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Why performing arts are important?

By Hayley Henderson

April 13, 2016
Why performing arts are important?

The performing arts are one way children can develop their creative skills. There are no wrong answers and everyone is actively encouraged to express new and alternative opinions. In fact, the performing arts can improve and develop many different skills, all of which will play a big role in adult life. We take a look at what they are.

Forming new opinions and perspectives

Children interact with students of various ages, backgrounds, cultures and beliefs in the performing arts, opening them up to a new set of opinions and ideas. This helps them learn to understand and empathise with others.

Tolerance is an incredibly important skill to develop. Not only will it improve their performance skills – an actor needs to be able to empathise with the character they are playing, for example – but it will also help them develop friendships and their ability to work with others.

Giving and receiving constructive criticism

No one is perfect, and that’s a pill that some children find very difficult to swallow. Being shut down or told they are wrong can have a huge impact on their confidence, but in performance arts the feedback is useful rather than negative.

Often, students receive this feedback from their peers, so it’s therefore important that everyone knows how to give advice in a manner which is not hurtful, but helpful. Equally, being able to receive criticism and learn from it is also an essential skill. Both will be required to succeed in later life, whether your child ends up working in a creative industry or not.

Discipline and perseverance

The vast majority of successful performers only became who they are through hours and hours of practice and dedication. No one becomes a Hollywood actor overnight. Even Harrison Ford, who landed his first starring role pretty late in his life, spent years going to auditions in a bid to secure a decent gig.

Performing arts teaches children discipline, as they must set aside their own time to hone and practice their skills. They need to learn from any feedback they receive and constantly develop new skills and abilities in order to become better at their craft. Further, it teaches them to never give up, even when they fail or feel like they aren’t improving. Children are encouraged to flourish and grow.

Solve problems better

Performing arts presents children with many challenges day in and day out, and they must learn to overcome them. For example, a dancer may be challenged with finding a way to portray a particular emotion through movement alone. Practice makes perfect, as our own research shows: since joining Stagecoach, 91 per cent of parents say their child’s ability to come up with innovative solutions for problems has improved.

Teamwork and consequences

In performing arts, children learn that they must work together to achieve a common goal – a play needs a whole cast plus people working behind the scenes. A dance act rarely consists of one performer. Even the smallest of roles can have a big impact, which is something that they will quickly learn.

Working as a team will also teach children that their actions affect other people. If a team member doesn’t learn their lines or practice their steps, they’re going to let everyone else down. This will show them they need to be responsible and admit when they’ve made a mistake. All of these skills are vital in later life.

Get fitter and let off steam

Nowadays, kids spend a lot of their time sat around, so anything that gets them up and about is good for them. Dancing is bound to get your child fit in no time at all, but acting and singing can burn off a lot of energy too.

All forms of performing arts allow kids to express any pent up emotions they might be feeling. Perhaps they’re getting bullied at school or maybe they’ve fallen out with a friend. No matter what they’re going through, they can demonstrate their anger and frustration through their performance, in a safe, non-critical environment. Letting off steam in this fashion is good for their mental health, as they won’t be bottling up these emotions.

Improved academic performance

There are several studies which indicate that the performing arts can help children improve their grades in more academic subjects, such as maths and English. Indeed, our own research revealed that more than 90 per cent of parents believe their child is more confident at school since they joined Stagecoach. As we’ve already covered, performing arts teaches children so many skills, it’s no wonder they’re being utilised elsewhere.

It could lead to a successful career

There are no guarantees, of course, but pursuing the performing arts can help your child get the career they want, whether they desire to work in the theatre, in TV and film or in a music studio. At Stagecoach, we’re incredibly proud of our alumni – our most notable past students include Emma Watson, Jamie Bell, Tom Fletcher and Myleene Klass.

If you let us, we could go on and on about the benefits of performing arts and why they are so important. If you think our workshops will benefit your child, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us – we’re more than happy to answer any questions you may have.