As parents, it’s natural to place an emphasis on the importance of the core academic school subjects, but subjects like drama, music and art are valuable in their own right. The arts provide a range of benefits to young people, like teaching them important skills and helping with confidence. These types of subjects are fantastic for helping youngsters de-stress, as they provide a welcome break from a traditional classroom environment. Usually, in subjects like maths or science, pupils are either right or wrong in their answers, but the arts provide considerably more flexibility to be creative and expressive. At this senior school in Surrey, “music flourishes outside the classroom” with various choirs, orchestras, rock bands and instrumental ensembles.
The arts provide young people with an opportunity to explore their unique identities, which helps with their self-esteem. When they perform a piece of music or take centre stage in a play, they are applauded, which gives them a sense of pride and encourages their confidence. Likewise, when they paint a beautiful picture in art, we may hang it up in our office, which again contributes to increased self-esteem. A confident child might feel more comfortable engaging in classroom discussions and taking risks in other areas of life.
Learning an instrument or rehearsing lines for a drama production teaches children the importance of perseverance. Even when they feel like giving up, they must continue practising in order to improve and succeed. The arts also promote teamwork, observation, and problem-solving. For younger children, the arts are great for developing fine motor skills, as they involve movements with the hands and fingers, thus strengthening those muscles.
So, while the arts might not initially seem as important as the core subjects, they are actually fantastic for helping pupils develop various important skills that they can transfer to other areas of life, both now and in the future. In drama, for example, even if your child is not necessarily interested in performing on-stage, they might find a passion for set construction, costume design or lighting. Exploring various interests from a young age helps children make more informed decisions when they have more control over their studies, such as when they have to make their GCSE subject choices, decisions on qualifications in the Sixth Form, as well as university options.