I read a book by British author, speaker and education expert Sir Kenneth Robinson, and in it he asked: How do we prepare students for a future that does not yet exist? With rapid advancements in technology changing the way we live (and learn), we do not know what the future holds for our students, and what path they may take in pursuing a career. Gone are the days where an answer is either right or wrong, and situations are either black or white, or the answer is a yes or no. One could argue that the best way to prepare our students for their future is to pursue the performing arts. Why?
Studying the performing arts plays a significant role in developing a child’s creativity, igniting their imagination and providing environments where students can express themselves confidently. These are called transferrable skills. Students learn a variety of these transferrable skills through a performing arts education compared to other subjects, such as communication, team work, listening skills and leadership. Based in Vietnam, I have several students, who do not speak English as their first language, make big, positive changes by studying the performing arts.
For example, since recruiting a Drama specialist at BIS Hanoi, we have seen an increase in students speaking the English language confidently and expand their English vocabulary. The vocal and physical exercises embedded within our Drama curriculum has helped decrease anxiety for our students who earlier lacked confidence in their English language abilities. The exercises also created an opportunity for them to express themselves with ease. This highlights the powerful impact the performing arts can have in supporting a child to become a well-rounded individual.