Kids art

Arts-based camps can be just perfect for some children. 

According to Marysa Brogan, general manager at School of Rock in Highland Heights, and Angela Miloro-Hansen, founder of Curtain 440 in Burton, artistic camps can tap into many skills and interests.

“Any chance to participate in something based in the arts should always be taken,” Miloro-Hansen said. “I started theater classes when I was 11-years-old and it genuinely shaped the way I view the world. Theater not only teaches creativity and confidence but also empathy and intuition. When you learn how to create a character in a show, you have to explore quirks and personality traits that are not your own.”

Miloro-Hansen continued to explain how artistic camps can also affect and help the way campers relate to others while having fun.

Brogan added, “The benefits of an artistic-based camp experience include working with knowledgeable musical directors who are also professional musicians actively playing in the Cleveland music scene. The student who participates in an artistic-based camp like (School of Rock) meet and work with other students that share a love of music and are interested in being on stage and performing.”

At Curtain 440, Miloro-Hansen said campers learn self-expression when performing. Curtain 440 is a new theater company out of Berkshire High School in Burton.

“Each student will audition by performing a short song of their choice and then reading from the script with others,” she explained. “Once they are placed into their roles, they will work on creating their own interpretation of their character both in groups and then individually with directors. ... Every single student will have a featured moment of their own on stage.”

Campers will also have chances to participate in improvisation games, which ensures students get to create brand new characters, encouraging creativity and self-expression, Miloro-Hansen added.

At School of Rock, self-expression is incorporated in the camp culture. Students are immersed in learning songs from scratch and coached until their final performance day.

“This cultivates a child’s development in the musical sense, but also empowers the student because of the confidence that is instilled within as a result of gaining a vast amount of musical knowledge,” Brogan noted. “Pair that with the performance, and this confidence can be applied to many life situations in addition to what happens on stage and in rehearsals.”

Brogan added at School of Rock’s Songwriting Summer Camp, campers spend five days analyzing hits from the last 60 years to write their own pieces. Campers learn about chord progressions, musical arrangements and songwriting. The experience ends with a performance.

“Although it feels like a risk exposing original music, this is a huge step in promoting self-expression,” she noted.

When choosing an art-based camp, consider a child’s interests.

“Parents can choose the right camp experience by going onto (a camp’s) website and read the detailed descriptions, including age range and levels of experienced required for camp,” Brogan said. She added School of Rock offers camps to students starting at no experience all the way to camps with an intensive curriculum.

Miloro-Hansen added, “I don’t think there is a wrong way to go with art and theater-based camps. There are so many advantages and memories to make when creating and acting. I highly recommend taking any chance you can when it comes to the arts.”

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