Arts Education: Doing More with Less


Many children drawing pictures in a kindergarten class

“Creating by doing is a uniquely powerful way to learn. That’s why I think a high-quality arts education is absolutely critical to providing all students with a world-class education,’ said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. ‘The study of the arts can both significantly boost student achievement and give students a reason to look forward to coming to school. All children should have arts-rich schools.”

During difficult economic times, however, arts programs can be the first to be sacrificed, especially when educators feel too pressured to focus on test results. Arts programs do not easily lend themselves to quantifiable measurement.

Nevertheless, some educators still find a way to provide high-quality music, dance, drama, media arts, or visual arts programs to their students with limited funding. Some apply for and win grants. Others find creative ways to do more with less. A New York public school drama teacher in the video below, for example, teaches dance and drama in the hallway. The video shows another New Year public school teacher who has partnered with a professional dance troupe to bring dance to her students.


The video is from the Teaching Channel website, a great free resource for educators to share ideas, best practices, and enhance their knowledge. It features user-generated videos of innovative and effective teaching practices in U.S. schools from kindergarten through high school.

Other free Teaching Channel videos with innovative ideas on arts education include:

  1. Artistic Expression: Music, Art and Poetry

  2. Graffiti: A Digital Identity

  3. Modern Nursery Rhymes: A Musical

  4. Primary Music: An African Call and Response Song

  5. Using Visual Arts to Engage At-Risk Students

  6. “Wake Up Brains” with Skip Counting Songs

The ideas in the videos above demonstrate there is more than one solution to a funding problem … and the value of creativity.

#music #creativity #drama #mediaarts #visualarts #dance #artseducation