By Tayiba Ahmed
Do you have a liking for singing or music? Do you enjoy acting or dancing? Does performing in front of others gives you a thrill? Or rather, does it make you feel self-conscious? No matter what your knowledge of the performing arts is, or what your expertise in performing is, you should consider trying the Performing Arts Program offered by the College of Arts and Sciences at American University of Sharjah (AUS). The idea might seem futile to some, or maybe too intimidating to others, but there are several reasons why every student should consider taking a course involving the performing arts.
- It’s exciting and fun
The various different exercises involved in performing arts courses are always a lot of fun; whether it’s improv exercises where you have to think on your feet, or exercises to warm-up your vocals. If you are lucky enough to get the course with your friends, it’s a guarantee that the class is going to be one of those classes you look forward to attending.
- Builds your confidence
If the idea of public speaking or performing has always given you jitters, then what better way to get over your fears than facing them head on? Taking performing arts courses will make you more confident, or at least fake confidence, when facing an audience. No matter what your major is, or what your ambition in life is, appearing confidence will take you a long way.
- Helps you relax
Due to the fact that university courses can be really demanding and stressful, you might think that spending time on a performing arts course does not sound appealing. However, although some performing arts courses can be a bit demanding, they are a great way to relieve stress since you are able to enjoy the thrill of performing and let go of your inhibitions.
- Enhances your skills
You probably think you have enough knowledge of the performing arts, but you’ll be surprised with how much these courses can help you further develop your skills. Whether you are hopeless at performing, or extremely skilled at it, these courses will help you improve your skills and talents.
- Benefits educational performance
To some, taking up a performing arts course while you have other courses to worry about might seem like an inconvenience that could negatively effect your grades. But you will be surprised to learn that enrolling in these arts courses can help get higher scores in verbal and math tests.
- Teaches you improvisation
When you are performing in front of a live audience, you have to be well prepared for any unpredicted situations or any surprises. You might miss a cue, forget your lines, or a prop might malfunction. In such circumstances, you have to learn to be calm and improvise, while giving the audience the impression that you are still in control. It teaches you to focus, be level-headed, and be mentally prepared to handle unpredictable circumstances that could otherwise stress you out. These skills can be of great use while you are at work, and can give the edge that differentiates you from your colleagues.
- Will help you in your job
Most people might not see the usefulness of performing arts courses beyond the years spent at university. However, these courses can come in handy when students are part of the work environment too. By being able to face an audience, students can appear more confident during interviews and meetings. It also helps improve your presentational skills by enhancing your communication skills, and helps you think on your feet in a dynamic work environment. This will help you be a cut above average and give you an advantage in any job seeking or job performance situation.
According to the AUS Undergraduate Catalogue, “The mission of the American University of Sharjah Performing Arts Program is to examine and promote music and theatre by providing students with opportunities to explore how the performing arts foster creativity and promote inclusiveness, diversity and understanding in an increasingly interdependent world. Through their course of study, students learn to think critically, engage creatively and collaborate effectively. Performing arts skills are life skills, leading to enhanced life options and diversified employability.”
So if you haven’t decided what courses to take up as your free elective, pick a performing arts course. You never know, you might uncover a hidden talent, or might come across skills that you might have not even been aware you had.
Tayiba Ahmed is a student at American University of Sharjah.
Visit www.aus.edu for more information about American University of Sharjah