Performing Arts at Abuja Preparatory School is an integral part of the entire Arts Programme and includes music, dance and theatre. We are committed to developing every aspect of the children in our programme and are aware of the value of the creative arts for our children. Valerie Strauss describes these as:

  1. Creativity– Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish a child from others.
  2. Confidence–The skills developed through theatre, not only train children how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence they need to take command of the stage.
  3. Problem Solving– Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it, children that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems.
  4. Perseverance– When a child has to audition for the first time, it is a daunting experience. However, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, presenting that role convincingly is that much closer.
  5. Focus– The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.
  6. Non-Verbal Communication– Through experiences in theatre and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.
  7. Receiving Constructive Feedback– Receiving constructive feedback about a performance is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful.
  8. Collaboration– Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theatre or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group.
  9. Dedication– When children get to practice following through with artistic endeavours that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment.
  10. Accountability– When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. In many schools, dramatic or musical productions are restricted to those children who show the most interest and aptitude for music and drama. This means that a select few are exposed to the valuable lessons involved in presentation. At Abuja Preparatory School, we run an inclusive day. This means that all children participate in all clubs until 4:00pm. This year one of our clubs was Drama. This meant that apart from the Drama included in Literacy lessons, all children were exposed to aspects of Drama which developed their understanding of what performing entails. Children learnt to “set the scene” and even to write their own plays. In the third term of 2014, staff at Abuja Preparatory school embarked on a labour of love which had far reaching positive outcomes for all our children. The adaptation of The Wizard of Oz chosen was particularly suited to young children and the school corridors were soon filled with the sound of happy voices enjoying the songs they were learning. Every child, bar one, in Key Stages One and Two participated. Even those who were reluctant at first, were gently developed and shown that they could be a valuable part of the group. Children who at first looked as though they would only manage a minor role, grew in confidence and were soon able to tackle more. Every child learned to express him or herself effectively to an audience, through singing, dancing, movement and oration suited to the character they were portraying. The result was a delightful musical portrayal of the timeless story of The Wizard of Oz. This was our first musical production as a school and one the children will surely never forget.