Art will always remain a part of education, as it is an excellent way to develop the student's skills. Adopting art in various forms in education helps build self-esteem, boosts academic achievement, and enhances creativity. We had a brief discussion with Zara Paronyan, a professional that integrates Abacus and Mental Arithmetic and ART as a way to boost the student's skill set. 

Art is an integral part of education

Art isn't considered a separate subject. Instead, it can be integrated into various subjects to help students learn better. Teachers understand the importance of art and visuals. Therefore they make efforts to enhance their lessons with art for students of any age. 
Social studies, science, and math are examples of subjects that are challenging for students. With the proper art implementation, different types of art aid academic learning. 
While visuals are more commonly used to help students distinguish definitions, other art forms are also present. Music, dance, and theater are other good ways to help students put the theory to practice. 

Mental arithmetics

Zaruhi Paronyan is the founder of Abacus Kids Academy of Mental Arithmetic. The academy was founded in 2019 in Philadelphia with the intention of helping children discover and develop their intellectual potential. The academy has been a part of the SAMA Global Abacus and Mental Arithmetic Association since 2021.
Zaruhi integrates a unique Abacus and Mental Arithmetic technique, a well-known Japanese technique for counting. The students rely on a tool called an abacus and visualize it to carry out mathematical operations without physically using it. 
The academy developed a special Mental Arithmetic program catering to young students from 5 to 15 years old. Mental Arithmetic teaches students how to do mental math, which is beneficial for developing their intellect. The practice allows students to utilize both hemispheres of the brain, which is helpful for their intellectual abilities.
Zaruhi has a goal to develop Abacus and Mental arithmetic education in the United States. It is present in more than 50 countries but requires a more substantial presence in the US. The success of the recently founded academy that is spreading worldwide tells enough about it. On October 1, 2023, the US students will represent the academy at the International Mental Arithmetic Competition in Dubai, UAE. 
Zaruhi has a bright perspective for the future, planning to found a Mental Arithmetic Association in the USA. The association will train future teachers who want to teach the benefits of mental arithmetics. This organization will also host competitions for students in this field willing to show off their capabilities. 

Challenges of implementing art in education

Implementing art in traditional education can take time and effort. Alternating the conventional method to suit the new approach required much hard work. But it is essential to understand that creativity is present in different forms. Promoting collaboration in the classroom is one of the effective practices that strengthen art implementation. Teachers might have a specific style of teaching subjects, but it is time to change their approaches. The teachers can do team building and do art together, sharing successful practices on implementing art in education.
For example, music can become part of the traditional classroom setting. Students can listen to music during the breaks as a form of relaxation and later discuss it. Also, teachers can play music and ask students to draw what they listen to. This is an excellent way to develop their creativity and see how students interpret music differently. 


Sophie H.