Artistic disciplines and sports have been taught in primary schools for several decades now. Their influence and importance in the overall development of a child no longer need to be proven:
- Strengthen openness to other cultures
- Create a group dynamic
- Strengthen team work and team spirit
- Promote collective values
- Help with concentration skills
- Develop creativity and imagination
- Encourage pushing past your limits
The sheer number and variety of musical classes, swimming lessons, etc., available for babies further demonstrate the importance of these types of activities in our children’s education. Etymologically speaking, the word education means: “pull toward you,” “draw toward you, to the same place.” It encourages us to draw our children toward new activities that will allow them to continue to thrive and acquire life lessons.
Our professionally taught music classes are divided into two groups: toddlers (18-24 months old) and children over 2 years old. Classes for children under 2 years old are 30 minutes long, and, for older kids, 45 minutes long. Our gymnastic classes, created and initiated by Laurence, are for children over 2 years old. In these fun classes, we alternate stretching, yoga and aerobics with speed and precision games (bowling, car racing, bouncy ball games, etc.). The Fet’arts class is designed for children over 3 years old and is 45 minutes long. Musical stories, dance, theatre and visual arts are taught in alternation by a professional teacher with a wealth of experience in child education and instruction.
Physical activity and sport are integral to the psychomotor development of a child. Both promote muscle development and balance, coordination and precision in movement. They help children become aware of their bodies and how they perceive them in space (their “body map”). Studies have also shown that children who practise track and field or ball sports, for example, develop greater bone mass than their sedentary classmates and are at a lower risk for osteoporosis in their senior years.
The benefits of sports for children
Psychologically speaking, sport builds confidence, autonomy, decision-making skills and teamwork. It’s also a healthy outlet for children to release their energy and learn self-control. Socially speaking, group sports promote the development of social relationships and team work. Children gradually begin to understand the importance of their role in the group and the importance of following the rules of a game.
The sessions mix reading, music and yoga postures. Apart from the benefits attributable to all physical activities, yoga also increases the concentration of children, improve well-being and self-confidence.
There are numerous benefits to integrating music into a child’s daily routine. The introduction of sounds and music contributes to relaxation, listening, motor coordination, intellectual skills, and the development of social, emotional spoken language skills. Could we ask for more?
A child who has been in contact with music and thereby stimulated by it during his early childhood years will adapt more easily to starting school—his listening skills, concentration and curiosity will have already been exercised.
Music influences our emotions and has a positive effect on both our mental and physical wellbeing: it comforts us in sadness, lifts us up in times of joy and strengthens our interpersonal relationships.
Even though music and song are already omnipresent in our classes and play an integral role in our program, we believe music instruction will further develop the social, motor and verbal skills of our infants and young children in an environment that respects their identity and differences. At 18 months old, we initiate our toddlers to music and various instruments. We use song and musical stories and games to familiarize children with the multitude of possible tones and sounds.
Practising the arts also cultivates a child’s creativity—a precious skill in our modern world. “To create something, an artist must look at the world in a new way, and leave preconceived, objective, neutral and otherwise impoverished notions behind,” wrote Roger Vigouroux in La fabrique du beau (Odile Jacob, 1997). […] “The goal of art is fluidity, subjectivity, pure sensibility. It is children who have this mysterious vision of things, unpolluted by the gains of standardized society.”
Dance allows children to synchronize their movements with music. It teaches them to coordinate movement and release tension while strengthening concentration and memory.
A multitude of benefits: Create and strengthen interpersonal relationships, promote collective values, allow you to refocus and experience a sense of wellbeing in both body and mind, develop creativity and encourage you to push past your limits, allow you to share a positive experience that brings joy and energy and promote openness to other cultures.
The visual arts are a fertile playground for children to watch, recreate and interpret the world they live in; express their first ideas, their first desires, and the wonder they experience in day-to-day life, or in their own imaginary worlds. Visual arts stimulate cognitive and intellectual capacities, which are essential to a child’s development.(Sarah Choukah)
Promoting body language
Before they even begin to discover other people, theatre allows children to get to know themselves on a personal level. Through their movements, children learn how to control the space around them, explore rhythm, and practise mastering their voices.
Sense-awakening leads to self-control
At a young age, children quickly learn to move about and take full advantage of their motor skills. Their physical awakening, however, is not complete unless something goes on inside: their senses and emotions must awaken in turn. Theatre challenges children to break out of their shells, express themselves in public, stand out and perform.
Developing the imagination during childhood
Performing in a piece of theatre, a collective creation or an improvisational exercise all push a child’s imagination to work hard. In these formative years, everything is still a blank sheet, and every child must draw and construct who they will become. It is imperative that they learn from their experiences and exchanges with people, and make the most out of their limitless imaginations to, in turn, nurture their creativity.
Expanding cultural baggage and memory
Every new activity introduces new people and new exchanges that are rewarding in and of themselves. During our theatre classes, however, children will also find themselves cast into a rich, colourful and mysterious world of characters and stories that have marked history. Whether the mission is to discover them, understand them or be inspired by them, children will undoubtedly be enriched by these cultural exchanges.
Benefits on a child’s behaviour
Participating in an activity that they find enjoyable allows children to thrive. Theatre helps the timid child gain self-confidence: it promotes self-discovery and provides an opportunity to gradually expose one’s self to others. Theatre also provides the hyperactive child with a healthy outlet for his boundless energy as he learns ways to better channel it.
Regardless of your child’s individual nature, theatre will help him grow on a personal level and develop his listening skills and ability to express himself. The tools he acquires will promote self-discovery, self-love and self-acceptance, which in turn will allow him to be even more receptive to others, the world and culture. (Bianca Fiorà)
Musical stories are a complete art: they encompass music, dance and theatre. We use music and dance to tell stories and legends. As they stir your child’s imagination, stories from near and far will open new horizons for them and expand their view of the world.