Not too long ago, the arts and humanities world faced a crisis in education. School administrators, hell-bent on improving grades and producing students fit for a tech-oriented world, began shifting the focus away from liberal arts programmes and towards STEM subjects.
But just as the ancient Greeks knew thousands of years ago, a balanced education of arts, humanities, and sciences is required for every student to flourish to their full potential. One of the oldest and most enduring forms of arts education throughout history is the performing arts, which indeed dates back to the time of ancient Greece and continues today. Here’s why the performing arts have stuck around in curricula for so long, and the benefits they provide to children.
What are the performing arts?
Whereas the visual arts refer to the use of visual media to create art, the performing arts literally involve performances. These may include acting and theatre, singing, dance, and other arts that are performed in front of live audiences.
Performing arts can be integrated tightly into the school curriculum, or as one of the extracurricular, after-school activities options that can be given to students.
What are the advantages of having performing arts education?
The performing arts requires a unique devotion of time and effort to succeed, but performers are rewarded with many benefits and life skills that help not only in school, but in life outside the classroom.
Improved reading, writing, math skills
One of the great counterarguments to the practice of de-emphasizing liberal arts education is that grades didn’t go up. A 2002 meta-analysis of 62 studies showed that students who are exposed to the performing arts have better performance in verbal and mathematical topics.
Better behaviour and school attendance
A 2010 study by the Missouri Arts Council illustrates that schools that highly involve their students in the arts have a higher rate of attendance, and also report fewer incidents with negative behaviour,
Soft skill learning opportunities
We’ve long emphasized the importance of learning certain soft skills for the future workplace. The performing arts provide great opportunities to learn these skills, especially collaboration, communication, and creativity.
Theatre for example is often a huge collaborative project, requiring the coordination and cooperation of actors, actresses, stagehands, directors, designers, and other student roles in order to succeed. Orchestras and bands require bandmates to work together to produce cohesive music.
Performance art also offers many ways to communicate to large audiences, building confidence among even introverted and shy students to show off their talents and move audiences composed of peers and adults alike.
And of course, the performing arts are an outlet for creative expression, allowing students to let their imaginations run wild with how they compose themselves onstage, and how to bring their visions into performance form.
Performing Arts in SISD
The importance of self-expression through the arts is emphasised right from the Early Years and Primary School through to Secondary School. At SISD, students get a solid foundation of knowledge and get to develop themselves in an inspiring environment that promote innovation, creativity and global perspectives.
SISD offers excellent learning conditions for both practical and creative work and theoretical studies, plus dedicated music, arts and design rooms for those who want to develop themselves creatively. Our cutting-edge facilities allow plenty of space for drama performances and visual arts exhibitions. Specialist teachers are employed by the school with lessons taking place during the school day and after school.
Music plays a vital role in the school community. There are many opportunities for students to become involved with music and performance, through the PYP, MYP and DP curricula, as well as the after-school activities programme.
Performances are presented by grade groups, or in other smaller ensembles. The emphasis is on participation, teamwork, personal development and quality, particularly when music links with drama to the staging of a school musical. Students of all ages have the opportunity to become involved in choirs, orchestras and bands, with regular events being organised to enable students to perform. All grades have access to acoustically designed music rooms with an impressive range of musical instruments and equipment ready at their disposal.
SISD supports the performing arts with extensive ASAs
At SISD, we deeply understand the need for performing arts exposure, and to that end we provide students of every age with after-school activities to satisfy that need. Students for example get their Drama / Once Upon a Time ASAs, as well as dance, music, musical theatre, French theatre, ballet, and more.
If you want your child to experience the benefits of the performing arts, sign them up now!