For most parents, speech and drama lessons are usually for kids to develop their language skills and to expose them to the art of acting and performing. Beyond that, exposing all kids to theatre can be useful for their future.
Drama classes can also benefit all Singaporean kids by providing valuable insights into their own behaviour and the world around them.
Here are some more life lessons kids learn from theatre classes.
Speaking up and speaking well
Theatre training focuses on enunciation, making sure kids pronounce their words clearly and project their voice. Through these lessons, students will become more confident in public speaking and describing their thoughts.
Good oral communication is required in all facets of life and will aid them in school projects and work in the future. Speaking well is such a vital skill that even us adults need to attend workshops to improve our skills.
Drama classes hone creative thinking skills
Drama and theatre classes not only teach creativity through hands-on activities like crafts but also how to think out of the box. Kids will learn to tap on their own emotions and experiences to create stories.
In MindChamps’ Champion Mindset Theatre Programme, kids use fun props to develop their ideas and are encouraged to try new things during each lesson. Thinking creatively is important in almost every situation and starting from young trains mental flexibility that might not be found in the school curriculum.
Learning about themselves
Drama classes involve a lot of self-awareness that probably cannot be found in other enrichment programmes in Singapore. Actors have to be hyperaware of their environment and themselves – controlling every expression and tone – in order to create a believable character.
Being self-aware means that kids are more aware of their capabilities or shortcomings and will seek to improve themselves. Theatre classes send a signal to kids that not everything is about them – which they can sometimes forget.
Drama classes teach actors to put their own feelings aside and focus on the show. A production cannot go on if actors are focused on their own problems, so they must all learn to rise above their personal struggles.
Theatre classes teach kids teamwork
Research has shown that theatre training “enhances EQ by increasing empathy, social-emotional control and the ability to connect meaningfully with others”. Enrichment programmes that focus on theatre and performing arts nurture individual emotional development while providing them with opportunities to work as a team.
Collaboration is required at almost every aspect of theatre in order for actors to improve. Theatre is about the big picture as kids must work together in order to put on a good show. Drama classes also teach kids to accept criticism from directors and their fellow actors. They will also learn to be attentive and respectful towards different points of view.
Adapting to new situations
Live theatre is unpredictable, so speech and drama classes train spontaneity. Through this, kids learn to adapt to any changes that are thrown their way.
In our Performing Arts Enrichment Programme, children will be tasked to take on a variety of roles and experiment with different modes of acting, so improvisation is key. Moreover, other actors – or themselves – could forget lines but the most important thing is to carry on. All this change and adaptation will help kids grow up to be great problem solvers.
People often have the misconception that acting is about “faking it”. However, that cannot be more untrue as a great actor is one that portrays the character from their own experiences. By extension, by becoming different characters through theatre classes, kids will learn how to be true to themselves and shape them into lovely, well-adjusted adults.
Written by Steffi Wee