by Kyle Kakuno, Art Director at Mo’olelo Performing Arts Studio
If your child has ever been bitten by the performing arts bug, it is difficult to describe the joy and magic they experience and abundance of benefits they enjoy on and off the stage. Research shows that children who participate in the performing arts of singing, dancing and acting are four times more likely to be recognized for academic achievement compared with their non-performing peers. Young performers are making powerful, lifetime memories at Mo’olelo Performing Arts Studio, who operate out of the Dr. Richard T. Mamiya Theatre on the campus of St. Louis School; and the effects of their mental, physical, and emotional development are having positive effects on their educational, social and family life. Here are a few more undeniable benefits for parents who are still wondering if the performing arts are right for your child.
Many studies reveal that a performing arts curriculum has incredibly positive effects on a child’s academic performance. The scholarly journal, Trends in Neuroscience and Education, states that an arts-integrated education increased the retention of information and the overall subject comprehension of students struggling in language arts and science. Many adults today can credit learning proper grammar or foreign language words through songs they heard as children. Even today, our youths are learning about the Founding Fathers of our country through the lyrics of the musical “Hamilton.” Children also practice core mathematical concepts as they learn to read music and understand music theory; and memorizing a script is almost identical to the reading comprehension skills that a child uses in the classroom.
Some individuals find certain feelings harder to express, and being in a performing arts program provides children the opportunity to express a range of emotions in a healthy, controlled environment. Children examine and channel their emotions through narrative, music, and movement – and expressing themselves through the performing arts makes it easy for them to creatively express themselves in other situations – in school, social gatherings, or future job interviews to name a few. Ultimately, theatrical disciplines engage a child’s imagination and help them to develop their own unique voice.
Unlike athletics, there are no winners or losers in the performing arts. The word “ensemble” is important in the performing arts as students are confronted with not only thinking about their individual contributions, but also how their performance enhances a show collaboratively with their fellow cast members. One learns how to lead in a group setting when given the responsibility of portraying a principal role or supporting lead characters when given a secondary role. Older children also use their experience and leadership skills when assisting younger counterparts going through their first theatrical endeavor. When working together synergistically, the combination of each person’s talents creates a creative, powerful and successful team.
Giving children an opportunity to step outside their comfort zone in a safe setting is one of the most beneficial aspects of a performing arts education. However, even after weeks of rehearsal, it still takes courage to go on stage, perform to the best of your ability, and accept the audience’s response. The confidence that grows when a child has accomplished that feat can be transforming and will translate to every aspect of their life. It also develops a sense of individuality and allows them to be happier within themselves, enabling them to build stronger relationships in their school community and in family life. By embracing your vulnerability and taking the stage, you may even inspire others to have the confidence to do the same.
At the root of all performing arts curriculum is the art of storytelling. Whether singing, dancing or acting, each discipline allows students to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. Especially when playing a character dramatically different from themselves, children learn to understand and empathize with people from different communities, countries, cultures and historical backgrounds. This nurtures kindness, thoughtfulness and open-minded attitudes and allows children to grow into global citizens able to form bonds with all walks of life.
Why Mo’olelo Performing Arts Studio?
At Mo’olelo Studios, students work with professional faculty and staff, who will become treasured mentors and teachers in their specialized fields. Children work side by side with peers and kindred spirits who can help them grow in ways they never thought possible.
There is no place better to grow and thrive as a young artist than Mo’olelo Performing Arts Studio. Our students come from all over the island, spanning different cultures and educational backgrounds, sharing one common quality: a passion for the arts. Our students discover their potential and find the confidence to grow beyond their perceived limitations.
Registration is the first step toward becoming part of our community. All registrations for Mo’olelo Performing Arts Studio are submitted online via our website portal. This is where you will fill out your contact information, write your required responses and select the disciplines in which you are interested.
Tuition & Financial Aid
We believe that each and every talented student who registers for classes at our studio should be able to attend. Explore our tuition and financial assistance options, and don’t hesitate to contact us to ask questions or seek advice.
At Mo’olelo Performing Arts Studio, class sessions are on a trimester basis with courses scheduled in the fall, spring and summer. The fall and spring trimesters culminate with courses presenting scenes, songs and dance numbers for a Grand Finale Showcase. This gives each student an opportunity to perform in their discipline on the main stage in front of a live audience. This is an experience that can’t be replicated in a classroom session and completes the learning process from concept to practice to performance.
We produce four musical productions a year – in the spring, summer, fall and one during the Christmas season – with an eye on giving auditioning opportunities to all within an appropriate age group. When cast in one of these productions, the skills you develop at our studio will be further nurtured and tested on stage in rehearsals and during performances in a professional setting. Directors, voice coaches, choreographers, set, lights, and costume designers are all professionals in their field. A wonderful opportunity awaits all who try out and earn a role in the cast.
We hope you will join the Mo’olelo family and develop your artistic skills, explore your creativity, and boost your confidence. We aren’t looking for perfection, but for potential. More than anything, we want to make sure you will be able to thrive artistically, academically, and emotionally during your time at Mo’olelo Studios.