Creativity, Innovation, Empathy, PeaceLabs & MusicianCorps

Hey, music and the arts are not about partisanship or divisive politics. Former Governor Huckabee rocks the bass, Senator Hatch from Utah considers music and song writing to be at the core of who he is and, see the below, from Obama. It’s hard not to be inspired by growing recognition that music and the arts have a central role to play in addressing our civic, social and educational challenges.

Below is taken directly from Anne-Marie’s blog post at “My Readable Feast”:


“Part of what arts education does is it teaches people to see through each other´s eyes. It teaches us to respect and understand people who are not like us. That makes us better citizens and makes our democracy work better.”

What´s so funny ´bout peace, love and understanding?

He´s talking about empathy, and Obama´s not the only one advocating using art education programs to do this. In a 2006 Lancet essay, Development of children´s creativity to foster peace, Dr. Ashfaq Ishaq wrote:

The arts can aid a child´s holistic development, especially empathy… A RAND study noted that the communicative and personal nature of creative expression, accentuated through collective arts activities, can forge social bonds while supporting identity formation and cultural transmission.

By teaching empathy through music and art programs, we give our children the skills to succeed and live peacefully in a diverse world.

The arts also promote academic achievement

Did you know that children who receive art and music education are more likely to be recognized for academic achievement, win an award for school attendance, participate in a math or science fair, or be elected to a school class office? Children who actively engaged in the arts are more likely to read for pleasure or perform community service, too, according to a study conducted by Stanford University and Carnegie Foundation For the Advancement of Teaching, Americans for the Arts.

Yes, reading, writing and arithmetic are important, but as Obama said, “Kids whose imaginations are sparked by the arts are more engaged in school.” An engaged child is a successful one both academically and socially. That is why it is important to make sure your school district places an emphasis on academic achievement by supporting art and music programs as part of the curriculum and as extracurricular activities.