With beginnings in imaginary play, storytelling and show and tell, performing arts is likely to have been a part of your child’s imaginative play long before they are involved in their first class on the subject. Whether they’re flying an aeroplane, spending the day being a shopkeeper or a nurse, this type of play is common amongst many children. It allows them to explore another person’s perspective, as they act out the other roles. This essential part of development can be nurtured at school, through performing arts. In our latest blog, we’ve looked at the benefits and importance of this activity for children.
Improved Confidence and Self-esteem
Self-expression is encouraged and embraced in performing arts. There’s no right or wrong way and all opinions and options are considered. This is different when compared to other subjects, such as maths or science, whereby there’s usually a particular method or strategy to complete something. It is often this lack of creative boundary that encourages confidence and boosts self-esteem; their suggestions and the chance to explore alternative ideas encourages them to express their options in a positive manner.
Value Critical Feedback
An essential part of growing up is learning how to value critical feedback. Children can be negatively impacted through being told something is wrong, or that their suggestion isn’t the correct way of doing something. Performing arts promotes an open and comfortable environment, where positive feedback is a necessity for improvement. Instead of something being wrong, there are multiple alternatives they can explore and try.
Within this open learning environment is the opportunity to develop and nurture new skills. As constructive feedback is gained and ideas are tried and tested, children discover their strengths and weaknesses and develop ways in which they can overcome new challenges. As well as this, performing arts requires creativity, empathy, good communication and leadership; children are able to practise these essential life skills during an enjoyable activity.
Communication and Presentation
Performing arts requires children to read and memorise scripts, then present these to their peers or an audience. This helps to develop a child’s vocabulary and they will explore voice tones and express themselves using movement. In turn, this will help them become more confident with how they’re communicating and improve how they present themselves in the future.
Creativity is an essential skill in both childhood and adult life. As we age, we’re required to problem solve, create plans and adapt to emerging or difficult situations. This innovation requires development, and one way to exercise it is through performing arts. During a class, children are encouraged to consider alternative perspectives and explore new ideas. While doing this, they’re creating solutions and developing different ways of thinking. For more on creativity, read our recent blog on the importance of creativity for a pupil’s development.
Exploring and acting as other characters encourages children to consider the emotions of the other person they are portraying. This immersion and discovery of someone new will present to them the challenges and successes of the character. Through this, they will better understand their own emotions, as well as other people’s. Empathy can be difficult to teach, but through performing arts, your child will be encouraged to understand and share the feelings of others.
Creates a Sense of Community
In performing arts, almost all ideas are considered. This inclusion creates a unique sense of community amongst pupils. Strong relationships are built as peers develop an understanding of each other and learn to work together. The co-operation required results in members feeling included and accepted and it’s this safe and comfortable environment that allows children to flourish.
The sense of community isn’t limited to children, either. As school plays and musical events are put on throughout the term, parents and other close relatives are often invited to enjoy the hard work of the children. These shows are the chance for the children to feel connected to the wider community of their school, as well as enjoying the opportunity to show their loved ones their recent efforts.
Here at St Peter’s Prep, a private school in Devon, we value the importance of performing arts, which is why it is an important part of the curriculum. We have several ensembles, from wind band and flute group to choirs and a clarinet trio. As well as frequent concerts, we also hold performances and assemblies, where your child can take to the stage!