Arts Education includes four separate and distinct disciplines: dance, music, theatre arts, and visual arts - each with its own body of knowledge and skills. Arts education benefits both student and society, because students of the arts disciplines gain powerful tools for:

  • understanding human experiences, both past and present;
  • teamwork and collaboration;
  • making decisions creatively and solving problems, when no prescribed answers exist;
  • adapting to and respecting others' diverse ways of thinking, working, and expressing themselves;
  • understanding the influence of the arts and their power to create and reflect cultures;
  • analyzing nonverbal communication, and making informed judgments about products and issues; and,
  • communicating effectively.

The arts are well-rounded subjects in the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act, and the NC Basic Education Program, and, as such, are included as subjects every student should learn as part of a balanced curriculum in North Carolina. While not all students will become professional dancers, musicians, actors, or visual artists, all students will benefit from skills and processes that are developed through the arts and that can be applied in a variety of disciplines and settings.



Arts Education Wiki
NCDPI's Arts Education Wiki website is a resource designed to support understanding of the Arts Education Essential Standards. The North Carolina Arts Education Essential Standards are also available on the Arts Education Wiki, along with a number of other resources such as the Instructional Toolkit Components and professional development material.