After 31 years of Theatretrain, there’s one mistake we’ve seen parents make time and time again. And it’s a big one.
You want your child to be a part of something fun and meaningful or – even better – you want them to make like-minded friends who help them grow as their own person. Theatre training is one of the best activities for young people to get involved in, and we’re not just being biased!
But even with all of its benefits to your child’s confidence, communication skills and physical fitness, you might have some misconceptions holding you back.
Here are the big mistakes most parents make when considering the performing arts…
The Big Mistake
It’s ‘just’ drama. Or ‘just’ dance. Or ‘just’ singing.
Performing arts has been dismissed as being something a bit ‘fluffy’ and inconsequential. Each subject on its own holds a wealth of opportunities and chances for self-expression and entertainment.
But at Theatretrain, we amplify that power by combining all three into our curriculum equally, meaning your child never experiences ‘just’ one aspect but instead encounters every opportunity to grow as a performer and as a person.
Some people have this idea that it’s an activity for those kids with lots of energy or who love to be the centre of attention.
And that’s true – children with lots of energy and a love for performing do really well – but they’re not the only ones. In our decades of experience, we notice that it’s often the shy or uncertain children who make waves and see the greatest benefits from their time with a theatre company.
Reserved young people have just as much chance to enjoy and thrive in a theatre environment as their more confident counterparts. Quiet people are usually deep feelers and even deeper thinkers, making them excellent students of performance art that’s rooted in storytelling and empathy.
And without getting too political, our society has been conditioned to give more substance and weight to ‘academic’ subjects, with the arts being relegated to an optional subject in most schools.
The ripple effect has meant that the perception of performing arts is that it is empty entertainment – but we’re here to knock that myth on the head.
Once we get time to ourselves, what is it we all indulge in and choose to pursue out of enjoyment? The arts! Whether it’s film, music, radio, TV or performance events, we all rely on the performing arts for entertainment, fun, community and inspiration.
Performing Arts: More Than Performing
It might be called performing arts, but it encapsulates much more than solely performing on a stage.
It’s about exploring identity, self and consciousness. Young people are at a unique and exciting point in their lives where they can choose to be whoever they wish.
They have the power to become confident, caring, thoughtful, responsible, communicative and motivated. Performing arts classes encourage this by providing a safe and welcoming environment where children can ‘try on’ these personality traits, either in character or with their new friends and teachers.
Children who spend most of their time at home or with the same group of peers at school day to day, likely won’t get the same opportunities to explore their individuality and develop a more expansive set of beliefs. Making theatre training sessions an ideal chance to flourish.
It’s about connecting people, ideas, thoughts and beliefs. A theatre company is a diverse collection of people with a common goal. It’s easy to form relationships when you know the person next to you is also attempting something a little scary and perhaps embarrassing, putting themselves out there just as you do.
It brings learning to life. Time and time again, we see studies showing that children learn best in active, engaging environments. Of course, your young person may doze off or tune out if they’re sitting still in a classroom being lectured. Instead, theatre training encourages the ultimate forms of expression, which demands your young performer be fully present.
Theatre training is about goal setting and persevering as much as it is entertaining an audience. There is always some goal to be conquered, whether it’s mastering particular footwork in a dance routine, hitting a high note or embodying a character.
So, you don’t want to make the mistake of thinking performing arts is anything less than a formative and motivating experience.
What does your child really get out of their theatre training sessions? What’s the point? These questions are valid, because, as a parent, you want to make sure you’re making the right choice for your child AND for your bank account.
In fact, theatre lessons that involve singing, dancing and acting can give your young performer a huge range of transferable and lifelong skills – all while they enjoy every minute of it!
Those that participate in performing arts typically benefit from a wide range of skills.
While it can be tricky knowing how to navigate and teach empathy, the performing arts encourage it as a necessity. To deeply understand your character, your musical tone or the movement in a dance, you need to be able to put yourself in another’s shoes and feel their emotions.
How many parents would be brave enough to stand on a stage and perform in front of an audience of hundreds? Our theatre students take on this challenge as a regular part of their training.
Failure is a part of any learning process, and performing is no different. But by allowing children to make mistakes and overcome problems independently and within a supportive group, they gain the mental coping skills to become all the more resilient.
Skip The Mistakes & Become A Part Of Something Incredible…
The single biggest mistake anyone can make with performing arts is to underestimate the impact it has not just in the present, but in the future of a child.
When you fully appreciate the incredible and life-altering aspects of performing arts, you will understand why we at Theatretrain are so wholly dedicated to it. Find local Theatretrain classes close to you using our online tool here.