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The Three R's - Rhythm, Romance and Respect
Whether your kids do dance and drama in school or you have kids in a drama school, Jennai Cox from Dandelion Arts explains the benefits of live performances for children.
Earlier this year the US Government passed a new law ensuring that music and art, including theatre, become core subjects in school. There is no such bill pending in the UK, but is it time to rethink the 3 Rs? So to complement reading, writing and arithmetic, we have rhythm, romance and respect?
Music sets the tone for much of what happens in a stage production. It is the auditory expression our emotions. From toddlerhood to adolescence, children need a way of finding value in their feelings, and an understanding of those of others. Yet without exposure to the very rich history of sound, how will they appreciate anything other than what their peer group shares? Through theatre.
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The very experience of setting foot inside of one lifts the spirit. It is a place of shared joy, anticipation, excitement and learning. A live staged performance can rarely be beaten for its ability thrill. The actors, and action, are tangible, and touchable. The Wifi connection is irrelevant; it’s the connection with what is happening before the eyes, and in the heart and mind that counts.
Taking part in or watching a show awakens an otherwise sometimes dormant resolve, to be better, do better. Any story well told has its heroes, and almost always children can identify, if not with them, then with an aspect of them. It also commands respect, not just for the actors on the stage, but also the expertise of the lighting engineers, set builders, script-writers, directors, costume designers – all with their very unique set of skills made real on stage.
And so, more in touch with their own rhythm, the romance of a live show, and respect for all of those who make it come together, children often find a validity in their own creativity, and a realisation that being able to read, write and count, amount to nothing if the skills cannot be used to create something of their own.