In an eminently practical society like Singapore’s, parents can sometimes question the importance of the performing arts for kids.
After all, during the Circuit Breaker, an infamous poll published by the Straits Times caused quite a furore when respondents identified ‘artist’ as the top most non-essential job. Even diplomat Tommy Koh was drawn into the argument, publishing an op-ed that reassured readers the arts was not only valued but extremely important.
So, why should parents introduce performing arts to their preschoolers?
Performing Arts for Kids Improves Creativity
Many professionals believe that creativity is not a skill that can be taught, but a muscle that needs regular exercising.
Why is creativity important?
In short, all the advancements that have brought our world to this very point were invented by people who could envision a better and different way of doing things.
Through performing arts, children give their creative muscles a good workout. They learn to understand and codify the world in unique ways, which prepares them to better navigate their way through school and in future.
Being able to think out of the box also gives them a head start for writing compositions and understanding narratives. These are valuable tools which are extremely difficult to teach.
Kids Learn to Collaborate Through Performing Arts
Performing arts is a discipline that encourages and demands teamwork. After all, a production can only succeed when all the different parts of the “machinery” mesh together: the director, the producer, the actors, the stage crew, the lighting crew, set design, costume design, the orchestra and of course the playwright.
Many people think that the performing arts is only about performing – but they would only be half right!
Students gain the opportunity to engage in creative collaboration and learn how to work well together in teams and with one another. This is a crucial skill that will get them far especially in primary school where they will embark on more group projects and teamwork.
Confidence is key When It Comes to Performing Arts for Kids
Many of our preschoolers are inherently shy or unwilling to put themselves forward. It is natural that some children are more self-conscious than others.
With performing arts though, children can gain new levels of confidence when they constantly get the chance to showcase their skills and talents in front of others.
Even adults can get jittery when it comes the time to present to an audience, be it our colleagues or even a boss. Learning how to cope with performance anxiety from young will definitely give preschoolers a huge boost for the future.
In a supportive arts community for children, your child will receive positive and constructive feedback that puts the spotlight on growing, developing and moving forward.
Rather than shy away from critiques, children learn to gracefully accept tips and pointers. They learn that constructive feedback is useful and helps them to improve and engage in self-reflection: a vital skill for surviving in primary school.
Valuing the Performing Arts for Its Own Sake
In fact, perhaps it is time to move away from the transactional idea that we should only expose our kids to the performing arts for tangible benefits.
It is a travesty to think that art should not be valued, when there are countless intangible advantages that art adds to our lives (not just for our preschoolers).
Interestingly, studies have been done that strongly link participation in the arts to a better civil society. Furthermore, polls show that most people consider the arts an inextricable part of a well-rounded education.
When it comes down to it, art may not be strictly essential to survive, but it is essential to the human experience.
How Can We Seamlessly Integrate Performing Arts into Our Preschoolers’ Lives?
The newest addition to our family is the MindChamps Performing Arts Preschool. It offers an immersive performing arts learning environment, cultivating a love and an appreciation for music, singing, dance and drama.
Keen to find out more?
Written by Danielle Hee