A Better Brain, Through the Arts?

By Sean Cavanagh — May 20, 2009 1 min read
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What’s the connection between cultivating students’ artistic talent and their overall brain development? That topic was explored at a recent seminar sponsored by the Neuro-Education Initiative at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education, as was detailed in this story in the Baltimore Sun.

Researchers, as the article explains, are exploring whether training in the arts can change students’ brain structures and the way they think. It’s fascinating stuff. The article alludes to a number of intriguing research projects, who is examining a correlation between students’ training in music and their skill in geometry. It also mentions another study underway at Harvard, which is looking at the connection between elementary schoolers’ prowess with the piano and violin and their development.

It’s safe to assume that advocates for the arts would be keen on several of these topics, particularly as they seek to justify their programs’ existence during a bleak budget era. One item that might be of particular interest: A lecture given at the arts event by Harvard University’s Jerome Kagan, titled, “Why the Arts Matter.”

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Curriculum Matters blog.