– And Why this is a Good Skill to Have
Performing arts is essentially two parts – the learning preparation and practice, and then the performance itself. This may be a ballet production, a musical performance or even a contest with prizes involved. Whatever the case, this second component puts pressure on children, but this isn’t a bad thing when it is taught in the right way. And this is something that performing arts teachers excel at.
Should children enter Examinations?
Being tested at something is part of learning and growing and when approached in the right way performing arts exams can and should be a very positive experience. If a child loves to dance then they want to show what they can do, there is a sense of competition with others and they want to progress. So, while this can put pressure on them, it is good pressure, letting them grow and learn at each step involved.
But how many competitions or examinations should they enter? Or how many productions should they be involved with? Dance teachers will often say as many as they can and there’s a logic behind that. If your child is only involved in one show, competition, examination or event then this builds a sense of it being an all-or-nothing thing. That if they don’t do well, they have failed. But if it is one among a number, then there is a little less emphasis on each one and it gives them multiple learning opportunities on how to deal with any pressure and how it feels to win and lose.
Preparing for pressure
Preparing well and doing their best means whatever the outcome a child will have felt some measure of success. It is completely normal to feel a little pressure or nerves when preparing for an exam, production or other event. But the course of preparing for the competition will also help them to get the hang of the pressure involved and use it to propel themselves to their best.
You can even do a little pressure application at home. When they are practising, ask them to do other things at the same time such as say their name and address or go through some of their dance routines blindfolded. All of this learns them to cope with things being a little different from the routine they learn.
The event itself
One of the most important things children learn when in the performing arts is to keep going. If they make a mistake, miss a step or play the wrong note, you don’t simply stop and give up. Instead, you keep going, finish the rest of the routine and do it the best that you can. This resilience is definitely something that can help them in later life where mistakes happen.
Depending on the nature of the event, it can also be about defeat. If they are in a competition and don’t win or don’t get a prize, there’s a sense of disappointment. But parents can let the child know how proud they are of them, how well they have done. And then turn attention to the next competition or event – what was learned that can be used?
We all want kids to be kids but with the pressure that comes from performing arts, they learn skills that will help them throughout their lives as well as building relationships, friendships and learning skills with many applications.