Arts in childhood development
The importance of the arts in childhood development is an area which has recently come under discussion in Ireland as highlighted in a newly published study, Arts and Cultural Participation among Children and Young People: Insights from the Growing Up in Ireland Study (Smyth, 2016). The report, commissioned by the Arts Council of Ireland, identifies how involvement in the arts can improve children’s well being and cognitive development. It affirms that involvement in after-school music or dance lessons or clubs “is associated with positive outcomes across all domains, with higher achievement levels, academic self-confidence and happiness, and lower levels of anxiety and socio-emotional difficulties”
(Smyth, 2016, p. 106).