Metro Vancouver’s Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts artistic director not surprised by growing evidence showing direct academic correlation
Metro Vancouver, BC: After-school and extra-curricular activities have long been seen as outlets for keeping kids busy and engaged. However, a growing collection of evidence is starting to show a markedly positive impact on academic outcomes, not to mention social and emotional benefits.
A recent study released by the Rice University in Texas examined over 10,000 elementary and middle school students in 42 Houston-area schools and found dramatic improvements in writing achievement. Additionally, the study demonstrated positive relationships between arts education and school engagement, as well as college aspirations.
In Canada, scientific-based evidence has been circulating for longer. A 2017 paper in the publication Creative Education by Canadian researcher Arnaud Cabanac showed, much like the Rice University Study, the positive relationship between arts education and academic performance. Cabanac found that, after examining 1,700 students over three years, those who participated in arts-based education classes demonstrated higher academic achievement than those who did not.
Though the results might come as a bit of a surprise to the average arts-enthusiast, for Chad Matchette, owner and artistic director for the Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts in Metro Vancouver, the positive impacts of participation in the arts have been evident since he took over the Academy a decade ago.
“I’ve seen some pretty remarkable transformations in my time with Lindbjerg,” said Matchette. “On top of the obvious improvements in self-confidence and verbal skills, many students who participate in our classes excel academically as well.”
Matchette appreciates that, despite what he’s known anecdotally for years, new evidence demonstrating the strong link between academic achievement and activity in the performing arts is valuable information for parents considering enrolling their children in classes like those offered at Lindbjerg Academy.
“I think participating in arts programs that take a lot of hard work and dedication, like dance and singing and musical theatre, help children understand what’s required to be successful at school and in life,” explains Matchette. “It also allows students to understand that they’re capable of achieving so much more than they think they are.”
For more information about Lindbjerg Performing Arts Academy and the classes it offers, visit: http://lindbjergacademy.com.
- April 29 2019 represents UNESCO International Dance Day
- The Canadian Arts Presenting Association reports that 95 per cent of Canadians already believe a performing arts education assists in the intellectual development of children and 89 per cent of that group even believe that same education helps us define what it means to be Canadian.
- A 2016 study done by Concordia University concluded performing arts can set the stage for more developed brain pathways. In their study, a group of Concordia researchers used high-tech imaging techniques to compare the effects of dance and music training on brain matter. The conclusion was the training did have an impact on brain pathways which could have implications for rehabilitation and education programming.
About Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts
Lindbjerg Academy is a performing arts centre dedicated to teaching the art of musical theatre, dance, singing and acting. Classes are open to all different levels of ability and children between the ages of three to 18. For more than 20 years, Lindbjerg Academy has taken pride in the fact it is not only a centre where children learn the skills to perform, but also a place where those skills are applied and enjoyed. The school is parent-participation focused and offers volunteer opportunities throughout the year to ensure parents can share their talents and feel engaged with every show the school delivers.
- Bowen, D. H., Ph.D., & Kisida, B., Ph.D. (2019). Investigating Causal Effects of Arts Education Experiences: Experimental Evidence from Houston’s Arts Access Initiative. Research Report for the Houston Independent School District,7(4).
- Cabanac, A. (2017). Arts and Scholastic Performance. Creative Education, 8, 2393-2399. https://oi.org/10.4236/ce.2017.815163
- Concordia University. (2016, October 5). How the Performing Arts can Set the Stage for More Developed Brain Pathways. ScienceDaily. Retrieved from: www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/10/161005112119.htm