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How Theater Can Help Your Child's Holistic Development

John Pradeep J John Pradeep J 3 Mins Read

John Pradeep J John Pradeep J

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Theater allows children to explore, come out of their comfort zone and stimulate their creativity. Here we tell you how dramatics can help in a child's development

How Theater Can Help Your Child's Holistic Development

The ability to be creative and freely express emotions through the medium of theater can be liberating. Theater education is one of the most important means of stimulating creativity in children. Unlike a dance or a music class where a child is taught the art form with the right and wrong ways, theater allows the child to explore, make mistakes and learn from them.

Exploring drama as an art form can provide students with an outlet for shedding inhibitions and articulating their thoughts and dreams that they might not otherwise do. A child can for a few moments, become someone else, try out and experiment with various personal choices and come up with their own solutions to very real problems from their lives using role play.

Building communication skills

Theater is also the key to communication skills. Like all the art forms, it allows students to communicate effectively and helps them understand others in a new light (empathy). Students who have participated in drama-related activities are less likely to have difficulty speaking in public, will be better able to put themselves in others' shoes and relate to them.

They will learn to work together, co-operate and find the best way for each member of the group to contribute. Children involved in theater will imbibe the qualities of listening to one another and accepting the viewpoints and contributions of others. No art form is more truly collaborative. Therefore, they learn how to work in a team.

Theater and learning

Learning dance makes one a dancer and learning music makes one a musician. But theater is different. There is a misconception among parents that theater is only for children who are interested in acting or those who want to become actors. Apart from granting them a stage to show their skills, theater also works on the holistic development of a child.

It can be taught to children through various art forms such as puppetry, mime, shadow theater and so on. The child learns cognitive skills, leadership skills, social and emotional skills, language skills, etc., using theater as a methodology. The learning process is always exploratory and that enables the child to create rather than just learn.

How to become a theater artist

Most theater artists don't really have a formal education in drama. While becoming an actor does not need a certification, theater workshops help artists enhance their skills and gain perspectives on any profession. A career in theater does not mean only acting. It includes everything from being a writer, director, costume designer to light and sound designer, set designer, artist manager, producer, etc. All these roles need relevant coaching just as an engineer or an MBA graduate who go through formal education.

Benefits of theater for a child

There are various skills that children can imbibe by learning drama. These are some of them:

  1. Psychomotor: Developing perceptual and expressive skills and techniques
  2. Cognitive: Assimilating knowledge and developing thinking skills
  3. Affective: Cultivating positive attitudes towards art and the discipline or about themselves in relation to art
  4. Aesthetic: Deriving pleasure from a combination of senses, emotions, intellect, philosophy, imagination and spirit

Be it problem-solving, public speaking or learning a language, the medium of theater can be of great help. Theater-based methodologies ensure children get things imprinted in their minds in an experiential pattern that lasts longer and easily supports innovation in the later stages of their lives. Given the valuable lessons that a child will get from learning this art form, actually becoming a theater actor becomes secondary.

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