Written by Natalie Pitchford, Director and Fine Arts Faculty
As we prepare to open another gigantic spring musical here at Lovett, it’s easy to focus on the production value and lose sight of the takeaways for students. The educational benefits of these musicals are countless, some readily apparent and some not so. The obvious learning opportunities begin with deepening skills in singing, acting, and dancing.
Some of the “soft skills” students learn by participating in musical theatre, though, are likely more beneficial and impactful long-term, and we hope the students carry those with them into their chosen post-Lovett paths. Students gain confidence by learning an entire show and bravely performing on a stage (in front of their peers!). They gain empathy and EQ skills as they study a character’s experience and embark on a journey into someone else’s persona. The incredible amount of multitasking they do throughout the show -- playing multiple characters, singing, dancing, and acting at the same time, changing costumes in mere seconds, assisting with difficult technical transitions -- challenge their brains and bodies in the best possible way. They learn perseverance as they initially struggle with choreography and singing, but learn through practice and repetition that they can improve. Students also gain an appreciation for the complexity of the theatre and for the meaningfulness of an art form.
Finally, and probably most important, our students gain something irreplaceable -- community. We work hard to foster an open, loving, and inclusive environment in which all students are welcome. They love each other and cheer for one another across lines of age, role, or social circles. There is really no better gain. Truly, the benefits of education in theatre are countless and meaningful.