Tip No.6: Let the performing arts help your child
It’s probably no surprise that children involved in the performing arts tend to have better cognitive, motor and social development than their non-performing friends.
David Murphey, Research Fellow and Director of the Child Trends Databank, states that: “Participation in performing arts programs is related to various positive personal and academic outcomes, improving child development as a whole, enhancing cognitive, motor and social skills.”
However, did you know that there are also many other benefits to the performing arts?
“These are all transferable skills our children can use in their academic work as well as their day to day lives.”
On a basic level, involvement in the performing arts helps develop creativity and innovation. Children involved in the performing arts create, interpret and improvise while learning to dance, act and sing. Through their involvement in the performing arts, they are encouraged to experiment, experience occasional failure, and to think laterally. Almost everything they experience in the performance space teaches children to act independently. They learn to build their communication skills, work collaboratively, overcome anxiety, become more focussed and ultimately develop their self-confidence. These are all transferable skills our children can use in their academic work as well as their day to day lives.
“Every performer has experienced a time when something went wrong – from missed cues to forgotten lines – and this is no different for child performers.”
Every performer has experienced a time when something went wrong (from missed cues to forgotten lines) and this is no different for child performers. However, this is a wonderful learning opportunity for the children. It encourages them to think on their feet. It is also a chance for them to show their support for others when they cover another’s mistake and help them out.
The ability to deal with the unexpected, and to rise to the challenge, will give your child the confidence to know they can cope with almost any situation that arises and will help their self-esteem no end.
Psychologist, Lisa Lollar, says: “If you help your child define success as being willing to try something new, the idea of messing up isn’t so scary”.
We shouldn’t minimise the importance to our children of the experience of just being involved in the performing arts for the performing itself. After all, it’s super fun! However, there is no doubt that the transferable skills they acquire can benefit our children in many other ways.
Let the performing arts help your child.
As well as teaching your children the performing arts here are the other benefits they can gain while taking part:
– Your child will learn presentation and public speaking skills and become better communicators.
– Your child will learn to explore emotions – of themselves and others – through their performance work and be better able to deal with any difficult occasions that arise in their lives.
– They will begin to understand different points of view, helping them to be more empathetic and compassionate.
– Through the different songs, dances and scripts they work with they will gain an appreciation of different cultures, communities and traditions.
– The performing arts benefits children’s physical development, not just in terms of the physical aspect of the work, but by giving them a better understanding of their bodies, posture and general wellbeing.
– They will make friends with like-minded people and develop, potentially, life-long friendships.
– By putting themselves ‘out there’ and performing in front of a live audience, it can be incredibly nerve-wracking but they will learn that they can deal with almost any situation and get through it.
– They will learn about commitment and seeing things through to the end which will be a real asset in their future studies and work.
– A recent study found that the arts give improved academic outcomes, and that they “enhance skills and knowledge that transfer to student performance in other academic subjects, positively affect social and emotional learning, and enhance artistic ability and creativity which are valuable skills in today’s economy”.