More than singing and dancing: 3 reasons to champion performing arts education

More than singing and dancing: 3 reasons to champion performing arts education
March 2, 2020 g-oz

With just one week to go until the first community programs of 2020, we’re diving into the top 3 reasons why performing arts participation is so influential in achieving excellent educational outcomes.

1. Increasing confidence and self-esteem

The performing arts is a proven tool to increase students’ self-esteem and overall confidence[1]. As girls progress through the g-oz program, we have seen their confidence grow from one session to another. For some girls, even just one week of sessions can be enough to see them come of out their shells and embrace the opportunity to take risks and try new things. g-oz sessions are always a safe and encouraging space. Taking risks and feeling uncomfortable is a part of life, and using continuous positive affirmation, we have seen girls embrace the unknown in g-oz sessions. It is our hope that girls apply the learnings from these experiences in their educational and personal lives, to take risks and see what happens.

“When you’re singing and you mess up, you have your friends to help. My confidence has grown and I’ve learned that shame gets you nowhere in life.”

2. Re-engaging girls in school

Using the performing arts a hook of engagement, the g-oz program aims to keep girls in school. While this goal may seem ambitious, numerous studies have found a positive link between performing arts education and school retention rates[2]. Leveraging off over 20 years of experience in performing arts education, Australian School of Performing Arts directors founded the g-oz program because they have seen the multitude of benefits performing arts education brings. Now, 13 years on, the g-oz program has empowered girls to think big about their future academic and professional lives. But don’t just take our word for it, g-oz participants describe it best:

“I guess it changed the way I think about school cause I think, ‘well if I come to school or if I behave good, then Girls from Oz is always there.”

3. Developing life skills

Communication skills and working in a team are  essential in all aspects of life. Performing arts participation fosters the development of these life skills particularly through music education[3].  Moreover, studies have shown that practicing music for a longer period of time improves students’ planning, inhibition and working memory[4]. As more girls go through the g-oz program, it is always exciting to hear the many different pathways former participants have chosen to take. Recently, g-oz alumna Lydia Ozies bumped into Chair, Nicole Muir and Program Director, Kylie Lee-Archer, and shared what she has been up to since completing the g-oz program. It’s this impact that is at the core of g-oz, and inspires the growth and development of the program.

 

Above all else, our sessions are a safe space for girls to let go of the challenges they may face, and experience the joy in learning a new skill. We can’t wait to be back in Halls Creek, Carnarvon and Lockhart River for 2020!

 

 

[1] Ewing, R 2011 ‘The Arts and Australian Education: Realising potential’, Australian Education Review, no. 58, pp. 1-67

[2] Hardiman, M, Rinne, L & Yarmolomslaya, J 2017 ‘The effects of Arts Integration on Long-Term retention of Academia content

[3]Jaschke, AC, Honing, H & Scherder, EJA 2018 ‘Longitudinal analysis of music education on executive functions in primary school children’, frontiers in neuroscience, vol. 12, no. 103, pp. 1-11

[4] Ibid.