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NASAA

‘NASAA Notes’ on art museum visits + arts’ social impact

NASAA, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, puts out a pretty good newsletter, and yesterday's included two items of note to Hub readers. We're sharing those snippets today with full credit.–Ed.


Educational Benefits of Facilitated Visits to Art Museums The Effects of Facilitated Single-Visit Art Museum Programs on Students Grades 4-6 is a new report from the National Art Education Association and the Association of Art Museum Directors summarizing the results of a large-scale study funded in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The four-year study—which involved more than 2,600 students and six art museums—explored the benefits of enabling students to directly engage with artworks and the social setting of art museums. It also considers museum visits relative to constructivist pedagogies, which encourage students to make meaning through direct experience. The report concludes that facilitated engagement with original works of art in museums has a strong impact on students, inspiring them to question, investigate and understand.   Social Impact of the Arts ArtsFund, a Seattle based nonprofit and grant maker, has released a social impact study focused on how the arts influence youth development and education, health and wellness, and neighborhood vitality. It is based on both a regional level analysis and a review of national level research. The report includes 10 case stories illustrating  how individual organizations exemplify current evidence about the social benefits of the arts.

Choir singers’ hearts beat as one

CNN's health blog, The Chart, reports that a recent study suggests people who sing together have synchronized heartbeats.

Singing together can be an emotional experience.  As churchgoers, choir singers or sports fans raise their voices as one, they feel connected. Turns out, that connection may have a physiological foundation. A small study suggests people who sing together have synchronized heartbeats. Singers often inhale and exhale at similar times. When your heartbeat is connected to your breathing pattern, it’s called respiratory sinus arrhythmia, or RSA. RSA can have a soothing effect on the cardiovascular system. For instance, past studies have shown guided breathing – like what’s done in yoga – can be beneficial for high blood pressure problems. “If this is correct, singing would probably have the same effect,” said Bjorn Vickhoff, a professional singer/songwriter-turned-neuroscientist at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden. Vickhoff is fascinated by music’s effect on the human body. He hopes to eventually find new ways music can be used in medicine, rehabilitation and preventative care. His latest study, published this week in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, focuses on how song structure can affect a singer’s heart rate.
Read the complete article.