Arts Research Monitor articles, category = Arts education

From Informal to Formal Accounts

Based on surveys completed by 430 Manitoba schools and 29 school divisions, this report examines the situation of arts education in Manitoba schools in 2006-07. The study finds that music and visual arts programs or courses are much more commonly available than drama and dance programs or courses.

While there has been extensive international research on the benefits of music education for young people, there has been only limited research on the state of music education in Canada. Prepared for the Coalition for Music Education in Canada by Hill Strategies, A Delicate Balance provides detailed information about a range of issues in music education based on a survey of 1,204 schools across Canada.

Research Report #49

Since 1982, the National Endowment for the Arts has conducted a benchmark survey of Americans' involvement in arts activities. Respondents were asked whether they had taken an arts lesson or class at any time in their lives, including classes in school or private lessons. While the "lifetime participation rates" of all respondents decreased somewhat between 1982 and 2008, there was a substantial decrease in most arts learning activities among 18 to 24-year-olds.

This brief fact sheet argues that, in addition to building new audiences through marketing campaigns, program offerings, price and convenience, "increasing the quality and access of arts learning opportunities deserves much more attention as a way of lifting arts demand in the long run". With increased competition for leisure time, the fact sheet indicates that "the key to lifting demand for the arts may well lie in reversing the 30-year-long decline in arts learning, both in and out of schools".

This report from Harvard University's "Project Zero" explores the "complex factors, actors, and settings that must be aligned to achieve quality in arts education". The report argues that, while "access to arts learning experiences remains a critical national challenge", there is also a significant challenge in ensuring that arts education opportunities are of high quality.
(Les jeunes et la culture)

This survey of 600 students in 10 Quebec colleges was conducted by journalists at La Presse in February 2010. Unfortunately, the report does not provide an estimate of the margin of error. Music is the predominant cultural activity of the youth surveyed.

Arguing that "demand for the arts has not kept pace with supply", this report recommends that greater attention be paid to increasing demand for the arts, especially via arts learning activities in public schools, post-secondary education and community venues.
This report examines examples of "collaboration and coordination among the different providers and influencers of arts education" in six large American cities. The report argues that a context of "pervasive neglect of arts education" in American schools has led to highly uneven access to arts education.

This report, based largely on a survey of 1,123 elementary and secondary schools (representing 23% of the province's schools), provides a wide range of statistics on Ontario's schools, including information about libraries, reading and the arts.

A Description of Quality Music Programs, Kindergarten to Graduation

This report provides lists of the elements that are essential for a comprehensive, multifaceted and sequential music education program in schools. Among these elements:

· "Every student shall study music in each grade in elementary school."

· In secondary school, students should have the opportunity to choose from a variety of music programs that are available to them in every academic year.

· Students should have the opportunity to participate in a range of musical performances, both in the school and in the community.

· Students should have creative musical experiences and understand the joy of participation.