News Column

Drama Expert Reveals How Performing Arts can Enhance Other Learning

June 20, 2014



Evidence and research on the link between the arts and other cognitive learning in children is accumulating, calling for more parents to enrol their kids in local theatre schools.  Lynn Beaumont, (http://www.dramaclasses.biz/who-are-dramaclasses) a drama practitioner and teacher for over 20 years, is urging parents and schools to look at this cognitive development research and involve more children in music, drama and dance training.

The Dana Foundation, which specialises in brain research, published a report entitled Learning, Arts and The Brain which compiles findings from 9 different studies conducted by 7 different US universities.  Many of the studies found a correlation between music, acting and dance training and other awareness and learning such as reading acquisition, memory improvement and cognitive learning which transfers to other skills.

As the UK government and state schools seem to be leaning away from creative subjects, Ms Beaumont thinks it is essential for kids to take part in acting or musical training as an extra-curricular activity; this research highlights the advantages of teaching the arts. Ms Beaumont founded an online directory for drama schools and workshops, where people can search the nation for local performing arts classes for children.  (http://www.dramaclasses.biz/childrens-drama-classes-and -performing-arts-schools)

Ms Beaumont, drama educationalist and founder of DramaClasses.biz said, “Arts training has been associated with higher academic performance for a while now – children who are musically talented, for example, often excel in other subjects such as maths and literacy.  But there has been no scientific proof in terms of which activities influence one another – it could be that smart people are drawn to the arts, rather than studying the arts ‘makes you smarter.’

However, more and more data is starting to emerge on the subject.  While scientists can’t prove exactly how studying art forms leads to an enhanced academic performance - or how to measure that relationship such as an IQ score – they can prove a general improvement in attention and cognition from a young age.”

Michael Posner Ph.D. and member of the Dana Foundation research facility has argued that researchers are finding evidence to support education in the arts transferring to unrelated cognitive abilities.  He believes when children find an art form which sustains their interest and stimulates their attention, the subsequent strengthening of the attention networks can broadly improve cognition.  Therefore, there is now science-based support that focused training in theatre, music and dance strengthens the brain’s attention system which can improve and enhance cognitive performance and intelligence.

“To give a child the best start in life, enrol them in any type of arts training; it is now proven to aid development in other areas of learning,” added Lynn.  “Furthermore it’s enjoyable, and it lets kids be creative and learn all-important social skills which they won’t learn at school.”

For more information about drama, dance and music classes for children in your area visit http://www.dramaclasses.biz/ Please direct press queries to Rebecca Appleton at Dakota Digital. Email Rebecca@dakotadigital.co.uk or Tel: 01623 428996. Note to Editors: Issued by Dakota Digital. For further information please contact Jade Cayton. Tel: 0161 818 9624. Email: jade@dakotadigital.co.uk



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Source: Cision