Engagement in the Performing Arts heralds wide ranging benefits for students of all ages. Be it on stage or back stage, music, dance or dramatic performance, boys’ involvement in artistic pursuits promotes positive life and study skills and many personal attributes exemplified in fine young men.
Here are 6 attributes that Performing Arts can help enhance in boys:
- Team Work, Peer Support and Confidence
Collaborating to create art for performance is a powerful experience, and develops emotional and social maturity as well as wide friendships, empathy and tolerance. Not dissimilar to that of any team sport, the camaraderie and sense of achievement and pride which comes from overcoming a challenge is built into every performing arts pursuit.
Similarly, engaging the performer/audience relationship through live performance is a personal risk. Gains in confidence come from managing this, and the long term effects are exponential – positively affecting both personal and academic endeavours.
To perform for an audience is to communicate – be it aural or visual, verbal or physical. This is fostered in multiple relational ways on stage, and immeasurable development in these core skills is experienced by those who perform regularly. Of course, strong communication skills are key to succeeding both in the workplace and in personal interactions, and are developed with impressive rate when presenting your craft on stage.
- High Expectations and Striving for Personal Best
Performing is a high pressure situation, and by nature obliges high expectations. Certainly, performance does not support lacklustre effort! The drive to demonstrate our best is key when presenting on stage, and this approach naturally spreads to academic, sporting and social performance. In fact, studies regularly show that students who participate in Performing Arts herald greater results in other key learning areas, whilst similarly raising personal standards.
- Perseverance, Resilience and Reflection
These are the side effects of rehearsal, feedback, review and refinement; the critical process of crafting a final performance product. Similarly, the positive work habits which rehearsal encourages are wide-reaching and applicable to all areas of life.
Continuous study proves that involvement in the Performing Arts has a primary function in cognitive, social, motor, emotional and language development. Of course the refinement and employment of feedback inherent in preparing for performance supports this, and the strength to ‘bounce back’ from constructive criticism is crucial.
- Creativity and Problem Solving
‘The show must go on!’ echoes backstage in most performances, and in live work there are countless misadventures which occur. Subsequently, on the spot decisions, critical thinking and creativity are all necessities employed regularly. Life is much the same – various roadblocks and problems are encountered and often benefit from creative problem solving and remedial action.
- Focus and Time Management
Managing a schedule with homework plus academic, sporting, social and family time is no mean feat. Whilst perhaps seemingly contradictory, adding ongoing commitment to co-curricular pursuits certainly demands mastery of time management. Participation in the Performing Arts prepares boys for this accurate reflection of the demands of adult life.
In modern society, boys are faced with balancing many priorities, and societal stereotyping places expectations of sporty/physical focus, technology immersion and academic rigour. However, it can be argued that singular focus on these do not facilitate flexible, creative thinking. Many boys studying now will engage in future careers which do not currently exist and it is the assets detailed above which will equip them for those roles.
Written by Amanda Barwick, Dance and Drama Teacher, The Scots College.
To discover more about Performing Arts at The Scots College, download our Prospectus.