With school holidays on the horizon, children will be looking for new activities. Often parents think of enrolling their children in holiday camps that will help them develop socially, academically, or in sports. However, drama camps or autumn camps can help children excel in many areas, giving it a real advantage over singularly focused camps. Drama camps teach skills that are practical and will be used for years to come!
Advantages of Drama Camps
Drama camps are enjoyed by children of all age levels and give them a renewed sense of self-confidence. In Singapore, children are engaged in lessons that often culminate with a group show performed in front of a live audience of friends and family members. This allows the children to practice what they have learned and develops techniques to help ease the anxiety that can come from performances and public speaking, which can help them develop no matter what occupation they ultimately choose.
A sense of teamwork can be developed through performing, particularly since the children may partner with participants they may not have otherwise interacted. Not only will unlikely friendships develop, but engaging with diverse groups can help campers learn to overcome conflict. By taking on the part of a character, a requirement for most drama camps, children can also develop a more profound sense of compassion and empathy.
Communication and Language Arts
Language and communication skills are taught as part of the curriculum for drama camps because they are an essential part of the art. The nuances of language and non-verbal communication are conveyed through practice on stage and often in writing exercises. Since communication skills transfer into real-world experience, the learned skills can help the campers perform better academically and socially.
Children who are suffering from low self-esteem or who exhibit a lack of confidence will often leave drama camp with a renewed sense of self-worth. Because performing in front of others takes courage, campers quickly learn to overcome hesitation and fear. Mistakes happen on stage, and campers soon grasp the concept that with repetition and perseverance, success is achievable. Stepping out of their comfort zones is a common theme with many drama camps. By learning how to manage the anxiety that can develop, children will find new adaptability that will make them more comfortable in every aspect of life.
Concentration and Memory
Memorization is a critical aspect of stage life – and the ability to memorize and retain information does not come naturally to every child. At drama camp, children learn techniques that help make remembering details and focusing on long scripts easier. Many warm-up exercises for drama camps include improvisation games which get children thinking on their feet and allows them to learn to activate their minds. Whether following and remembering stage directions or an epic monologue, the skills learned will follow the child into their life at home.
Many parents conclude that drama classes might be an endeavor that encourages inactivity; however, this is far from the truth. Camp participants will learn that the performing arts offer good workouts as part of their program. Physical activity is vital to stage performers because it improves coordination, flexibility, balance, and control of muscle movements. Even in tasks like voice projection, physical health plays an important role.
Physical activities such as yoga and stretching may be a part of the curriculum as it also helps remove stress and teaches valuable lessons on controlled breathing.
Imagination and Creativity
Imagination is key to the performing arts, and drama camp can help students tap into creativity. By taking on the role of another person, students learn to explore different aspects of their own personalities or take on entirely new ones! This opens their mind to more creative thinking and can help them identify with people of all different backgrounds. They begin to think outside their own box, and see the world through a different lens, which may help them appreciate diversity in later life.
Campers may create unique backgrounds and sets that let them learn skills for building and artistic interpretation. They may learn essential lessons on color theory and set design that will translate into a personal design aesthetic that they can use in other areas. Even math plays a role in creativity – learning to measure and scale architectural plans and designs correctly is a hands-on skill students can continue to use long after drama camp is over.
Socialization is another aspect of any camp that a child attends. In drama camp, it is a requirement that campers work together, and long-lasting bonds will form from that. Cooperation and teamwork are a must at drama camp because, ultimately, no performance can be created and performed alone. It takes working together, team innovation, compromise, and accountability. Children learn that they each have an interdependent role in the production, so learning to encourage one another and be accountable for your actions plays a vital role in the end production.
Exposure to Classic Materials
Many drama schools and theater classes will have participants reading and analyzing classic plays and monologues as part of the training process. This means that students may be exposed to writers such as William Shakespeare at an earlier age and will develop a deeper understanding of the archaic language that can be used. Greek and Roman mythology and other classic pieces may be formed into modern lessons and produced with lively backdrops. Exposure to such materials can foster a deep love of classic literature and spur the children to read and learn about more traditional pieces.
Drama camp is an all-encompassing learning experience for children and one that parents should consider while looking for holiday activities. It explores deep connections, imagination, and art, all while developing children into well-rounded individuals. Students at these camps benefit from learning in a fun, playful environment that creates memories that will last and lessons that will transcend into real-life application. It is far more than just acting – it is an experience that stimulates the life of children!