Research
 
Since the inception of Learning Through the Arts (LTTA) in 1994, there have been more than 50 studies conducted on the program. LTTA research is conducted in order to determine program impacts on the learning and lives of students, teachers, principals, whole school communities, and the LTTA program artists. To date, LTTA research has involved more than 15,000 students, 2500 teachers, 300 school principals, and over 100 LTTA Artists.

Selected Research Findings for LTTA Students

  • A National Study (1999-2002) of the LTTA program in Canada found that Grade 6 students who had participated in the program for three years scored 11 percentile points higher on tests of computation and estimation than did their peers in control groups.

  • In all LTTA studies, teachers, principals, and students have indicated that students are highly engaged in their learning in LTTA classes.

  • In a 2010 LTTA study involving over 1,200 students, teachers reported that the positive effects of LTTA programming on students’ engagement in learning, capacities to work collaboratively, openness to different points of view, and happiness to be at school were being transferred to students’ school life and learning in general.

  • A Pan-Canadian LTTA (2007-2009) found that Aboriginal learners feel a special resonance with arts-based learning.

Selected Research Findings for LTTA Teachers

  • In all of the LTTA research, teachers have reported that students with all levels of abilities experience success in LTTA classes.

  • Teachers participating in the LTTA program consistently express the belief that using the arts to teach non-arts subjects enlivens and deepens learning, reflects real-life experiences, and suits a wide variety of student learning styles.

  • In a Five-Year study (1999-2004), 86% of teachers reported frequently using arts-based teaching methodologies for non-arts curricula after five years of programming, as compared to 18.5% prior to program involvement.

  • Teachers have widely made reference to the fact that they feel much more comfortable teaching arts subjects because of their involvement in the LTTA program.

Selected Research Findings for School Principals

  • In all of the LTTA research, the vast majority of principals have expressed the belief that the arts are either extremely important or essential to the education of children and youth.

  • Principals have very widely reported that the LTTA program has raised the profile of the arts in their schools and helped forge stronger connections to the community.

  • Principals of schools in low socio-economic neighbourhoods express gratitude for the fact that LTTA is bringing arts experiences to students who would not otherwise have them.

  • Principals widely report that the LTTA program has been successful in promoting inter-cultural understanding in their schools.

The ARTS-REHAB Project

The ARTS-REHAB Project is a multi-year initiative that examines how meaningful engagement in a creative arts program can assist rehab patients to re-enter their communities sooner and more positively than under standard treatment regimes.   For more information about the ARTS-REHAB Project, please click here.

Enhancing the well-being of our seniors

Arts and music programs offer many benefits that contribute to a sense of successful aging and overall well-being. These include achieving a sense of control and empowerment through mastery of a technique, maintaining social engagement, exercising cognitive functions, and providing a vehicle to express oneself creatively. The arts allow older adults to focus on strengths rather than deficits through an activity that has an aesthetic dimension that is emotive and highly engaging .Research has shown that involvement in and exposure to the arts can have a significant effect on the reduction of depression, improvement in quality of life measures, and perception of pain.

Living Through the Arts works in partnership with a wide range of social service organizations to deliver arts-based programs.  For example, Living Through the Arts works extensively with seniors doing painting sessions with older adults who have Parkinson’s disease as well as seniors who have suffered from stroke. We provide arts programming for adults with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease using such art forms as drumming, visual arts, music and movement as well as provide arts sessions geared specifically to their caregivers. We have also done video projects with senior theatre groups and participated in intergenerational projects using collage and mixed media. 

Exploring the Impact of Artful Engagement with Older Adults

Exploring the Impact of Artful Engagement with Older Adults was a research study on the effects of arts-based workshops on the health and well-being of older adults that was conducted by The Royal Conservatory in partnership with Baycrest. The intervention groups for this study participated in either a Storytelling/Creative Writing group or a Nia/Creative Movement group. The video below describes the research hypotheses and the project undertaken. This project was made possible thanks to the support of The Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Final Research Summary Report

This report presents the findings of the study into the effects of creative arts programming for senior adults, offered jointly by Living Through the Arts of The Royal Conservatory and Baycrest. The research team was comprised of social scientists and cognitive scientists from The RCM, Baycrest, and Toronto Rehabilitation. The research results show the psycho-social, cognitive, and physical benefits of engagement in creative activity by senior adults.

For more information about the LTTA research or to obtain copies of LTTA research studies, please contact:  ltta@rcmusic.ca