In this article, Lisa Phillips from The Artistic Edge explains how important the arts are to children’s success. When you expose your child to and offer study of the arts, you are giving them a potentially unlimited gift!

1. CREATIVITY

Now more than ever, employers are looking for creative thinkers who can move their business forward, not just academic achievers who know how to maintain the status quo. Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

2. CONFIDENCE

For many people, stage fright is one of their greatest fears. Some people get physically ill at the thought of speaking in front of their colleagues or making a presentation to clients. The skills developed through theatre, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Experience in theatre gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences. Imagine what children could achieve with all the confidence they need to succeed.

3. PROBLEM SOLVING

Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. The arts teaches children to approach problems as exciting opportunities to challenge their skills and creativity. Art is a powerful avenue to work through problems that may occur in life. It allows children to imagine possible solutions and test them out on their peers. This is a valuable exercise that will help develop important problem solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. PERSEVERANCE

Life presents us with many challenges that require us to be dedicated, persistent, and patient, whether it be writing a 10-page history paper or working on a multi-layered presentation for the CEO of your company. Experiences in the arts helps kids understand and appreciate where persistence can get you. When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

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