The performing arts give students skills that build relationships, flexibility, and self-esteem.
Theater is beneficial to children’s development. It helps children develop a range of beneficial skills, such as quick-thinking and problem solving. The performing arts also teach students how to overcome anxiety, and build self confidence. Theater, in particular, strengthens empathy, by asking the student to enter into what their character is feeling and experiencing. Additionally, putting on a play requires students to work as a team.
That’s why at Summerfield, every student is involved in putting on a class play every year.
We see the wide-ranging positive impacts in our students and the powerful boost to their self confidence that theater provides.
Drama, choir, and instrumental music performances are key components in Waldorf education. Each year, students put on a play related to each grade’s curriculum, from 1st through 12th grade.
“After all, research shows that children who sing/dance/act/play their little hearts out are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement compared with their non-performing friends — and they tend to have enhanced cognitive, motor, and social development to boot. But the benefits don’t end there. Getting up on stage can enrich your child’s life in all sorts of surprising ways.”
Theater is an integral part of the Waldorf curriculum and life at Summerfield.
Our teachers write plays, craft plays from books, and fine tune plays specifically to meet the needs of their class. They know that groups working together on specific topics will inspire discussion, spur creativity, and challenge their students. Students come together to create sets, lighting, staging, music, and dialogue.
As they grow older, they take on more and more responsibility for the production of the play – designing the artwork for flyers, costuming and set painting and building. Students collaborating on plays teaches them to value each other as integral and essential, and work toward a common goal.
In fact, these are the exact qualities that the Scholastic article notes that are developed in students who perform: innovation, overcoming anxiety, and self-esteem.
Through the performing arts, our students learn empathy, improvisation, and how to work together to build their confidence, problem-solving skills, and interconnection.