Parents in Singapore often send their children to enrichment programmes as a way of discovering or developing an interest in a certain subject or to provide them with the opportunity to gain confidence in social settings.
Of the many enrichment programmes available in Singapore, speech and drama classes for kids remain a popular choice for parents due to the benefits for children. Children come out of these classes feeling more confident about themselves and they are also more creative as well.
How kids’ theatre programmes differ from speech and drama classes for kids
While speech and drama classes for kids undoubtedly benefit children in many ways, it is a misconception to think that kids’ theatre programmes are no different from speech and drama classes. Speech and drama classes typically comprise a range of drama and voice-related activities that involve storytelling, singing songs and poetry. The focus is on presentation, vocal clarity and performance.
On the other hand, a kids’ theatre programme like MindChamps’ Champion Mindset Theatre Programme (CMT) is more than that. In addition to the above, children are exposed to craftwork, theatrical skills and literature. A holistic programme that takes on an organic approach, there are no examinations that place an unnecessary burden on the child to perform based on examination criteria.
Rather than focusing on the form, or final product, CMT places emphasis on the child and how they grow and develop a long-term understanding of themselves.
Vocal projection techniques, collaboration and enunciation are similar concepts that are present in both programmes but CMT goes beyond to guide children to emote, characterise, improvise and more using theatrical activities.
Important life skills that children can pick up from kids’ theatre programmes
Beyond learning the basics of expressing themselves and their ideas, there are important lessons in which our children can learn from their involvement in a kids’ theatre programme.
These include values that they will take with them throughout the years, such as:
When children are confident, they respect themselves and the world around them – giving them the confidence to interact confidently with both peers and adults. This confidence is built through the programme’s activities including speaking on stage in both solo and group settings, seeing the projects they work on come to life at the end of the term and through improved vocal projection and oral language skills.
Creativity is honed through engaging activities that build confident self-expression and this life skill is essential to solving problems in school and the workplace. For example, in the ACA Kids nursery programme, each lesson revolves around a fun theme where they learn how to characterise, act and take part in building the props that will be used in performances.
Through group work, children can learn the social skills of expressing their opinions in a non-aggressive manner and how to work with people of different personalities. They learn that no man is an island and that each person has their own strengths that add value to the group.
4) Inspire innovation and fresh thinking
As kids’ theatre programmes such as CMT are more than a speech and drama class, rather than teaching children how to act, the programme equips them with the tools and skills needed to express themselves. Children work in a group setting to collaborate on team-based theatrical activities that are largely improvised, as they are encouraged to come up with fresh ideas.
5) Regulating emotions
Theatre performers require a great deal of emotion control in order to bring their character to life and to perform convincingly in a multitude of scenes involving various moods – anger, joy, sadness, surprise and even a mix. Knowing how to manage emotions and react appropriately is an essential skill for life.
Keen to learn how your children can benefit from kids’ theatre programmes like Champion Mindset Theatre?
Written by Jamie Koh