The benefits of an arts education in school cannot be overstated, according to Eva Spata, Sydney Catholic Schools’ (SCS) Specialist: Creative and Performing Arts.

“Arts education is important for all young people,” Ms Spata said. “Besides the intrinsic benefits – such as students finding a voice to express themselves, having empathy, exploring their imagination and creativity – there are instrumental benefits.

“They include cognitive development, ‘learning how to learn’, and improved academic performance. There are also attitudinal and behavioural benefits, such as self-efficacy and self-discipline, along with improved attendance at school.”

What’s happening in the creative and performing arts at SCS

“2021 is an exciting year for the arts at Sydney Catholic Schools,” said Eva Spata, SCS’ Specialist: Creative and Performing Arts.

“Not only are we celebrating outstanding HSC results, we are offering so many new opportunities for students to perform and create.”

Excitingly, SCS has already this year launched a comprehensive music education program titled in 14 of its schools, providing students with orchestral instruments, as well as classroom and ensemble music lessons led by specialist teachers.

SCS’ inaugural Eisteddfod takes centre stage in June. Students can also audition for the first Sydney Archdiocesan musical, Fame, as well as SCS’ annual film festival.

Plus, Southern Cross Catholic College Burwood is for the first time offering full-time courses for students in Years 9 to 12 seeking a specialised education in the performing arts.

The college’s 2021 program includes the NESA board developed Music, Dance and Drama courses (all levels), as well as a Certificate III in Community Dance, Theatre and Events.

“The Certificate course is aimed at triple threat performers, who can sing, dance and act,” Ms Spata said.

How Sydney Catholic school students stack up in the performing arts

SCS’ creative and performance artists have been enjoying phenomenal success in the wake of COVID-19.

  • Singer-guitarist Chrystal Ruz from Bethany College Hurstville ViVA Music 1 class of 2020 was recognised on the Encore Honour Roll for exemplary performance in the Viva Voce (Musicology) component of her HSC Examination. Chrystal went on to be awarded the National Excellence Scholarship to study the Bachelor of Music, majoring in Composition and Music Production, at the Australian Institute of Music.

Also, 12 SCS students were chosen from 9,000 entries to have their works displayed in the annual ArtExpress HSC showcase exhibitions.

“The year 2020 has seen the most HSC bodies of work included in ArtExpress for the (Sydney) Archdiocese,” Ms Spata said. She said the number of Archdiocesan inclusions had more than doubled compared to the previous year.

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