Budding stars, team workers and developing confidence
Our little elves are very busy working hard towards the holly jolly year end extravaganza! From reindeers wriggling their tails, jingling bells and sledges being prepared, to creating our top-secret Santa-Village, the air is filled with excitement and merriment. Needless to say, that time of the year is fast approaching, and we can’t wait to put on a show!
With all the fun and games surrounding our Christmas event, we are thrilled to see our little stars shine bright – from artists to rock stars, dancers and performers, all tirelessly creating their own unique masterpieces.
Early childhood, from birth to age five, is a remarkable period in human development. At the age of one, a baby’s brain is 70% of an adult size; at three, it has reached 85% and is crisscrossed by the connections that provide for human thought and communication.
Researchers say there’s reason to believe that music stimulates your toddler’s and infant’s brain, dance helps develop motor skills, drama teaches emotions and problem solving, and art fosters creativity and intellectual development. And that’s just the beginning! They help stimulate both sides of the brain as well as increase capacity of memory, attention and concentration. They aid in the development of reading skills, introduction of new concepts and vocabulary, and believe it or not, even concepts of maths and sciences.
We’re talking about pre-schoolers, which means that fun is the name of the game! If it isn’t engaging, then little ones won’t want to do it. That means honouring their personalities and abilities, keeping them moving, and maybe throwing in a healthy dose of humour, for good measure. Year-end fairs and performances entrenched in arts and the performing arts do just that, as kids play with movement, timing, drama, comedy, rhythm and more. With different roles associated with the performance, your child can also find the space where they’re most comfortable. Moreover, performances also encourage a lot of behavioural development and soft skills.
Confidence and Presentation Skills One of the most obvious benefits of performances is the development of confidence and skills in self-presentation. A child learns how to present him or herself in front of an audience, be it big or small. It allows them to overcome their fear of facing strangers and to gain confidence. Rehearsals are also great in training children to overcome their fears and learn from their mistakes, through guidance and observation of others. Participation in performances allows them to grow their self-esteem and self-confidence, develop poise and learn to overcome anxieties.
Team work and cooperation Through performances, children realise the importance of team work that involves a lot of focus and concentration. Performances inspire children not just to focus on themselves but also on others, to ensure that the entire performance works out. It helps children to pay attention to different types details. This means that children who are encouraged to be a part of performances gain social skills, and learn how to collaborate. Once again, this is something that pays in all areas of life, not just in the theatre.
Accountability Through performances and arts, children realise that their actions affect others. They become accountable for their actions and mistakes. Through dance recitals or drama rehearsals, children can see how the overall performance is affected when they are not ready or doing their best. This is very important in the developing adults who are responsible for their own actions.
Self-expression Performances and arts allow for deep self-expression. It can help little ones make sense of their emotions and develop new ideas to express themselves. For example, musical children may find their “happy place” when they are singing to themselves, that reflect their emotions. Or maybe the dancer is better able to express his/her emotions through physical movement rather than vocally.
Perseverance and Dedication Practice makes perfect. Performances also teach toddlers both self-reliance as well as collaboration in order to reach a goal. Children who practice any form of dance or learn music understand how hard it is and how much time it takes to achieve even a little progress. The only way to master the dance or song is through continuous practice.
They learn to appreciate dedication and discipline. They develop habits like keeping their tools, cleaning them, arriving to rehearsals ready and on time and appreciating the efforts of others. It is highly important in a competitive world when you are required to stay patient and never give up in order to learn new skills.
Empathy and Compassion Performances and rehearsals help promote interpersonal skills. Some of the previously mentioned benefits can come through participation in sporting activities, but performances also promote and develop certain skills and characteristics such as empathy and compassion for others. The creativity involved in performances extends to emotional creativity and can open children to new ways of seeing the world. In group settings, there’s less of a focus on winning or losing, and more about working together as a team towards a shared performance goal, as well as the child’s individual journey of development.
Whether it’s acting in a play or performing in a dance, encouraging your child to perform is a great way to create a well-rounded education.
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