Performance Solutions Management Steps Out in Defense of Arts Education

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Even with recent data pointing to how arts education “fuels the economy” (1) UK schools are still faced with cuts to programmes such as theatre, performing arts, dance, drama and choir. Teaching management specialist Michael Park discusses the importance of performing arts in education and how exam-driven approaches of the last 20 years haven’t left enough room for creativity in the classroom.

Studies investigating the impact of arts education (2) on academic and extra-curricular achievement have shown overall improvements in attendance rates, exam results, language skills, critical thinking, creativity, cooperation and community involvement. Despite the amount of evidence pointing to the value of arts in education, creative courses are rapidly being replaced by more technical programmes which are perceived to be more practical.

With many years’ experience in the education sector as a speaker, course leader and teacher, Michael Park believes performing arts should be an essential part of the classroom experience for children in the UK.

“The emphasis on maths and sciences as ‘practical’ academic paths has marginalised programmes with a creative focus such as dance, drama and choir. Arts education helps students develop confidence and effective communication skills through a positive means of self-expression; the importance of this should not be underestimated,” he explains.

“The growing emphasis on standardised exams leaves little room for creativity – a very marketable skill which most employers highly value.”

In 2012, Park founded his own teaching management company called Performance Solutions Management. He specialises in bringing West End theatre performers into UK classrooms to run interactive workshops and specialist dance, singing and acting programmes.

“For years, I’ve worked with teachers to develop arts education curriculums. It’s so rewarding to see young minds inspired by the arts and the benefits can be seen in their overall academic performance,” added Park.

“Evidence clearly shows the benefits of including arts as part of the core curriculum; now it’s up to parents, teachers and school administrators to make sure these programmes achieve a greater presence in our schools.”

(1)    “Who knew? Arts Education Fuels the Economy,” The Chronicle of Higher Education, 10 March 2014.
(2)    “Why teaching art to our children matters,” The Sacramento Bee, 2 March 2014

About Performance Solutions Management

Performance Solutions Management specialises in providing top quality teachers from the performing arts industry to the education sector. They offer inspiring and interactive workshops run by West End performers from well-known productions such as Shrek, The Lion King, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, We Will Rock You, Les Miserables, Wicked, Legally Blonde and The Wizard of Oz. Students are taught songs, dance routines and scenes from West End plays and have the chance to learn about the world of theatre first hand.

For more information, contact Michael Park at michael(at)performancesolutionsmanagement(dot)com

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Michael Park

Michael Park
@PSMuk
since: 08/2012
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Performance Solutions Management LTD
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