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Tell me about the benefits of musical theatre /stage school for a youngish child

(20 Posts)
NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 17:15:40

Dd (nearly 4) is besotted with singing and dancing and performance. She did a show with her nursery and just totally got the bug. She's been doing a class for 3 year olds but is now being moved into the 4-6 group. She loves it!!! It's two hours of singing and dancing and drama on a Saturday. She'd do it every day if she could! We get subjected to her "shows" for the family about 5x a day too grin. I was a shy and bookish child so she definitely doesn't get it from me (or her dad, who comes out in hives at the word theatre...)

I can afford it, but it is a lot more than an average "hobby" at her age.
She loves it so much, so I would never stop her going, but to make me feel better about the costs I would love to hear from people who are glad they sent their children at a similar ish age!

I guess with the sport I did the "added" benefits (on top of just enjoying it) were obvious - team skills, leadership skills, fitness, etc. And am wondering if there are those kind of benefits here (just to make me feel better when payment time comes round grin)

(I am paying on the basis that it is something she absolutely loves, with no expectation she will make a career of it or even necessarily want to carry it on throughout her childhood.)

dodobookends Tue 18-Apr-17 17:52:28

Co-ordination, rhythm, musicality, spatial awareness, teamwork, taking instructions, a sense of achievement, building friendships, learning how to co-operate, self-awareness, independence, learning things off-by-heart, motivation, dedication, perseverance, the list goes on really smile

The main thing at her age is that it's fun and she loves it.

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 17:56:06

Do you know, I was just listening to her sing a song word perfect and thinking that that alone is quite impressive grin

Thank you dodo that's a good list to keep in mind when the termly invoice comes grin her enjoyment is definitely enough really, but it helps think of some extra benefits when she seems to have fallen in love with quite a pricey hobby!!

Witchend Tue 18-Apr-17 18:01:31

My dc all do musical theatre and performing.
Actually I don't pay much out. They're involved in an amateur panto (age 5+)which they rehearse for around 4 months. They then do a youth theatre performance, rehearsals for another 3 months for a performance and sometimes get offered other things.

They do now all do a drama/musical theatre class, but that's only an addition and they didn't do that until older.

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 18:20:22

i'm stuck with this one really as the day/time works for us. It's cheaper than stagecoach, and saves us rushing between dance/drama / choir- plus she has a lovely group of buddies there and it seems to be the combination of all three that she loves. the teachers are all lovely, with excellent credentials. i wouldn't take her somewhere else, but if she still loves it as she gets older then hopefully more am dram etc opportunities will become available too smile

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 19:26:58

@witchend - just thinking.. How did you find out about opportunities for panto etc? are they advertised? Just wondering how I would go about this when dd is old enough! Think she would love it!

nonicknameseemsavailable Tue 18-Apr-17 20:23:09

well my girls dropped drama to concentrate on their dancing but I would have loved them to carry on with both if we had the money and time but unfortunately they are already doing 4hrs a week of dancing. for me drama and musical theatre might not have the same benefit of fitness perhaps as other sports but you do have to work in a team and be quick to think, take instructions and adapt and the big one for me is CONFIDENCE! I did drama for 13 years, took grade 8s in various different areas and am naturally a shy and nervous person but whilst I didn't manage to change that side of me I learned how to cover it up very well, I learned to read out loud with expression, to speak clearly (foreigners often comment how they understand me more easily than most people), I learned to perform and could do school plays, class assemblies etc and in the big wide real world I found interviews easier to deal with and I am sure it was all down to drama lessons. I might be a nervous wreck inside most of the time (big issue for me) but when I tell people that they are stunned because I have so many skills to hide it. Drama is well worth the money in my opinion.

with regards to panto - mine do panto but as dancers but all local drama groups will have facebook pages and you can contact them and ask about children joining them or being part of their productions.

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 20:42:12

That's really helpful to hear nonickname smile
My daughter does swimming, gymnastics and ballet as well as her stage schooly stuff so should still get her fitness side done!

I've tried to persuade my son to do drama as he hates public speaking, but so far he is unconvinced! He happily got up and did his gymnastics routine in front of 100s of people though...

NeverTwerkNaked Tue 18-Apr-17 20:42:43

Will check out local drama type groups on Facebook. Does it tend to be from school age up that they take children?

corythatwas Wed 19-Apr-17 08:27:37

University lecturer here, and the students who absolutely cope best with my (completely unrelated) modules are the music students: they are the ones who have learnt self discipline and perseverance.

As for my own dd, what acting has really given her is team spirit: seeing yourself as part of a whole.

Also resilience: accepting that sometimes you get to be part of the bannisters while somebody else plays the beautiful heroine and it is still worth being the best bannister component you possibly can.

Dd hasn't done much panto as such, but she did join an adult am-dram group as a teenager.

Ledkr Wed 19-Apr-17 08:33:02

My dd has had a rough time at school but her dance friends have been supportive and it's given her an outlet.
Things got so bad that we removed her from school and she starts a vocational school in September.
So in our case the classes have more than paid off!

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 19-Apr-17 08:38:57

Oh wow ledkr well done to your Dd! 'My step daughter is struggling socially at school (a nasty frenemy situation) and I have been trying to persuade Dp to let her do a club, any type really, for that reason, as an escape from the school bubble

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 19-Apr-17 08:41:44

cory that's a really interesting observation! And I think that resilience is something I lacked as a child, if I couldn't do something straight away I just gave up on it. (Because I found academic stuff easy). It was only when I finally learnt to drive (at 30!) and went from thinking I could never to do it, to trying and trying (because I had to!) and passed my test, that i discovered the buzz that comes from working through something you struggle at. Am definitely trying to make sure both my kids learn that growing up.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 19-Apr-17 08:50:12

Thank you all of you, I am feeling a bit more at peace with indulging Dd's choice now!!
Plus in the last day alone she has insisted on performing at least ten "shows" <grits teeth> grin

corythatwas Wed 19-Apr-17 09:14:53

She sounds exactly like my dd at that age grin

Don't want to unsettle you or anything, OP, but dd is about to start grown-up drama school after 3 years of auditioning (so nothing wrong with her resilience wink). I try to console myself with the thought that the entertainment industry is pretty well the only industry we've got left in this country.

NeverTwerkNaked Wed 19-Apr-17 17:12:01

Oh I would be very happy if that's where she ended up smile
then someone else can watch the perpetual shows
Her dad has turned his hobby (a sport) jnto a pretty lucrative career and I see how fulfilling it is to be paid to do something you would do anyway

But I want to go into this on the basis that is not why I am paying for the classes if that makes sense? I don't want her to feel any pressure if her interests lead her down a different path!

Well done to your daughter!!! and yes, I think there are such diverse opportunities available in entertainment smile

Witchend Wed 19-Apr-17 23:24:17

For us, getting into panto was a bit of luck. It happened that when dd1 was 4yo a local one was just set up, and I knew the producer from a toddler group. We watched the first year, and I asked if dd1 could join in the next year.
We've steadily become more involved each year until now the whole family is involved and our year is not revolved round it, but perhaps arranged round it.

What we also do though is keep an eye on local things and if they're saying "anyone got a girl aged 7-12 who could play a little sister" then email and ask. You'd be surprised the number of times you find you're the only one who's come forward. (although I was at one audition-amateur, with over 100 girls for Sound of Music)
Then you get remembered and if they need another, they may well come back. Make sure you're sensible though, we do remember those whose parents make a fuss if they're not centre stage the entire time and won't invite someone back who's been a hassle.
I'm also chaperone trained which ups the popularity of your children a bit. wink

Dd2 gets a certain amount through her charity, a couple of filming opportunities and a tour which she really enjoys. Dd1 prefers musicals, and ds prefers anything that might possible get him off school. grin

NeverTwerkNaked Thu 20-Apr-17 07:06:22

Lol at your son witchend grin

I have followed various local things on Facebook, a lot of it seems geared at older kids but hopefully her classes will keep her happy for now and as she gets older it sounds like there may be cheaper ways to keep her hobby going.

Am shocked at parents behaving like that, but then not entirely, it's the same even at my sons scjool school. We had one marching into the classroom to complain why their daughter hadn't got a speaking part in their class play .... turned out she had asked to have a non- speaking part grin

2014newme Thu 20-Apr-17 13:29:10

If she loves it that's reason enough to carry on.
There are some that are less about "shows" i f you feel she is taking the show thing too far.
Stagecoach have an Agency if kids want to perform professionalally. My kids love stagecoach but I couldn't be doing with the whole audition shlep so we don't bother with that but the ones that do it enjoy the work they get.

NeverTwerkNaked Sun 30-Apr-17 22:11:37

Only just seen this, thanks 2014
Her school does have an agency attached but am going to resist that route unless she begs me to let her!

She loved her class so much again yesterday, it is wonderful seeing how happy it makes her. smile

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