An Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra program that incorporates art and music into elementary schools benefits students and teachers, according to an independent study released this month.
ISO’s School Partnership Program is in its sixth year. In the program, ISO and the schools collaborate to create lesson plans and curricula incorporating the arts into classrooms and core subject areas.
The study, performed by Robert Horowitz, associate director of the Center for Arts Education Research at Teachers College, Columbia University, evaluated progress at five Marion County schools that use the program over a four-year period.
The study found 66 percent of students in the program improved reading and writing skills, 87 percent gained a greater understanding of music, and 75 percent improved their listening skills.
Among teachers, 88 percent said they learned teaching methods, 76 percent said ISO lesson plans helped them teach reading and writing, and 93 percent said the arts focus helped them grow professionally. Teachers cited time constraints as the biggest impediment to fuller participation in the program.