Our school supports the music program throughout the year with announcements concerning classes like band, orchestra, and chorus, or about extracurricular activities such as the spring musical. The spring musical is made possible through the hard work of students and instructors who show up several times a week to sing, dance, and act their hearts out in four-hour rehearsals. Several months later, performers take to the stage to produce the best show they can, but many don't understand how involvement in musical theater can impact a student’s life.
From a technical standpoint, musical theater inspires students to succeed academically. Students must maintain decent grades in order to be allowed to be a part of the program. It also builds life skills by teaching students to coexist and work together to achieve a common goal.
On a much different note, the sense of belonging has an immense emotional impact on students. I know this from personal experience in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat, the 2018 production at Northern High School. Through that production, I made friends and memories. I was going through an extremely rough time, and that production was the only thing keeping me together. I loved being able to forget about my problems for a while and do what I loved with people I loved. I never even had to tell them what was wrong. We all left our negativity at the door and performed our hearts out as a unit. I was lucky enough to be a part of a program where there was no drama, and everyone was accepting of one another.
When students participate in musical theater, they leave themselves behind and become someone else on stage. Behind the curtain, however, they are an optimized version of themselves, surrounded by good friends who help each other get through serious problems...whether they know it or not.