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LAMDA exams
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GoodyGoodyGumdrops · 28/06/2017 07:55

Dd is in Y9, a good all-round student, passionate about drama and performing. Would taking LAMDA grades benefit her post-18 education? She doesn't know yet whether she wants to go to university or audition for a drama school. She will definitely take A-levels, and has already set her heart on doing Drama for one of them.

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LondonGrammar · 28/06/2017 08:05

The actual qualifications won't make a jot of difference, but the work she does towards the qualifications may help her generally. But don't let the tail wag the dog: she should be involved in youth drama groups, rather than on a qualification hunt.

For Drama school, auditioning straight out of A levels, she'll be one of thousands of moderately to very talented young women; she'll need to be exceptional to win a place at the decent drama schools. For university Drama LAMDA or Trinity exams won't make a difference in qualifications - it'll be about A Levels and a good personal statement, and probably an interview or some other selection process. And in that, we'd want to see how working towards the qualifications has enriched her other studies. Again, it's the work, not the qualification, that matters.

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thesandwich · 28/06/2017 09:26

www.lamda.org.uk/examinations/about-examinations/lamda-qualifications-and-ucas
Grades count as UCAS points but only if unis use the tariff- but it could be a great way to develop her skills and confidence.

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GoodyGoodyGumdrops · 28/06/2017 12:50

So youth drama groups and performing in school plays would count for more than LAMDA grades, but the LAMDA prep would help her in the extra-c activities and further demonstrate her commitment?

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BubblesBuddy · 28/06/2017 17:50

My DD is a barrister and I can assure you, LAMDA helped! She did school drama but the prep required for LAMDA and the confidence needed is a real bonus now! They are taught how to act and deliver lines. It is seen as so important that her Inn of Court actually put on a training day for Barristers delivered by a tutor from RADA. Never under estimate how powerful confidence is and the ability to stand up in front of people without quaking.

Whatever she ends up doing, LAMDA is never wasted. Nor is school drama! Go for it. Youth drama groups can be very time consuming so you need to be committed. Four of my DD's friends went to drama school from A levels so it is possible. It is just very very hard! You need teachers who can advise on what to prepare for auditions and where to apply. I would research the drama schools and see what the best route is. I also know a lot of girls who, at 16, thought they wanted drama school, but they went off the idea. I also know the ones that went to drama school hardly get any work! In one case, no work! She trained at Central St Martins. This is the sad reality for many.

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BubblesBuddy · 28/06/2017 17:52

All of them did LAMDA exams by the way, and A Levels which included Theatre Studies, but it was a private school.

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Oliversmumsarmy · 28/06/2017 17:55

A lot of drama schools don't require A levels or any qualifications.

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LondonGrammar · 28/06/2017 19:40

Yes exam systems like LAMDA or Trinity will teach you how to stand up and deliver, but I'm always looking for collaboration and creativity. And focussing on exam syllabi such as LAMDA don't necessarily foster those in a way that will prepare a young person for the 21st century theatre industry. They're still a bit elocution-y. I'm looking for people I can throw in the deep end to make material and negotiate creative decisions in a group, without letting ego get in the way.

If it's a matter of resources of time and money, go for a good youth drama group. Or even am-dram. It will also teach your DD that there is more to the theatre than standing and delivering. And more things to do in the theatre than acting.

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GoodyGoodyGumdrops · 28/06/2017 20:41

I am wary of exam systems in creative arts. Children are already so constantly tested and assessed, and taught-to-the-exam. How about valuing learning to do something just for the pleasure of doing it, rather than for someone else's marks?

Dd is already involved in a local youth theatre group and in school plays. LAMDA would be as well as, rather than instead. It sounds like it would be worth doing for the experience, rather than for the UCAS points.

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LondonGrammar · 28/06/2017 20:59

How about valuing learning to do something just for the pleasure of doing it, rather than for someone else's marks?

Well, quite.

If your DD is aiming for a Drama school, having passed speech exams won't make any difference; if she's aiming for a decent university academic Drama/Theatre Studies degree, the points won't mean anything , as most good universities in the field look at A levels not UCAS tariff.

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GoodyGoodyGumdrops · 28/06/2017 21:22

Is A-level Drama worth doing, together with two facilitating subjects?

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GoodyGoodyGumdrops · 28/06/2017 21:24

Or would 3 academic subjects plus extra-curricular drama activity be better?

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corythatwas · 29/06/2017 17:00

If you are asking about drama school, then the answer would be for most of the big ones, it's all in the audition (and possibly interview). School plays, youth drama, LAMDA exams are useful insofar as they add to the audition- and insofar as it would probably be impossible to do a good audition without previous acting experience of any kind.

Drama A-level at a school/college that teaches it well may also add to your chances because of what it teaches rather than as a standard requirement. Some colleges also do a BTech in Acting. If well taught, this can be v. good preparation for drama school.

If an academic course is what she is aiming at, then obviously she needs to think more about A-levels.

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Gierg · 29/06/2017 17:07

I did LAMDA exams and A-Level Drama, but I would say that it was just the act of being actively involved in local youth theatre and being enthusiastic that helped me get experience that in the end led me to go to drama school.

I wouldn't say the actual exam certificate meant anything, but I enjoyed the experience, met some great teachers and friends and was led on to more drama opportunities that I think were instrumental in getting into Drama School/Theatre as a career.

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BubblesBuddy · 29/06/2017 21:33

Whatever route you take, make sure it has first class teaching and a track record of getting students into drama school. The school I know is recognised by The Good Schools Guide as being top for Drama. It is. Hardly anyone gets an A. Nearly all A*.

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LondonGrammar · 30/06/2017 07:20

Or would 3 academic subjects plus extra-curricular drama activity be better?

This really is a "How long is a piece of string?" question, and to be honest, I think you're allowing the tail to wag the dog.

If your DD wants to be an actress, then she needs to be involved in youth theatre of some sort, or amdram, or whatever. But stuff like this should be done because she wants to do it, because it's a normal part of childhood/teen years life enrichment, because it is what she wants to do - all the reasons for doing hobbies. Not to get points or qualifications.

This is the problem with the exam culture - we forget what exams are there for. We have lazily got into the habit of thinking of achievement at exams as an end in themselves, rather than a simple test of how much has been learnt & how well, at any particular point in the learning.

LAMDA grades will make no difference at all to a conservatoire audition. Talent will. The work she's done for the exams may help, by helping to articulate & develop her talent. OTOH, I find students who've done that grade/exam work can be a bit elocution-y & not really flexible in creativity.

Most university Drama departments NOT conservatoires (drama schools don't necessarily require Drama or Theatre at A Level because of the appalling mess that the eBacc is making of creative arts education. But if there's an opportunity to student Drama at GCSE and then A Level, and your DD wants to do it then she should go for it.

If she wants to do the LAMDA stuff, she should do it. But for her own self-cultivation & development NOT with an eye to post-secondary education. It really won't make much of a difference there.

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Kez100 · 04/07/2017 21:52

Local youth theatre and school band helped my two enormously. No exams but lots of productions and creative thinking. Built confidence and ability to think on the spot. They ended up helping younger groups which was good for maturity.

Neither ever wanted a career in it but the skills have been invaluable and they had lots of fun and made friends from different schools and across year groups.

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