The Pacific Standard on a recent study that highlights the importance of arts education:
New research suggests [arts educators] are creating arts aficionados, and cultivating the next generation of patrons and performers.
“If one aim of music education, as many music educators report, is to engender a lifelong connection with the arts,” writes Kenneth Elpus of the University of Maryland, “the results of this study suggest that music — and arts education more broadly — is achieving this aim for many alumni.”
For his study, published in journal Psychology of Music, Elpus analyzed data from the 2012 Survey of Public Participation in the Arts, an ongoing project of the once-again-threatened National Endowment for the Arts. It included data on 9,482 American adults regarding “their childhood experiences with music and arts education.” A larger group of 35,735 were asked about their arts-related experiences over the past year, as an audience member and/or creator.
“Rather than disengage from art-making and arts attendance upon graduation, students of school-based music and arts education were significantly more likely (than their peers) to create art in their own lives, and to patronize arts events,” Elpus reports.