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From The Smith Center: Four ways students benefit from the performing arts

From The Smith Center: Four ways students benefit from the performing arts
Posted at 1:28 PM, May 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-16 16:28:14-04

The month of May can often bring pressure for Southern Nevada students, with many facing end-of-the-year exams, prom preparations and finding summer jobs. This time of year underscores the importance of teenagers enjoying access to healthy outlets that allow for creativity and stress release.

For many, there’s nothing better than stepping into the spotlight. Education and health experts around the world recommend for students to participate in the performing arts to experience a variety of benefits.

Surprised? Don’t be. Below are just a few ways the performing arts positively impact students:

1. Better Academic Performance

Students involved in the arts have higher academic motivation and engagement in class, according to a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology.

Demonstrating improvements in homework completion and overall enjoyment of school, students showing the greatest impact spent large amounts of time in performing arts programs at school.

2. Boosted Confidence

Performing teaches a broad range of skills, including delivering lines or playing music with gusto in front of an audience, as well as taking command of a stage. This nurtures self-esteem that students can carry with them in many areas of their lives.

3. Improved Focus

Participating in a group performance develops students’ ability to balance listening and contributing, which involves increased concentration, according to an article by leadership educator and author Lisa Phillips in The Washington Post.

Not only does this effort improve children’s focus on stage, but also in school and other activities.

4. Teamwork

Performing a theatrical or musical piece requires problem solving and creativity. This encourages children to communicate and work together, as well as compromise to achieve a greater goal.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts celebrates all of these benefits by hosting its annual Nevada High School Musical Theater Awards, coming up at 2 p.m. on May 21.

Showcasing performances by top musical theater students from high schools across Nevada, the event helps groom students to become tomorrow’s leading performers.

Participants of the statewide event enjoy rare opportunities to work one-on-one with world-class theater professionals, such as composer Keith Thompson.

Two winners will also go on to represent Nevada in the National High School Musical Theatre Awards in New York City this June. This life-changing experience includes training with Broadway professionals, earning opportunities to compete for scholarships and performing on an actual Broadway stage. For tickets or information on how to participate in future years, visit www.TheSmithCenter.com.

Kids ages 10-17 can also enjoy the benefits of the performing arts at The Smith Center’s Camp Broadway summer theater program. Families can learn more about this at The Smith Center website.