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Lagos Islands Principal, Sarah Boulos, points out the HUGE benefits of drama in education

28 August

The benefits of drama of quite profound for children and adults. Whether it be after school classes or school drama programmes, research has shown that children emotional, congnitive, social and physical development through drama can bring increased academic results and future success owing to the confidence. The following points taken from an article show the reasons why every parent should be sending their children to drama classes:

Self Confidence

Taking risks in class and performing in front of an audience teaches students to trust their ideas and abilities. This confidence then applies to school, career and life.

Making creative choices, thinking up new ideas, and interpreting material in a new way are all essential skills. Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”.

Physical Fitness
Movement in drama games, and particularly dance, improves flexibility, coordination, balance, control and overall body fitness.

Theatre arts enhance both verbal and non-verbal expression of ideas.  It improves voice projection, articulation, pronunciation, fluency and how to express oneself with the body. Listening and observation aptitude are also developed through drama games, being an audience, rehearsing and performing.

The social interaction and risk-taking involved develops trust in self, others, and the process.

Playing, practising and performing develop a sustained focus of body, mind and voice.

Problem Solving
Students learn how to communicate the who, why, what, where to the audience; problems that have to be overcome through the rehearsal process. Techniques like improvisation help foster quick-thinking solutions. Pupils also learn the essential art (sometimes the hard way!) of how to deal with the difficulties that arise through working with others.

Rehearsing and performing words, lyrics, movements and cues tightens this valuable skill like a muscle.

Emotional Outlet
Acting, singing, dance and drama games allow students to express a range of emotions in a safe, controlled environment; this can reduce anti-social behaviour.

Theatre combines the creative ideas and abilities of its participants. This co-operative process includes discussing and negotiating, which can be invaluable skills.

The process of moving from ideas to actions to performance teaches the value of perseverance and practice. There are also many occasions in the rehearsal room and in performance that self-control needs to be employed.

Empathy & Social Awareness
Acting in roles from different situations, time periods and cultures promotes compassion and understanding of others’ feelings and viewpoints.  Legends, myths, stories, poems, plays, songs all teach students about social issues and conflicts from around the world (past and present).

Many drama activities reduce stress by releasing mental, physical and emotional tension.

Aesthetic Appreciation
Participating in and viewing theatre raise appreciation for the art form. It is important to raise a generation that understands, values and supports theatre’s place in society.

And of course...FUN!

Drama brings games, laughter, and humour to learning, which all improve motivation and help reduce stress.

Research done by Jonas Basom, President & Founder of the Drama Education Network.

More information can be found on "The Drama Game File 2nd Edition CD-ROM for Arts and Literacy". which is available at www.DramaEd.net

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"My daughter has been doing Drama at Islamia College since the last term last year. Due to certain events last year, she had become very shy and had lost self-confidence. I was so pleasantly surprised yesterday when I saw her perform on stage. It's a big step forward from last year (at the end of last year, she didn't even have the confidence to go up on stage at her Awards day to collect her award!) I would l..."

- Cape Town Parent, South Africa