Art Improves Academic Performance in Children


Research shows that students who engage in the arts at school perform better in math, reading, and writing, and have an enhanced social and emotional experience. Waldorf education integrates an array of arts into the curriculum to support academic growth, develop communication and collaboration skills, and give children a well-rounded, joyful educational journey.

In Waldorf education, art is a part of every child’s day, from preschool through 8th grade. We incorporate art into each academic subject in addition to practicing and creating art for its own sake. Each day students are not only creating their own art, but they see their teachers create art through drawings, songs, plays, and more. They are learning about great artists of the world and exploring how humans express themselves and share their stories through art. They learn that everyone is an artist, and that we all have something to share and to learn. At RWS, every student draws, paints, sculpts, knits, works with wood, performs in plays and concerts, plays an instrument and sings.

In Waldorf education, we feel that creating is the most experiential way to learn. Art helps with fine motor development, creativity, and a deeper understanding of the world around us, and allows students to imagine how things could be.

Entering elementary and middle school, Main Lessons incorporate rich drawings and artistic expression as the children study language arts, math, science, and history. The inclusion of art and the creative impulse into traditional academics helps to engage students and find new and deeper meaning in the content. As a recent article from affirms, there are significant academic benefits for students who engage in the study of the arts. “The Arts Education Partnership performed a meta-analysis of 62 studies that revealed that students who study music have increased achievement and proficiency in math. Reading and cognitive development were found to increase, as were verbal SAT scores.”

Not only are the academic benefits significant, but studies show that there are behavioral benefits as well.  Using art as a tool helps to improve student attendance, and studies also show better long-term outcomes socially, academically, and in their future occupations. 

Further, Richmond Waldorf School alums consistently reflect that the art education they received helped to instill balance, mental health, creativity, and an artistic outlet for our students. As they pursue college degrees and enter the workforce in a variety of fields, the exposure to visual, performing, and literary art has lended a fresh perspective and new ideas for the Waldorf alums to find meaning and purpose in their lives. As Rudolph Steiner said, ‘our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who, of themselves, are able to give purpose and direction to their lives.’ It is with this in mind that we integrate artistic opportunities throughout the curriculum.

For more information about how this works in the classroom, reach out to us by filling out an inquiry!

At Richmond Waldorf School, we recognize that our student’s physical, social and emotional well-being are a key part of their ability to learn and thrive. Our holistic approach to education prioritizes critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century.

We would love you to explore if the Waldorf approach is right for your child! Join an information session or meet with our Enrollment Administrator to learn more about Richmond Waldorf School. 


Choosing a school is a very important decision in a family’s life. Our admissions process is designed to give you as much information as you need to make an informed decision about enrolling your children. Whenever possible, we encourage all families to book a visit when considering Richmond Waldorf School. We want to meet you! It is just as important for us to know who you are and what you are looking for in a school, as it is for you to know who we are and what Waldorf education is about.

Valerie Hogan
Enrollment & Marketing Administrator
| 804-377-8024 ext 3