In a southern California newspaper, a report by Chris Moran says " The College Board annually releases a report showing that the more arts and music courses students take, the higher their SAT scores are. Sweetwater Union High School District's survey of its own students five years ago found that students enrolled in visual and performing arts classes had higher grade-point averages than those who were not. The correlation is an admittedly chicken-and-egg argument over whether the arts make students smarter or smarter students pursue the arts. "
A recent article in New Science Daily presents the following:
"Learning, Arts, and the Brain, a study three years in the making, is the result of research by cognitive neuroscientists from seven leading universities across the United States. In the Dana Consortium study, researchers grappled with a fundamental question: Are smart people drawn to the arts or does arts training make people smarter?"
#8 in a series of points made is:
"Learning to dance by effective observation is closely related to learning by physical practice, both in the level of achievement and also the neural substrates that support the organization of complex actions. Effective observational learning may transfer to other cognitive skills."
MARY BELLE MCCORKLE and SHIRLEY KISER wrote in the Tucson Citizen, "How the arts make kids smarter.
Students' scores improve in the three R's when they're exposed to music, dance and the theater".
Betty Oliphant, former Principal of The National Ballet School of Canada insisted on high academic standards, because she grew up in London in the earlier 2oth Century where dancers were considered dumb. Personally I don't think you can learn the classics if you are dumb.
What is dumb anyway? Shyness, less-confident, dyslexic, under-nourished? Maybe not interested in the usual social issues and dramas?
If it were not for the internet I would not know that scientists find this subject interesting. Artists know that they are not less smart than scientists. They also know that the money needed to run all these multi-university studies could run a small ballet company for a season or two.
Scientists and artists alike need patrons - and competition is fierce. Patrons need artists and scientists, and vice versa - so it's a chicken or the egg situation - and it makes an interesting holisitc picture for us all to function in.
But if your parents worry that your grades will drop if you spend too much time in pointe shoes or the ballet class - just mention the higher SAT scores!