Over the past few weeks, we have shared Elanore Speert’s articles about the benefits of musical theater, published on the Tams-Witmark blog. Her posts have covered how musicals boost confidence and how musical theater encourages community. The final article in the series looks at how musical enhance learning.
In the post, Speert looks at how the art of musical theater can boost learning in a wide range of subjects, from math to history, English to science.
Working on a musical production when the classroom is included improves learning skills necessary to higher education. History teachers emphasize research as a tool in learning about a show’s time frame (Hair prompts discussion of the 1960s), or in looking at how the theme of a show ties into today’s world (Porgy & Bess: how race was, and is, perceived in society). In English class, Shakespeare can be discussed as literature and performance when The Taming of the Shrew becomes Kiss Me, Kate. In math, algebra becomes immediately useful when related to a light board or blocking. Musicals can be an instrument of academic learning when the school or community theater productions include, or even allude to, what students are doing in the classroom.
Speert’s final conclusion, after her thoughtful discourse on the subject, it simple and yet profound: