Never too young to start on the arts

Apr 16, 2018, 18:19 PM

And parents are more eager than ever to give their children a headstart when it comes to the arts.

The Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts (Nafa) Arts Kindergarten had only 60 students when it started at Nafa's main campus in Bencoolen Street in 2004.

In 2005, it moved to its own premises in East Coast Road. Demand continued to soar and in 2014, a second centre was started in Derbyshire Road near Novena.

The East Coast branch is now at full capacity, with 300 students. Its waiting list goes up to three years.

The kindergarten offers pupils in-depth fine arts lessons on top of the usual subjects such as English and mathematics. Each day, an hour is devoted solely to the arts, out of the four that kids spend in the centre.

This ranges from dance classes where they do ballet, music classes spent jamming on the keyboard and art classes where students learn about artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and conceptualise and work on their own art pieces.

Ms Allison Wong, 48, the group principal of Nafa Arts Kindergarten, says parents want their children to excel beyond numbers and literacy.

"It's a paradigm shift," she says. "This generation of parents doesn't see the arts as something you can't make money from. People now appreciate it for its benefits to well-being, to imagination."

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Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.