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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

The importance of performing arts for child development

Performing Art provide children with opportunities to experience new ways of thinking. They present different challenges all the time and children have to come up with their own ways of overcoming these challenges.

education Updated: Jul 17, 2019 14:37 IST
Dr Madhu Singh
Dr Madhu Singh
Different activities help students recognise a diversity in perspectives
Different activities help students recognise a diversity in perspectives (HT file)
         

Extracurricular activities such as games, music, dance, drama etc. are an integral part of education along with academics for the holistic development of our children.

Students participating in these activities are smart ,outspoken, physically strong, and very active. Overall, they develop good social and communication skills.

Our focus in this article is on the importance of performing arts in school. Let’s begin with what neuro science has to say about the impact of performing art on the skills learnt by the students during their schooling years. Researches have stated that Cortisol, the stress creating hormone, comes down when children indulge in activities such as art, music, dance and drama. Children have expressed feeling more calm, less anxious and a feeling of empowerment when they have revisited their creation of art ,music, dance and drama.

Performing Art provide children with opportunities to experience new ways of thinking. They present different challenges all the time and children have to come up with their own ways of overcoming these challenges.

Think of an actor playing the part of someone with a completely different personality or role in life to their own, a dancer being asked to portray a specific emotion through movement, or a musician trying to create a particular atmosphere through sound. All of this requires a great deal of practice and hard work, and children learn to come up with their own innovative solutions to difficulties they may encounter along the way, which is a skill they can apply to many other situations in life.

They learn to share and recognize different perspectives and to develop empathy and respect for others. It is this thinking outside of their own situation that allows children to recognize that there are alternative options, and to be creative and resourceful with what they think and do.

Performing Art needs to form an integral part of the board and liberal curriculum, which allows children to be creative and playful ,motivating them to recreate and enact situations taught in the curriculum, using different perspective and modes of expressions to reach a

conclusion which in turn builds on their confidence, communication skills along with their creative skills.

The benefits of children participating in the performing art is numerous. They build upon their social, emotional, physical and even academic skills, resulting into enhanced cognitive ,motor and social skills. Being involved in music and dance results in working together and building a strong relationship with teachers and students which reinforces their identity in school. Further, researches in mental health have stated that one in every ten children are being diagnosed with mental health disorders, engaging in performing arts greatly reduces this risk.

Let’s now understand how each element of performing art practiced in school impacts the social wellbeing of the child:

Music: Music has great healing power and relieves students of any anxiety and stress. It soothe the mind and helps them feel fresh. It helps in improve the learning and concentration skills . Overall students learn patience ,coordination, and cooperation while practicing music.

Dance : Dance is a physical stress buster, it improves strength, flexibility and keeps them healthy.

Art and Craft: Art and craft helps improve imagination skills, creative skills. Children learn to be patient and express their thoughts more creatively.

Drama: Drama helps in improving the communication skills ,acting skills , articulation skills along with the presentation skills.

Including performing Art in the curriculum is the best way of giving children a break from regular studying schedule. The students through the performing art subject get good exposure, learn to find their talent and get to perform and exhibit their skills at different places. This could be helpful for their career too as their talent and passion can be clubbed together to reach the desired goal in life.

(The author is Principal of Billabong High International School)

First Published: Jul 17, 2019 14:37 IST