There are a variety of benefits for enrolling children in arts programs, but sports and academic endeavours often overshadow these activities. Research shows, however, that children who are involved in arts programs, such as music, theatre, and the visual arts, consistently score higher on college entrance exams than students who do not participate in these activities. Participation in the theatrical arts can give students a variety of skills that will help them throughout life. Here are five of the top reasons all parents should encourage their children to give theatre a try.
1. Heightened Confidence
Students who participate in theatre must learn to convey confidence through vocal projection, facial expression, and body language. However, children can benefit from more than just portraying confidence on stage. The process of learning lines, understanding character development, and practicing stage presentation can help create a powerful sense of accomplishment. In addition, positive feedback from the director, peers, and the audience can help even the shyest children improve their self-esteem. These traits usually stay with a person long after he or she has left the stage.
2. Improved Communication
Communication skills are a valuable asset that can help children in their future relationships, education, and career. Performers in a play must practice vocal projection and clear articulation in order for their lines to be understood. They must also be aware of how their tone of voice and nonverbal cues contribute to what their character is trying to say. Getting children to think about the message that they are projecting helps them to be more intentional in communicating in their everyday lives. Improved self-esteem will also help children be more confident as they communicate their ideas to others.
3. Enhanced Empathy
Empathy and compassion are values that are not taught in a classroom. To successfully play a character, children must learn to portray feelings and reactions that are not their own. In addition, literary works often open a child’s eyes to new abstract concepts of the human experience. This ability to relate to a different point of view will prove to be a valuable social skill throughout a person’s lifetime.
4. Increased Teamwork
Team-building activities have been proven to be beneficial to children of all ages. The ability to coordinate as a group will be especially helpful later in a person’s career. A stage play is dependent on the entire cast and crew to function smoothly. The director, cast, set-builders, and lighting and audio technicians must all work together to create a successful production. Actors especially must learn to work with each other to find chemistry between their characters.
5. Added Responsibility
Children who participate in theatre must have the ability to learn lines on their own time, attend practices and performances, and still maintain academic requirements. Increased responsibility is an important part of any child’s growing maturity. Theatre can be a fun way to teach a child to be responsible without making it feel like a chore.