The academic benefits of theater

Personally, I am very into theater. I know a lot of people think that theater is just a hobby, and they’re right, but it’s a hobby with benefits. Academic benefits, to be specific.

First of all, according to aate.com, students who perform in theater statistically do better on SATs than their non-thespian peers. Studies show that when students were involved in theatrical activities, on average they would score 65.5 points higher on the verbal component and 35.5 points higher on the math component.

Secondly, reading comprehension is higher in students who participate in drama than students who don’t. According to a few studies conducted, most students who had theatrical experience were better at understanding written words and communicating them than others who weren’t involved.

Lastly, theater can improve self-esteem (so for all you weary mothers of teenagers, look out for this one). Thespians have an overall better self-image. Also, statistically, the act of performing can help minors of all ages recognize their own potential.

Out of personal experience in theater, I have a pretty good self-image and I’m a very good student. My friends who are also into drama have the same mentality. So just to get a point across, I suggest anyone who’s anyone to at least try theater. And, hey, if theater is not your thing, I suggest any of the fine arts. I’m currently in several fine arts classes, and my grades are the best I’ve seen them in all my years of schooling.

I personally think that music has a great impact on academics, too. I am currently learning how to play guitar and I have a very good grasp on viola. Listening to and playing music helps me focus on a lot of things (I’m actually listening to music while writing this). I usually have a Queen song stuck in my head during math, and — surprisingly, maybe to some of you — it helps me concentrate. I tap the rhythm and hum the lyrics while doing geometry and it seems to help. I strongly suggest listening to some kind of music while doing work, whether it be P!ATD or just disco, it helps to concentrate.

Even if you’re terrible at acting, playing music or drawing, I still think you should. It doesn’t matter if you’re good at any of these things, they’re still super fun. You can sing even if it’s off key (hey, why do you think people do karaoke?). You can sketch or doodle or even color on the walls if you want. Go ahead, let out your inner toddler! Do improv with your buddies.

I’ve done improv with my friend who we are going to refer to as JD. It was JD’s birthday and there was only one other peer (MB) there, so we were a little bored. We decided that we should do improv. JD can’t act, and MB is shy. Since MB is shy, she didn’t want to do the sketch with JD and me. But after finding a catchy topic, it turned into something absolutely amazing that I will never forget.

The point is, any fine art is great for you. Whether you’re a skilled thespian or a JD, you can find a fine art to keep you motivated.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Audrey Lyons is 12 years old and in the sixth grade at Negaunee Middle School. She enjoys writing, listening to all music, especially Queen, and loves the theater.