Some children become interested in the theater and acting when they are young. The younger a child is when he learns the basics of drama and theater, the better he will be able to adapt in the future. However, teaching these elements to younger children often requires a different approach than training an adult.
Camps and theater classes are often available for students of all ages, including younger children. Some of these camps and classes are associated with theaters that then use the children they train in productions. Others simply exist to teach children who are interested the basics of acting and how to become involved. Regardless of which option you choose for your child, she will learn the basics of drama and the theater and establish skills that can benefit her in different ways, including performing as an actor.
Each of the program types available initially focus on teaching the basic skills to children. Speaking in front of a group without being afraid is crucial to performing drama in the theater. Once a child is comfortable speaking in front of others, expression becomes the focus. Even young children who can't read yet are able to use expression when they speak. Another important element that these programs focus on is taking direction and performing tasks on stage in a larger-than-life fashion. Larger motions are easier to see from a distance and are thus important in drama.
Simply teaching a child the basic elements of acting is not enough to turn your child into a natural actor. In addition, it is important to give children practical experience with acting. Completing exercises at a drama camp or class is a good start. Splitting the class into groups and allowing each group to perform a short skit helps them make use of the skills they have learned. With many programs, the children may put on a larger performance as an entire class near the end of the class to showcase all they have learned.
Besides learning the art of acting, your child can benefit from learning the basics of drama in other areas of his life. For instance, acting can give a child a degree of confidence that carries over into all other areas of his life. According to a study by the University of California in Los Angeles and reported by Education.com, children who are involved in the arts do better in school overall. In addition, children can learn how to handle rejection effectively and develop a better level of self-esteem.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images