The Detailed Study in Art and Music Correlates to Literacy Success

Leaping into literacy-500


I think it’s pretty well-known that a meaningful study of art and music enhances a child’s ability to read and write.  If it’s not well-known, it should be.  People have developed interesting experiments and curricula that has shown this phenomenon over and over.  all studies demonstrate that a purposeful detailed study in music and art enhances literacy skills in young people.

I want to look at this in more detail.

How does a detailed study of art and music enhance the literacy education of your children?

  • Increases critical thinking skills
  • Increases long-term memory
  • Develops fine motor skills & improves recall of verbal information
  • Sharpens attention – a bit one that every kid in this country needs
  • Equips students to be creative
  • Helps to build better study habits
  • Accountability
  • The ability to receive constructive feedback
  • Increases the ability to express your thoughts
  • Instills a sense of accomplishment
  • Leads to interest in other areas, which leads to further studies.
  • and much more.

Take a look at this article which lays out how a purposeful study of music helps build strong people. Music-Matters

Take a look at this recent article in the Washington Post that discusses the fine arts and the education of our young people. Top 10 skills children learn from the arts

Here is a Guggenheim study that was completed in 2006.  They mentioned that there was no correlation of an arts curriculum and the performance on Standardized tests – which I think was the biggest criticism of the results of this study.  However, we already know that test bias exists.  Also, the correlation of test scores to the ability of a child to be able to retain and process information or  achieve future education success – is dismal, at best.  There are just too many factors.   Guggenheim Study


So why have school districts marginalized a real study of art and music?

  • Money
  • They don’t get it
  • Maybe they get it but fail to stand-up and act.


Music and art benefits literacy-500


So, would I suggest that they go to museums and think critically about art rather than sitting down at a desk in classroom setting?

  • Yes, especially in very young children – toddlers, preschoolers, and kindergarteners.  Definitely.  Yes, I think it’s more useful for a child to be in a museum thinking about art and what it means than being in a classroom coloring and pasting.  Why do I say that?  When they come home from the museum – they can color their favorite art piece from memory and past it on a frame that they created.  Not only do they have the critical thinking element – they have the fine and gross motor skills development.
  • It’s easy to socialize children.  It’s much more difficult to obtain a great education within the framework of our society.



Take a look at this curricula that Jeffrey Pflaum developed.  He developed a music writing theory whereby visualization, music listening and verbalization helps with literacy skills.

My favorite website which offers great ideas for parents on music education comes from Maria at Music Teaching and Parenting.

My favorite go to website for art projects (messy and non-messy) is Artchoo.

My favorite site for creative learning projects and imagination building is Doodles and Jots.


Have you made an effort to supplement your child’s existing school curriculum with art or music?  I would love to hear your experiences.

About Lisa

Hey! Thank you so much for stopping by. I'm Lisa - a homeschool mom of 3 (2 boys and 1 girl). I care about the strength of the family in America, and often blog about babies/kids, natural parenting, homeschool, and marriage. Before you leave, please sign up for my monthly newsletter (on the top right). If you do, you will be well rewarded with notification of all giveaways and sales - which will not be announced on the blog. Google+ Profile


  1. I love the arguments you have made for using art and music to enhance education!! I think not many things are as important as spreading this kind of message. Have a great weekend!
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  2. Hi Lisa–Thanks for the reference to my Edutopia guest blog piece about “Music Writing” and its connection to literacy. All your points about music enhancing literacy are spot on. There is another Edutopia article, “Using ‘Music Writing’ to Trigger Creativity, Awareness and Motivation” (4/2/12) that would appeal to your followers. I am also a regular blogger on the BAM Radio Network (, “The Bam Street Journal”), the voice of the education community, with many posts on”Contemplation Writing” (or “Music Writing”). I have also written a book, MOTIVATING TEEN AND PRETEEN READERS: HOW TEACHERS AND PARENTS CAN LEAD THE WAY (Rowman & Littlefield Education, 2011), which would interest homeschooling parent-teachers as well as parents of children in public, private, parochial, charter, and alternative schools. Your readers can go to my website,, to find articles and interviews about the many original, innovative, progressive projects in reading, writing, creativity, thinking, poetry, and vocabulary I developed in the NYCDOE from the 60s to the 2000s and to the present day. There are samples of student work and their published poetry as well. I can be contacted at Thanks again, Lisa, for your reference to my work. It is greatly appreciated.

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