ACTING OUT WITH CHILDREN
When I first decided to teach acting I started with adults. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to touch the natural creativity of the child, especially the very young.
I watched my adults grow so quickly in my classes. They became more self-confident, creative, and were having fun. It was then I decided to work with teens and tweens and that was magical. They grew so quickly. They understood the work and had so much fun creating, being part of group and performing. Many have gone on to college to study drama and some have jobs in the entertainment field and most have become more self-assured and have been successful in pursuing their dreams. And yes, I do believe acting classes and the technique work had a great deal to do with it.
So knowing I was far from done. I decided to work with pre-school age children. Scary for an actor/teacher who not that long ago thought teaching this age group was not a good idea.
Again I was wrong. Eight years later I have seen 2, 3, 4 and five year olds grown from the work(even babies as young as 9 months). The work encourages them to be free and fearless. Drama helps them feel safe and when guided by a professional acting teacher and love they have so much fun and begin to learn how to socialize, have eye contact with others and they learn to listen and be in the moment. It is amazing to watch and to be a part of. They get more opportunity (then in a regular classroom) to move their bodies and discover how they work, experiment with the sound of their own voices. It opens up a world of music, movement, dance, relaxation and more. Learning stage directions and playing various drama games helps them to stand up in front of a group and project their voices proudly and create various characters using their natural imagination and guided creativity giving them courage in all situations.
One of my favorite parts of working with the toddler group is they can naturally learn how to write a story before they can even read or write. They create it and act it out. It gives them a sense of pride and accomplishment and understanding of the written language. They also enjoy learning about set building, prop making and costuming.
To learn young and absorb all this amazing creative information not only enhances their 8 intelligences it supports each one and makes them stronger during these crucial years that makes them who they will be later in life.
Here’s to letting out children ACT OUT in a safe, loving environment where they can be themselves and grow, grow, grow!
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