April 24, 2023

5 Questions To Ask Before You Start Performing Arts Classes

Ask these vital questions before your child starts performing arts classes, and make sure you’ve found the right fit.

Want to know if performing arts classes are right for you? If you’re looking for a hobby or extracurricular activity for your child, you’ve probably considered things like instrument lessons, drama or dance.

Performing arts unites dancing, singing and acting, making it one of the most powerful and useful skills you could invest in for your child. So, what should you be asking before you sign up your young performer?

Here are the 5 key things to enquire about, to make sure your child will get the incredible and rewarding experience they deserve…

Can My Child Learn To Sing, Dance & Act?

Some schools might only offer one subject or heavily favour it. After all, if you join a dance school that has a drama session, it’s only to be expected that dancing is going to be the core focus. 

This approach may still be enjoyable for your child, but it can have some drawbacks. To start with, they are more likely to lose interest if they’re covering the same topic in every lesson. They could also find themselves excelling in that skill but then having no other abilities to support it or improve their capabilities further.

Performing arts classes, however, unify all three of the core subjects with teaching time given to acting, singing and dancing. Each is taught by specialist teachers or coaches with real-world experience, so your child benefits from their expertise. In learning all three alongside one another, they benefit from a much wider spectrum of skills.

Skills from each can be used to improve and enhance the other. Their singing performances will benefit from a talent for movement and breath control learnt in dance, and their acting performances will benefit from the vocal skills learnt in singing. 

It’s for this reason that we highly encourage learning all three disciplines as if they were one.

Do Your Performing Arts Classes Do Exams And/Or Shows?

As performers, it’s good to have a way to benchmark your progress and learning. Some schools do this through examinations. In this setting, a performer is tested by performing for an often external examiner and then given a grade based on that single demonstration. 

This will often be a solitary exercise most of the time, requiring things like a monologue for acting or individual dance exams that are focused on one dancer.

At Theatretrain, we believe the ongoing act of performance in performing arts classes offers its own benchmark of capability in a different way.

The sense of accomplishment and elation following a show is the validation and confidence boost a young person needs to be encouraged in their learning, which is an essential purpose of an examination – to encourage the student to continue improving their skills to a relative level of excellence.

Working as a team provides its own challenges and tests, asking each person to come together to create entertainment. This collaborative skill is more ‘real’ than a general grade, as it’s in front of a live audience and offers instant feedback to let you know how you’re doing. If your audience is happy and you’re working well with your group, you’re succeeding!

Theatretrain do both local performances and national shows to give young people the chance to put their newfound skills to the test in a practical way. Because of the reputation and scale of our theatre company, we use famous London stages such as The Royal Albert Hall to truly test our students’ mettle. 

What Is The Ethos Of The Performing Arts Classes?

Why does your chosen theatre class exist? What is their core purpose? What kind of passion drives them to teach your children? All of these questions will give you a clear insight into what your child would learn from their performing arts classes, and what kind of additional skills they will pick up along the way that could support them throughout their lives.

The reason for the performing arts classes’ existence is important in understanding the environment your young performer will be learning in. There are some essential ethics and ways of thinking that we believe in at Theatretrain, and they can be helpful markers to judge your chosen classes by.

Nurturing

Is the overall environment welcoming and inviting? Teachers and other students must create an environment that encourages mistakes and continued learning.

Dedication

Your child will need to learn dedication to their new skills to keep improving and become a well-rounded performer and person.

Common Goals

Everyone there needs to share a goal, whether it be to make it to a big annual show or master their fears and weaknesses. This makes learning altogether easier and more fun.

Non-competitive

Nothing kills budding creativity like undue competitiveness. Your chosen school needs to know how to nurture self-improvement without it being a competition.

At Theatretrain, we’ve seen just how crucial these elements are in the classroom and on the stage. The Theatretrain way aims to make the performing arts accessible to all young people, no matter their starting experience or skill level. In this way, we create a comfortable environment for your child to experience the thrill of performance while cultivating valuable life skills without fear.

What Is The Experience Of Those Teaching Performing Arts Classes?

Knowing the expertise of the people who are coaching and teaching performing arts classes goes a long way to understanding what your child will gain from being there.

Don’t be afraid to ask what the instructors’ experience is. Some strong indicators of good experience include:

  • Formal Education
  • Degrees and qualifications
  • Industry Qualifications
  • Certification by professional bodies
  • Practical theatre experience with a company
  • Time on stage, radio or TV

Knowing who your children are looking up to during these performing arts classes won’t just give you some peace of mind, but will also let you know what kind of learning experience to expect. 

What’s The Fee Structure?

Knowing the practical aspects of your chosen performing arts classes is vital. Each drama club, theatre company or dance school will have their own way of doing things and pricing each session, so get the specifics as soon as possible.

At Theatretrain, we categorise classes by age group, not ability or speciality, making for more diverse classes and a simple price structure. Some of the key things to ask about are also the elements you might not think about until a problem arises further down the line, so you’ll save yourself hassle by knowing the details from the beginning.

Find out about:

  • Cost of classes
  • Pay as you go or termly fees
  • Off-sick & holiday policies
  • If a uniform is required

Ready To Dance Into The Performing Arts?

With all of this information firmly under your belt, including lesson content, school ethos and practical details, you can make a more informed choice about theatre classes. Whether your child is a natural spotlight-seeker or a reserved deep-thinker, performing arts classes provide invaluable life skills and experience they won’t get anywhere else. 
Find a Theatretrain class near you and start asking us these important questions!

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

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