Apart from being a fun and entertaining activity, Speech & Drama classes actually have long-lasting benefits for your child’s development. Regardless of age, and whether your child enjoys the limelight or tends to shy away from even a small audience, there are elements of Speech and Drama classes that are bound to engage them and help them develop life skills that give them an edge over others.
Let's look at some of the benefits of Speech & Drama.
1. Improvement in Chinese Language skills
The most apparent benefit of attending Speech and Drama classes would be an improvement of your child’s speaking and presentation skills. Even without putting up a heavily-rehearsed performance in front of a large audience, your child would be consistently taking part in engaging activities that train and enhance his speech, improving on his diction, pronunciation, clarity and tone. With a rich vocabulary that he would be exposed to, his language proficiency would also be enhanced. Together with the confidence that builds up in these classes, it is natural to expect that his presentation skills would definitely improve as well.
2. Increase in Self-Confidence
Fear of public speaking and anxiety of being the centre of attention is not uncommon among adults. Many of these adults would not have had the opportunity to have these very natural fears challenged while they were children. Speech & Drama lessons help children to express themselves in a safe environment where they do not feel judged.
This boosts their confidence and encourages them to think out of the box, take risks, experiment with new strategies and engage actively with their peers. Children benefit greatly from being given an opportunity to work in groups. In an atmosphere that is conducive for exploration and collaboration, children thrive and overcome their fear (if any) of being in the public eye.
3. Expansion of Imagination
Albert Einstein has suggested that imagination is even more important than knowledge. Imagination makes it possible for children to picture a whole world inside their mind. It fosters their ability to look at a situation from myriad points of view, while it enables them to travel both into the past and the future.
As children engage in Speech & Drama activities and allow their imagination to lead them in their creative problem solving, they will be inspired to imagine the impossible. We know that the creative power of imagination has a pivotal role in the achievement of success in any field.
4. Ability To Empathise
Empathy has been referred to as the most important 21st century skill that our children need as they face an increasingly globalised world. Empathy is the ability to identify with others and to think and feel in the shoes of the people around us. As children learn to integrate other people’s perspectives with their own, they will be able to form deeper connections with people, hone their leadership skills and collaborate with a greater sense of self-awareness. This can lead to the realisation of a shared vision that brings meaning and purpose to the lives of many people.
In a Speech and Drama class, children are invited to have a deeper understanding of the characters and situations these characters encounter through exploration of a spread of rich literature. Facilitated role-play and dramatization activities will continue to hone the children’s ability to develop empathy and tolerance. Each and every child has the capacity for empathy. Drama activities enable children to practice empathy and have the courage to display it in real and imagined scenarios.
5. Better Interpersonal Skills
The famous English author, John Donne expressed the profound truth that “no man is an island”. No one is self-sufficient and each and every one of us relies on another. One of the greatest assets we can develop in our children in the ability to have good interpersonal skills, so that they will be able to effectively communicate with people from all walks of life.
Interpersonal skills include verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, positive teamwork and conflict resolution skills. Drama develops the creative ideas and abilities of children through the collaborative process of discussion, brainstorming, making choices, negotiating and rehearsing. Drama games and improvisation activities allow children to express a range of emotions in a controlled environment.
This becomes a valuable part of their journey towards nurturing effective interpersonal skills. Social interaction and risk-taking within the realm of a drama experience can also have a lasting impact on children and free their mind of prejudice and intolerance.
When children are empowered to be lifelong learners and effective communicators, they in turn will have a positive impact on their community. It will open doors, hearts and minds and empower children to be the best that they can be as they journey through life.