Extracurricular music and visual arts activities are related to academic performance improvement in school-aged children
April 5, 2023
A longitudinal study in Japan has revealed that participation in extracurricular activities in both music and visual arts is associated with improvements in general academic performance from the seventh and ninth grades, and these associations are related to changes in music and visual arts scores. All children in Japan take music and visual art classes in junior high school as secondary subjects and can also increase involvement in them as extracurricular activities. Data was collected from 488 seventh-grade children (259 boys and 229 girls), and the study measured art-related scores and general academic performance of students twice at the end of the seventh and ninth grades. This made it possible to examine the association between participation in extracurricular activities in music and visual arts and improvement in arts subject scores and academic performance (i.e., Japanese, Social Studies, Mathematics, Science, and English) over two years. The findings suggest that arts education can contribute to improving general academic performance; however, future research should examine the causal relationship between art involvement and academic performance by controlling for other factors (e.g., IQ, motivation, etc.).
SOURCES: Nature Partner Journals: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41539-023-00155-0