Why are the arts important in K-12 education? Elizabeth Tracey reports


Study after study supports the idea that education builds more neurons that then reduce our risk for developing dementia as we age. Now a new book by Susan Magsamen, director of the Arts+Mind lab at Johns Hopkins and coauthor Ivy Ross identifies research clearly demonstrating that the arts help promote greater neuron growth early in life.

Magsamen: When children are using musical instruments and they’re engaged in learning how to play music the cerebral cortex actually grows. Synaptic transmission increases, so you have more neural pathways. From a biological point of view we really want to engage those hundred billion neurons that we’re born with, we want to create quadrillions and bazillions of synapses, and neural pathways, because that’s how we learn, that’s how we make memory, it’s how we think about behavior and movements, it really is the key to everything we do.  :32

Magsamen says music is just one venue that helps neuronal development. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.