Performing arts as apart of school curriculum has been growing over the past decade, various studies show the importance of music, dance and drama in the developments of a students’ cognitive and behavioural skills. Recently MLC School had their biennial Opera House Concert, an event where the entire school bands together to create a spectacular performance, it was amazing to see the school brought together in such a way. Music is often spoken about in relation to improving ones learning and brain development, but what about drama?
Drama can be overlooked when it comes to academia, it can be seen as ‘only for the arty kids’, but in truth it is one of the most valuable and nurturing tools for people of all stages of life, but specifically in early and teen development. The pursuit of knowledge and education can easily be reduced to only matters of the ‘right-side-of -the-brain’ (or at least it’s stereotypical activity), when in reality there is so much more that contributes to our intelligence. As Albert Einstein said ‘The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but creativity’. Drama has the ability to increase ones ability to take risks, increase your self- confidence, social awareness, communication skills, collaborative skills, problem solving, memory and so much more.
The ability to take risks is a life skill necessary for almost every great accomplishment that man has ever achieved, without it we would never progress towards bigger or better things. Drama encourages students to take risks, to try new things and test their ideas and imaginations. Through this students learn that great things can happen when you take the leap, and that it’s okay to fail but to learn from your mistakes. In classes this is encouraged through activities like improvisation and devising, students grow in self-confidence with each new experience.
Drama is about telling stories and sharing experiences. A part of what we do in drama is indulge in the the many many works of literature that span thousands of years. Through the study of these stories drama students increase their social and self awareness as they explore history, culture and patterns of human behaviour and universal themes that are constant through-out changing times. Through storytelling and performance self-discipline is acquired through rehearsal and and development of performances. This process also greatly improves memory and provides a safe place to explore a range of emotion and most of all a lot of fun!
Working collaboratively with others is a huge part of drama and performance, it allows each person to be heard and teaches students to listen. By working in this way good ideas become great ideas. It’s also an area which encourages students to clearly communicate ideas, and develop ideas of others to explore and reach more complex and interesting outcomes. The vocal skills that drama addresses are a great advantage when it comes to communication skills. The ability to be clear and articulate in your speech is highly valuable.
There are so many advantages of drama in life from the beginning of schooling to the professional world beyond school. It develops skills that create rounded people, skills that bring huge advantages in academic life and personal life.