Enrolling your child in drama classes or a drama academy provides a wonderful opportunity for socialisation, learning new skills, and a confidence boost. But, if you’re new to the drama community, it might be hard to picture what goes on during their session. Today we’re going to outline what your child will do and experience in a typical drama class.
Drama benefits for children
All drama classes, regardless of age, share some common factors. They’re each designed to boost confidence and self-assurance (on stage and off stage), assist with language development, and support verbal and non-verbal communication skills. For younger children, there’s a focus on empathy and recognising emotions, vocalising emotions, as well as taking turns and sharing.
Cognitive development is a benefit often overlooked by parents considering drama classes, but these classes also support sequencing and memory development. Creativity is another massive component, as is the general ability to concentrate, and understand and follow instructions.
Older children will continue to refine their social and communication skills, whilst taking speech delivery, verbal cadence, and creativity to the next level.
Drama class activities for children
So, how exactly are children learning and refining these skills? With careful, supportive, and thoughtful guidance from their teachers and dynamic activities. When your child is at their drama session, here are some of the fun activities they might engage with.
A dialogue is a conversation between two or more people. Students might practise one to perfect the delivery and then perform a monologue or dialogue for their classmates. They might explore how different characters would deliver the speech, change up the cadence and rhythm, or try it with varying accents.
In younger groups, improvisation is used within a whole class play to allow students to verbally react to situations. For example, all students may need to set up a camp and communicate what they are doing within this situation.
In older groups, we extend the students with more complex improvisation activities. It may involve one or more students performing a scene and then the teacher calls out added details that they need to incorporate. The performer or group must pick up the new details and adapt accordingly.
For younger ages, this exercise is designed to be really fun and always leaves everyone laughing. For older teens, it can be designed to be extremely difficult with challenging improv suggestions that call for more intuition and critical thinking.
In voice production, students learn how to adapt their real voice to better suit different roles. This includes being able to articulate well, alter spoken cadence, adjust rhythms and pitch, and adjust volume. More advanced techniques might include accent development or how to make your voice hoarse or raspy.
Students might also learn how to expand their lung capacity and how to find natural breathing pauses.
In some classes, children will create an original scene or work from original scripts written specifically for the Academy. This is a fun chance to incorporate some of their favourite ways of performing or challenge themselves with something new. It encompasses creative skills, scene structure, character development, dialogue creation, and much more. They might be invited to perform what they’ve created to each other.
There are so many engaging and exciting theatre games available. These fun exercises are designed to sharpen skills, get kids out of their comfort zone, and build friendships. Plus, theatre games touch on the previous activities they’ve already covered. A simple theatre game example could even be just taking on a classic tongue twister.
Towards the end of the year, the Helen O’Grady Drama Academy will put on an annual production. This is something students will have worked on throughout the term, and the production is specifically written for our academy students.
Local drama classes at Helen O’Grady Drama Academy
Our specially-written curriculum and specialist teacher training ensures our students have a balanced, fun-filled lesson every week. A child can join the Academy at three years of age and stay until they are 18, without ever repeating a lesson!