7 skills your child can pick up in a drama workshop this June

Published on 13 June 2018

By: Michelle Bong

With the school holidays in full swing, you may be racking your brains on how to keep the kiddos occupied. Ever thought of sending them to drama camp?

Far from what most might believe, drama for kids is not just about performing. Workshops teach many other skills that go on to shape the way they think, communicate and interact with those around them.

The A List speaks to the artistic director of ACT 3 Drama Academy, Ruby Lim-Yang, and learning and engagement officer at Singapore Repertory Theatre, Reginal Allyn, who discuss the skill sets that children can pick up in a drama workshop.

Image courtesy of Act3

 

#1 Confidence

Participation in workshops takes children out their comfort zones, giving them a platform to discover their talent, use their voice and command the attention of an audience. Along the way, their confidence is boosted.

Says Lim-Yang, “Drama is for developing the tools and offering a platform for personal confidence, self-belief and self-esteem. Your child will have the opportunity to ignite his imagination, develop creative thinking and build lifelong skills.”

 

Image courtesy of Act3

 

#2 Expression

Does your child struggle a little to let you know how he is thinking or feeling? Drama workshops, where enunciation and vocal projection are part of the activities, can help address this by improving social and oral communication skills, which are essential through life.

Says Allyn, “I would say that the most immediate impact I’ve seen is children growing in terms of expressing themselves naturally. I remember I had a child in my workshop who was very reserved, and hesitant to try out any activity. After I asked if he would like to try the activity with me, he did so. It was also the first time in the workshop I heard his voice. Drama provides a safe and comfortable environment that is non-pressurising for children to express themselves.”

 

Image courtesy of Singapore Repertory Theatre

 

#3 Creativity

Workshop activities call for role play, which not only promote fun but allow children to tap into their wildest imaginations when it comes to story-telling.

“The arts stimulate creativity by encouraging children to look at things differently, and to wonder and be curious about things — questioning, exploring, discovering. We create an environment of exploration with the imagination, playing and discovering ways, creating ideas, manifesting thought through the body and the voice so children grow in the ability to make meaning of what they are curious about,” says Lim-Yang.

 

Image courtesy of Act3

 

#4 Language and communication

These are essential lifelong skills, which can be honed through performing – with an emphasis on voice projection, enunciation and smooth delivery skills.

Lim-Yang says the workshops “encourage your child to ask and question, strengthening capabilities in language and expression” while Allyn adds, “facilitators are there to encourage, reaffirm and acknowledge ideas shared in class. The child builds on the interactions with their facilitator and friends, broadening their use of the English language.”

 

Image courtesy of Act3

 

#5 Emotional IQ

Workshop activities empower kids to brainstorm and create ideas, challenging them to voice their ideas in class and rework them together with their peers and facilitators. They learn that feedback is a part of learning, and a chance to improve.

Allyn adds, “Stage Camp, a relatively new programme under SRT, allows children to explore their world through more non-academic situations. They learn to construct their knowledge through interaction, and play with peers around the same age group.”

 

Image courtesy of Act3

 

#6 Collaboration

Time to ditch the iPad, TV or YouTube channels. Lim-Yang says the prevalence of technology in our lives today affects kids’ instincts to play spontaneously and interact with others.

She adds, “Over time, they make less eye contact, are more withdrawn, and are not as willing to share stories. Drama can be an effective and impactful tool to reverse this — a process that needs to begin earlier than ever before. The arts also encourage children to explore how they can connect meaningfully with those around them.”

 

Image courtesy of Singapore Repertory Theatre

 

#7 Problem solving

Drama-based programmes encourage children to play with and create ideas, manifesting thoughts through the body and the voice.

Says Allyn, “In the long run, this can strengthen problem-solving skills. Workshops feature activities that challenge kids to present ideas. For example, during object improvisation, every child looks at the same marker, but could visualise it to be a comb or even a microphone.

Adds Allyn, “At SRT’s Stage Camp, the children are empowered and encouraged to create and share their ideas through the various drama activities such as theatre games. This challenges them to try out their ideas in class and rework them together with their peers and facilitators.”

 

Lights, camera, action!

Here are workshops being held this month:

 

ACT 3 Drama Academy holiday workshops

By: ACT 3 International

Dates: From June 4

Ages: 3 to 4; 5 to 7; 8 to 10; 11 to 15

Programme: Participatory activities, learning through play, communicating thoughts and ideas

Venue: 126 Cairnhill Road

For more information, click here

 

Stage Camp

By: Singapore Repertory Theatre

Dates: June 26 to 30

Ages: 4 to 12

Programme: Play-based activities, devising and improvisation

Venue: 20 Merbau Road

For more information, click here

 

A Little RAW Company

By: RAW Moves

Dates: June 9, 23, 30, July 7, 14, 21

Ages: 8 to 20

Programme: Dance and movement exploration to unleash their creative minds

Venue: 90 Goodman Road, Block B, #01-08

For more information, click here 

 

Play in Arts, Story Banq, Drama Class*

By: The Theatre Practice

Dates: Visit practice.org.sg for more information

Ages: 4 to 6, 7 to 9, 10 to 12

Programme: Physical activities, music and movement, language expression, voice techniques

Venue: 54 Waterloo Street

*All workshops are taught in Mandarin

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