“I’m very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it’s a different feeling I get nerve from somewhere; maybe it’s because it’s something I love to do” Ella Fitzgerald.

Why it is important to introduce drama at an early age.

Drama can mean different things to people, from afar, it can appear daunting, but for those who have been up there, it is utterly exhilarating. Many of the fears we have as adults, we can point back to a point in childhood. Inhibitions surroundings things like public speaking and presenting ideas are often rooted in negative experience or not enough practice.

The very same skills are becoming some of the most important in the workplace, so why do we neglect them? It would be great to emphasis this point more as these transferable skills are the most important trademark for us.

At Bright Young Things, we believe an early introduction to drama and creative arts can help children develop critical skills for later in life. So, here are the top five skills we see our bright young things picking up from drama.

Comprehension

I’m curious about other people. That’s the essence of my acting. I’m interested in what it would be like to be you. Meryl Streep

Actors must not only understand their lines, they have to really read between the lines to interpret the character and everyone else’s to give authentic reactions. This means, in each rehearsal, they are exploring different styles to comprehend each word and phrase to make the most interesting performance 

Just like in school, children learn through comprehension of a text and reading between the lines. However at school, children are consistently grouped based on age or reading level, but not in the theatre. 

At BYT, we see how children of different ages and stages work together expanding each others’ vocabulary and comprehension of word and story.

Public Speaking

It may seem like one of the most apparent benefits of drama classes, but the value of confident, charismatic public speaking is priceless. It’s not just about the projection and strength of voice onstage; it’s the confidence to speak out amongst friends and family and have an opinion that persuades and engages.  From the classroom to career, the ability to communicate is a much sought after commodity. 

Talking and listening is a key area of the Language and Literacy curriculum.  

At BYT, from day one, we create a relaxed and safe space for children to express themselves. We progress at a pace that the bright young things find easy. And when your child is ready to step up on stage, we ensure they are prepared to blow their audience away!

Innovation

Currently, we associate innovation with technology and smarter homes, but it can be taught on the stage. As well as coming up with great stories, children get creative in how they relay information.  For some, drama is as much about getting creative with props and costumes as it is delivering lines or about innovative staging or sound concepts. Throughout our classes, we play games that encourage children to think outside the box and find innovative solutions to problems. 

All of our parents have noted that their child will take ideas picked up in BYT back to the classroom or home environment. By encouraging problem-solving and improvising, our bright young things can draw on these skills in their day-to-day lives.

Teamwork

Like innovation and the other skills above, teamwork is crucial in drama. From the outset, children work together to create stories, play games and build trust as a group. Not only do they rely on each other to listen and grow an improvisation, they then work to mould and  choreograph a scenes together to surprise an audience and tell an interesting story. 

At BYT, we encourage a team ethos, not only for performance but for the children to feel comfortable in their groups. We’ve seen hundreds of friendships forged amongst the bright young things themselves with children going on to study the arts together as they get older. Often teamwork is introduced in education at a later stage, at BYT however, it’s a must from the outset.

Empowerment

Every child is different and this is their strength to be embraced. We want them to feel confident within themselves and feel that they can achieve every goal they have and more. We don’t give awards for the best actor; we only focus on growth mindset – how can we break through your own ceiling and continue to find improvements. The bright young things aren’t pitched against each other in auditions and made to be hyper-competitive at a young age, that’s not our jam. We want children to enjoy themselves, build confidence and arrive every week feeling empowered. Though we do love a bit of healthy competition in workshops too! 

We want children to enjoy themselves and to grow and develop surrounded by a support network of the BYT team and families. If once a week your toddler or teen feels right at home, we are doing our job. The confidence nurtured through drama will completely boast their school, home and  future selves as we create an environment where they can thrive! This article suggest techniques and strategies we can use to empower and build the self-esteem of our children.

What Drama Courses are Available in Northern Ireland?

At present, we are running our holiday camps and preparing for the new school year at BYT. To learn more about our courses, what we do, and how we do it, click here. To contact us, visit this page or find us on Facebook here, and we can help arrange a booking or give more info on our work. 

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