DPA Musical Theatre Classes

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Farnham Musical Theatre class with Teacher Emma Hough and Assistant Matt Hough

Last Thursday was the end of term performance for Dynamic Performing Arts Musical Theatre class in Farnham. The class currently has 15 fantastic 5-12 year olds and this term they were working towards the end of term production ‘Honk!’ which tells the story of the Ugly Duckling.

The children spent 10 weeks working on the themes of the show through workshops. Learning the songs, being taught choreography, developing the characters and back stories and even drawing pictures of the animals. Some of the key skills taught this term were; line learning, dance, listening and thinking and communication. All of these skills are really important in order to become an actor but were particularly important while putting ‘honk!’ together because of the theme of the show. When ‘Ugly’ is born he realises that he’s very different to his brothers and sisters, this provoked a long discussion about how it’s OK to be different and how everyone fits in somewhere. The children were really vocal and had lots of questions and suggestions on the subject and this really helped them to develop their characters.

Although there is a theme each term, which leads to the end of term show, the kids also spend the first hour of the session warming up and playing drama games, which allow them to work together as a whole group. They are also split into smaller groups and pairs, so that they can explore subjects in more detail. The 2-hour class also includes a cool down, where the children learn how to conserve energy, think, relax and sort of meditate to regain some focus – oddly, this always proves popular!!

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For the last few terms the class has been taught by professional actor Emma Hough, who has really enjoyed developing techniques with the class and seeing them thrive. Emma sadly said goodbye last week but has been replaced by Nicole Connell, another professional who has many years of experience both in acting and producing musical theatre.

Next term the Farnham group will be looking at and performing excerpts from ‘Beauty and the Beast’, which the class is VERY excited about.

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If you’d like more information on the Farnham class, then it all takes place on Thursdays from 3:45 – 5:45pm and a 10-week term is ONLY £80!!!!!!!!!!! You can go to Dynamic Performing Arts to get in touch and book your place, be quick though as there is limited availability!

The Benefits of Drama!

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Some Children show an interest in all things theatrical from an early age, whether it’s dancing around to their favourite nursery rhyme or singing at the top of their voices. However, you might not be aware that there are, in fact, HUGE benefits to encouraging children to get into performing, not just because you want them to be “in” to theatre but it can also help with their developmental skills.

If you think about it, kids learn how to play roles from an early age. You often see them at home building a ship out of chairs and cushions and pretending to be a Pirate or dressing dolls up as patients and being a Doctor. If you find that your child does this kind of role play a lot, then you should think about encouraging them to do this in a drama class as you will no doubt see their confidence soar.

A lot of children feel more confident out of the classroom, in a less academic environment, and thrive in learning through drama. Even the shyest child will feel comfortable after a few sessions. Theatre and drama helps with concentration, cooperation, numeracy and literacy and even a better understanding of how to be a sociable child.

In drama sessions children are encouraged to listen to the teacher and other peers, which enables them to take in what is being said and respond accordingly. If you’re wondering how their literacy and numeracy will be improved then you only need to watch one class to see them keeping the beat, counting notes in a song or reading scripts.

Cooperation is probably the biggest life skill you can learn – as an adult you know how important cooperation is and growing up I think it’s the hardest skill to master. No one likes sharing their toys!  Playing drama games and acting through improvisation needs a huge deal of cooperation and the kids quickly work out that to get the best out of a drama session they must cooperate.

Social skills can often be hard for some kids and even the brightest children can struggle to make friends. At school, they can see the more children unapproachable, which can potentially leave a child feeling isolated. Over the years “Drama Therapy” has shown that acting and learning through drama breaks down barriers and allows emotions to be shown through means other than the “academic”. Expressing yourself allows others to ask questions and opens the forum for freedom of speech. Children of all ages, races, abilities and nationality can communicate, successfully, through drama which in turn creates a nice relaxed and supportive environment for them to flourish.

At Dynamic Performing Arts, all children are encouraged to express themselves freely. It’s important to remember that music stimulates an infant’s brain, dance develops motor skills and drama teaches emotion and problem solving. Why not contact us and see if you can book a space in a class for a taster session or perhaps come and join in over the Easter Holidays for one morning in our “Holiday Stars” workshops, it could be the start of something wonderful!