Children who participate in theater learn patience and focus. In an era where television changes images every three to four seconds, theater requires children to stay focused for long periods. Working together to produce a play also teaches kids how to budget their time toward a long-term goal. This leads them to important skills that will help them throughout their life.
Theater Encourages Confidence
Theatre is a great way to teach children confidence. By allowing them to work through their limiting beliefs, make mistakes, and succeed quickly and publicly, kids learn they can grow on stage and in life.
Whether getting up in front of peers and coaches or a large audience at a performance, facing your fears and stepping out of your comfort zone will benefit your child throughout their lifetime. This is a skill that they can take with them to every classroom, friendship group, and future interview.
Performing arts also encourages children to practice their listening skills. They may be listening to their coach's advice or a fellow student's opinion and must focus on listening to every word.
Acting Encourages Teamwork
Taking on roles in drama has been shown to naturally increase children's empathy, which can have social and moral benefits. As a team sport, theater instructors like Zoe Reardon encourages kids to collaborate to put on a show.
Teamwork can be nurtured through simple activities like assigning groups a name and asking them to come up with answers to questions about themselves. Group work and discussions in drama classes can help students develop oral communication skills. This is necessary for school presentations and group projects.
It can also help students develop critical awareness as they learn how to give constructive feedback to their peers. The instructor can support this process by preparing students with discussion questions and giving them tips on delivering their ideas in class. This can also help them build empathy and understanding for their peers.
A happy theatre teacher means a happy student. Teaching children's theatre is a passion that many teachers pursue with enthusiasm and joy, often with the help of a supportive staff of assistants. Drama classes require kids to take themselves out of their comfort zone, slowly and steadily building their confidence with every rehearsal. This teaches resilience and perseverance, skills that will benefit them for life.
The theater teacher usually produces plays outside of classroom hours, either shorter spaces for classrooms or assemblies or full productions once or twice a year. This requires time management, sourcing and ordering scripts, casting, staging directing, prop production, etc. This teaches responsibility and how to work in a team as well as the importance of listening and following directions.
Participating in Theatre Encourages Self-Discipline
Acting also gives children an opportunity to face their fears. Speaking in front of an audience can be scary, but it can be equally rewarding. When kids receive positive feedback from their audience, they become proud of themselves.
A theater instructor can also encourage self-discipline by rewarding students who are responsible. For example, if a student is well prepared for a rehearsal, they can earn praise from their peers or the teacher. This helps students understand self-discipline so they can learn to control their behaviors.
Creative kids think differently, so they often find out-of-the-box solutions to problems. They also tend to approach life as an adventure, which leads them to embrace risk-taking and failure. Like building any muscle, consistency is key. If students don't use their “creative muscles” daily, they will lose them.
To develop their writing skills, they should do a small amount of playwriting every class for a month. This builds a habit of creating over time, and it's much easier than trying to do a lot all at once.
Theater teaches kids to understand multiple perspectives. Seeing actors take on roles and explain their characters' motivations, intentions, and goals allows them to empathize with others. They are also taught how to manage their emotions, enabling them to help their peers through difficult times.