For too long the arts have been overlooked when it comes to their importance and value in a well-rounded education. On the surface, many parents will remember the arts from their school days as the time to ‘have a break’ from the serious subjects. However, little do those parents realise, while they thought they were having fun, deep inside the sub-conscious of their adolescent minds, something major was happening.
Every year at Sydney Catholic Schools we are lucky to see students develop truly awe-inspiring creative masterpieces far beyond their years. However, it is not just our artistically gifted children that reap the benefits of artistic participation. Just participating can also be a pleasure, the arts acting as the key that unlocks and develops so many of the skills and abilities we need to succeed in modern life.
As world-renowned education expert Dr Anita Collins has explained, a child who begins to learn a musical instrument before the age of seven will see an increase in their IQ of 7.5 points. Dr Collins further explains that music in young children is a touchstone for developing cognitive function and critical thinking, especially in today’s schools where we need to arm students with the knowledge of how to succeed in the jobs of the future.
In terms of academic excellence, you need to look no further than a basic history textbook to comprehend the truly symbiotic nature that exists between the sciences and the arts. When Nicolaus Copernicus changed the scientific world forever, proclaiming the earth revolves around the sun, the arts world was going through the Renaissance. Also, as the rough mechanical clatter from factories and the whistle of steam engines were the soundtrack that heralded the industrial revolution, they were also accompanied by the exquisite compositions of Beethoven, Mozart and Tchaikovsky. Even more recently, the new 20th Century literary form of science fiction has inspired an entire generation of young people to develop spacecraft and race to the stars.
When you look at the above, it is clear that throughout the all of recorded history, every major scientific leap forward has taken place during a period of artistic enlightenment.
At Sydney Catholic Schools, we celebrate the arts through the Catholic Schools Performing Arts Program (CaSPA). Incorporating dance, drama, voice and music disciplines as we believe it is only by allowing our students’ imaginations to run wild through exposure to a diversity of influences, experiences and ideas that we can build well-rounded intelligence in our children.
Even if your child is not the next Laurence Olivier, drama will unlock in students the skills and confidence to thrive as adults. From an audience perspective, drama allows children to absorb stories that impact them in their own lives, removing feelings of isolation during development. When called on to perform, drama students will improve their confidence, explore their creativity, build ways to retain information and learn about body control.
Learning about body control is also an important aspect in dancing, where the physicality and coordination of the medium builds students’ cognitive skills and expression skills.
Through the program, CaSPA calls on the finest artistic minds from the Australian entertainment industry who are only more than too happy to offer their time to help and mentor our students to draw out their talents and abilities. This aims to ensure that students graduate from Sydney Catholic Schools as well-rounded individuals who will succeed in life far beyond the stage.
***To learn more about CaSPA click here***