Many drama training programs focus on the Four Cs: concentration, coordination, communication and confidence. The development of each of these areas is important for all performers, but is particularly used in drama training for children. Teachers use acting exercises to help kids grow and develop skills covered by each of the Four Cs. These skills, in turn, help kids become well-rounded adults and prove useful in every aspect of life.
Concentration is a foundation for learning any new skill, and the performing arts are no different. Children who learn to focus on one topic for an extended period of time often find it easier to retain information. Drama teachers use exercises that force the brain to concentrate on the task at hand. These may include the memorization and rapid pronunciation of tongue twisters or the memorization of information using a tool such as rhyming. Games such as these help performers of any age with the memorization of scripted lines and staying focused onstage no matter what occurs.
Coordination is needed for an actor as he may be called upon to fight, dance or carry himself in a particular manner. Physical coordination is also important for all young people, as it helps them in sports or other physical pursuits, and promotes overall health. Drama instructors help kids improve their coordination in lots of fun ways such as dance lessons or basic gymnastic techniques such as tumbling. Acting teachers also use movement exercises, such as pretending to be animals, for both children and adults to help them to explore the boundaries of their physicality.
Communication is vital throughout life, in both workplace situations and personal relationships. Actors are taught to communicate their emotions and intentions clearly and succinctly, without confusion. In the acting world, this skill is often crucial in films where facial expression and body language often replace words. Acting teachers use non-verbal games such as charades for students of any age to get their point across without speaking. They use storytelling and monologues to help kids learn to clearly communicate their feelings.
Confidence is perhaps the most important "C" that an actor can possess. She will never be able to perform in front of people unless she believes in herself. Drama training is an effective way for anyone of any age to build confidence in their ideas and abilities. Each of the exercises designed to help build the other Cs also help kids build self-confidence. Acting teachers use these exercises and scene work to help kids feel that they can learn and create in a safe, encouraging environment which helps give them confidence to succeed in life.
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