The Christmas Musical performed last December set the stage for the second term of Performing Arts at MBTS, and our Art classes and classrooms have been transformed into spaces where the children can unfold, pretend, experiment and have fun with each other. Warm-ups, improvisation games and pantomime are regular and integral components of every class, and the children’s excitement and enthusiasm emphasize how important these opportunities are for self-expression.
The benefits of studying Drama are wide and varied. Studying the Performing Arts engages with the creative side of the brain and gives balance to an education that is often engaged in an ocean of theoretical subjects, and allows an avenue to develop cognitive abilities that complement study in other disciplines.
Through Drama, students gain important life skills as they learn the value of critical feedback, positive and constructive. We always start Drama class by discussing Safe Space and how we need to feel that we can express ourselves without the fear of being judged. I mostly find this is a somewhat foreign subject to the children, who seem to rarely encounter or experience this at the school. Feeling self-conscious is also less of an issue in the years preceding adolescence, and as such, the elementary years are an ideal period for exploring Drama.
Creative expression is a great way to build self-confidence, and offers a forum in which children can explore a wide range of emotions ranging from anger to happiness. Drama builds confidence, giving students beneficial public speaking opportunities wherein they learn to approach situations in an array of different manners. It can often help introverted and reserved children, with some students learning to “find their voice” while studying drama. Through dramatic expression and role-playing, they may discover they are problem solvers or natural leaders.
Drama provides an essential outlet to all children, and can help define a child’s growing sense of independence and interdependence. I can only hope that our children take away something useful and inspiring from their every encounter in Drama.
In preparation for our First Farmers’ Market at MBTS, two parents very kindly donated and sewed a canvas (thank you Miss Dawn and Miss Debbie V.) and the Upper Elementary classrooms embraced the challenge of writing and painting a banner for the market during Art.
Creating works of art that have real, practical use in the community is an effortless and engaging way to make Visual Art more meaningful to budding artists.
Thank you all for your wonderful – and useful – work of art!
Welcome to all our new families and returning students for the school year 2017/2018 in Art. I look forward to working with all of the students and hope to be part of their memories for this year.
A few words about art lessons and the importance of allowing the process to stand alone without the end product being a focus. It is an adult idea that we must seek an end product which can interfere, confuse and be unfavorable to being in the moment and truly express ourselves.
Art has played an important role in early childhood programs for years. Art fosters sensory perception, provides the opportunity to represent and symbolize experiences, offers children a chance to experiment, create, and build, strengthens children’s ability to think and make decisions, and helps them make sense of the world.
Art is fun. Children have a natural ability to create. It is observed in their daily play and art is one medium through which children can satisfy this need to create and express themselves.
Why is it then that we as adults tend to ask questions like “ What did you draw?” or “What are you making?”. It is the process that matters to children, once he or she has finished with his piece the child moves onto his next work.
The importance of guiding children in art activities is to allow the process to take centre stage. Process means allowing the child to explore art materials with guidance: experimenting with paints, watching the mixing colours, and feeling textures.
Process is creating something that is uniquely yours and not a copy of someone else’s. The goal is for the children to feel accepted, successful, confident and free to explore their environment.
I hope we achieve a little of this with the children at MBTS.