campuses, one in Broward County and the other in Palm Beach County, Florida, we serve 4,600 students grades Pre-K 3 through 12. American Heritage Schools was recently named the #1 Private School for academic success with the highest number of National Merit Scholars of all private schools in the nation. For over 55 years, our mission of knowledge, integrity, and compassion through developing the full potential of each child to be an active, intelligent, creative, and contributing member of society. Contact an admissions director for more information or sign up for a campus tour.