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drama classes for four year olds...do you recommend or not??

(15 Posts)
sparklemagic Sun 04-Jun-06 10:20:32

just wondering if any of you have kids at those 'stagecoach' type places....and whether you think it needs a particular sort of child to enjoy it/benefit from it?

Once my DS is four we plan to give him a couple of activities to do each week as it's really only swimming that he does at present apart from all the usual park and beach play....he is quite a confident character, very willing to talk to anyone and everyone, very strong with his opinions and wishes; but at the same time if a grown up is at all 'firm' with him he is very easily squashed...he does strike me as quite a 'dramatic' character iykwim, he is not what I'd describe as a placid child, but veers from extreme happiness to monstrous anger in a second!

Just wondered if you think it might suit him, if you have experience of this sort of place!

thanks

littlerach Sun 04-Jun-06 10:29:26

DD1's friend attends the local drama school and she is 5. She loves it, and it has certainly improved her confidence.
They also teach dance and movement.
Think it probably depends on the group.

sparklemagic Sun 04-Jun-06 11:07:15

thanks littlerach. Will check out the local groups - anyone else got any experiences??

LizP Sun 04-Jun-06 16:18:56

my just turned 5 ds does this - they should let you have a try out for a couple of weeks to see if it suits. He isn't overly dramatic but am hoping it will help with confidence.

sparklemagic Sun 04-Jun-06 17:44:55

thanks Liz. That's a good idea to give it a couple of weeks trial. I never did this sort of thing as a child so completely unsure about what they are like etc!

perfumelady Sun 04-Jun-06 18:19:27

i would say the younger they start the better, stage coach is brilliant for building confidence and they do have so much fun, both my girls go and since joining my youngest has found she loves every aspect and has recently been auditioning for westend shows, local theatre and even a couple of films and thats her wanting to do it not me being a pushy mum, so something like stage coach can open up all sorts of doors if that is something he might want to do in the future.

also i recommend cubs my son went when he was little and they did all sorts of fun stuff that he would probably never have done had he not gone.but i would get his name down soon if you are thinking of cubs because if your area is like ours theres a huge waiting list, i think they can't start that till there six but i'm not 100% sure if thats right.

sparklemagic Sun 04-Jun-06 18:49:39

blimey, thanks perfumelady, had not even considered their might be a waiting list for cubs!!!! good tip. Also lovely to her how your Dd is making the most of stagecoach, and it makes me more determined to at least give it a go. thanks!

Jimjamskeepingoffvaxthreads Sun 04-Jun-06 19:35:58

ds2 (4) has been going to Stagecoach since February- loves it.

sparklemagic Sun 04-Jun-06 20:51:23

thanks jimjams. good feedback so far!!

tigermoth Sun 04-Jun-06 21:10:24

I think that whatever activity you start them on, you must take your cue from your child's reactions to it. I was convinced my extrovert, attention seeking, articulate ds1 would get lots from drama classes so started him on some children's impro classes when he was 7 years old. Complete disaster. He saw the classes an an excuse for mucking around and refused to join in with at least half the lesson. The drama teacher phoned me in deep distress. I had to take him out. Mind you, his cub leader told me he was definitley a special needs child at around the same time as this.... and he was not. Just a bit challenging.

Next time we stated drama was when he was a little more semsible and mature - 10 years old. He likes it now, and goes on his own terms and has just enough self control to be acceptably behaved there. I think he has an aptitude for some sort of drama (teachers at bothy primary anb secondary have said he has some sort of talent but with a big BUT!) I had to wait for him to be ready before he could go.

So if you start anything, don't expect an easy ride. Wait and see how things develop. Also, don't be afraid to start and give up on extra curricular activities. good luck!

glassofwine Sun 04-Jun-06 21:22:58

DD6 started a drama group, spent the first session in tears and agreed with the teacher that it was not for her. Then in the last ten mins they did some acting, which she joined in and decided that it was for her - teacher agreed. At Easter they did an end of term exhibition for parents and she sang, acted and danced even the teacher gave her a special mention and said she never would have thought it was the same girl. Her confidence has improved wonderfully, it's expensive but the most worthwhile thing we've done for her.

cat64 Sun 04-Jun-06 21:39:44

Message withdrawn

florenceuk Sun 04-Jun-06 21:45:08

My DS goes to Polka Theatre classes and I think mostly what they do is play games/act out stories/watch puppets - that sort of thing. He loves stories and I think he enjoys it - but hard to tell as we cannot watch and he is very non-communicative about what they do! He is very confident and is known in the class as "cheeky" - ie he doesn't do what he is told at all - but the class is made up of all sorts - some parents wanting their shy-er children to come out a bit more, and others like me just wanting peace!

sparklemagic Sun 04-Jun-06 22:34:08

thanks everyone, specially tigermoth, it was really interesting to hear your experience. Your Ds sounds a lovely character!

Am definitely going to do my research and see what I think of it; it sounds lke it could be fantastic for him but I will keep an open mind. At present I think he is confident because we have been really careful not to squash him and 'train' him, underneath the chattiness he is very sensitive, so I wouldn't want him in a situation where he has to fit the mould too much if he doesn't want to; lets face it he'll get enough of that in school all too soon!

thanks everyone.

julienetmum Mon 05-Jun-06 23:36:49

I have two different perspectives, the first as the parent of a child who attends Stagecoach and the second as someone who works at Stagecoach.

Dd adores it, she was begging to go since she was 3 but she was too young. We once allowed a not quite 4 year old to try the class and it didn;t work. It is wonderful to see how the children develop. You get the confident ones like dd who join in straight away and are very enthusiastic (overly so). Then you get the shyer ones who slowly blossom.

The classes as this age are more about developing confidence, using games and teacher led improvisations than putting on shows. Because the groups are small the teacher can give individual attention and the chidlren develop at their own pace.

Occasionally you do get a child who hates it, not because of their particular character (confident, shy or whatever) but because they have no interest in the activities and would prefer to be doing something else.

We have a waiting list now until April so if yo are thinking of it it is best to put your name down ASAP for a two week trial.

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