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iOS And The Arts

The Arts

iOS And The Arts

Living outside of a major metropolitan area can leave one starved for the arts. I consider myself lucky to have been born in New York where growing up I had plenty of exposure to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Lincoln Center, The Guggenheim, American Museum of Natural History, all of its music venues in Manhattan and The Village, music and arts festivals, the list goes on and on. Don’t misunderstand me, my family did not have money, so we were not on any cultural “A” list by any means. I was fortunate enough to have gone to school in a time and place where the Arts were taught in the public school system and it enriched the young lives it touched.

To my recollection defunding of Arts programs in public schools began in the seventies under the Reagan administration.  Being a musician myself during those years, it became apparent to me that our youth would suffer.  Arts Education has since received some funding but nowhere near enough.  Here are some sobering facts to take away from various studies that prove how exposure to the arts makes us smarter.

  • Students who study art are 4 times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement and 3 times more likely to be awarded for school attendance.
  • Arts and music education programs are mandatory in countries that rank consistently among the highest for math and science test scores, like Japan, Hungary, and the Netherlands.
  • Music programs are constantly in danger of being cut from shrinking school budgets even though they’re proven to improve academics. Show educators how important arts are in your community. Sign up for Music March Out.
  • The No Child Left Behind Act clearly mandates The Arts (music, art, foreign language, etc.) as a core academic subject.
  • One study group showed that 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students who were taught a foreign language every day in school outperformed the students who were not exposed to a foreign language on their Basic Skills Test.
  • Federal funding for the arts and humanities rolls in around $250 million a year, while the National Science Foundation is funded around the $5 billion mark.
  • Researchers find that sustained learning in music and theater correlates strongly with higher achievement in both math and reading.
  • In a study of a high-poverty schools in Chicago, the schools that were participating in the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education (CAPE) made huge strides in closing the gap between high- and low-income students’ academic achievement.
  • Multiple studies have concluded that curricular and extracurricular art studies and activities help keep high-risk dropout students stay in school.
  • New brain research shows that not only does music improve skills in math and reading, but it promotes creativity, social development, personality adjustment, and self-worth.
  • Research suggests that studying a second language is essential to the learning process, creative inquiry and critical thinking. Foreign language studies have proven to increase problem-solving skills and overall cognitive development.

Technology has been a great equalizer in so many ways including Arts education.  Although it’s not a substitute for the kind of exposure I had to the Arts as a kid, it certainly provides exposure that would not otherwise be there.  For the most part, Apple has provided the platform and many iOS developers have provided the apps that make art education come to life and accessible. Some of the greatest art institutions are a few clicks away rather than miles away. There are Apps available that will help you explore fine art, music, dance, literature, and photography.

Do yourself and your kids a favor.  Expose them to the arts, if not physically, then virtually with an array of apps for your iOS device. Once in the iTunes store a search for “art museums” will bring up a nice selection of some of the world’s greatest museums.  Searches for “Art”, “Learn Music”, “Learn Dance”, “Literature”, or “Learn Photography” will produce lists of apps where you and your child can get hands on in any of these art forms.

Support the arts whenever possible and demand federal, state and local government provide adequate funding so your local school districts can provide art education. 


  1. National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, “Re-Investing in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools.” The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Accessed February 28, 2014.
  2. “Lessons from PISA for the United States, Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education”, OECD Publishing, 2011. Web Accessed February 28, 2014.
  3. “Arts Education in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools, 1999-2000 and 2009-2010”,National Center for Education Statistics, 2012. Web Accessed February 2014.
  4. U.S. Department of Education, “No Child Left Behind, A Toolkit for Teachers.” Accessed February 28, 2014.
  5. Armstrong, P. W., J.D. Rogers, “Basic skills revisited: The effects of foreign language instruction on reading, math, and language arts.” 1997. Web Accessed February 28, 2014. http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ575427.
  6. Rebaudengo, Giuseppe. “Saving the Arts in our Nation’s Schools.” Thinking in Public. Accessed February 17, 2015. .
  7. Americans for the Arts. “SUMMARY OF KEY ADDITIONAL ARTS EDUCATION RESEARCH AND FACTS .” City of Providence. Accessed February 25, 2014, http://www.providenceri.com/efile/3411.
  8. Catterall, James S., and Lynn Waldorf. “Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education Summary Evaluation.” Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education. Accessed February 27, 2014, http://www.capeweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/champions.pdf.
  9. National School Boards Association. “Prediction: Identifying potential dropouts.” The Center for Public Education. Accessed February 25, 2014, http://www.centerforpubliceducation.org/Main-Menu/Staffingstudents/Keeping-kids-in-school-At-a-glance/Keeping-kids-in-school-Preventing-dropouts.html.
  10. Weinberger, Norman M.. “The Music in Our Minds.” Center for the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, University of California. Accessed February 25, 2014, http://nmw.bio.uci.edu/publications/Weinberger,%201998e.pdf.
  11. Deasy, Richard J.. “Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Academic and Social Development..” United States Government Printing Office. Accessed February 25, 2014, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ERIC-ED466413/pdf/ERIC-ED466413.pdf.
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Carmine Delligatti-Drummer, former Support Manager for Deneba Software, ACD Systems, Mareware, Inc. and Swiss Made Marketing. Avid technology blogger and Managing Editor of Cupertinotimes.com.