- Creative Thinking – In the arts, judgement rather than rules prevail – the ability to think on your feet, leverage different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ is a requirement. The arts replace “right and wrong” thinking by teaching that there are many ways to see and interpret the world.
- Problem Solving – The arts teach us that problems can have more than one solution and questions can have more than one answer. They also reveal that complex forms of problem solving solutions are seldom fixed, instead changing with each situation. Learning in the arts requires the ability and a willingness to surrender to the unexpected possibilities of the work as it unfolds.
- Communication – The arts help us learn to say what cannot be said. When we share how art makes us feel, we reach into our poetic capacities to find words of expression. Sometimes words can become insufficient and we instead use non-verbal expression such as music, dance, painting etc. to help describe an experience which extends beyond the limits of our language.
- Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through any artistic work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves concentration and focus, asking that each participant not only think about their role, but also how they’re contributing to the bigger picture of what’s being created.
- Collaboration – Many art disciplines are collaborative in nature – working together, sharing responsibility and aligning with others to accomplish a common goal. When we practice creating collaboratively we learn that our actions affect other people. We learn that when we’re unprepared or tardy, other people suffer. Through the arts, people also learn that mistakes are a natural part of the creative process. We accept feedback, learn and move on.
SOURCE Adapted from: Eisner, E. (2002). The Arts and the Creation of Mind, In Chapter 4, What the Arts Teach and How It Shows. (pp. 70-92). Yale University Press.