With the incredible growth in so-called acting and dancing 'academies' springing up I am so concerned as a theatre coach, drama teacher, actress and director with over 50 years experience, at the lack of professional training or even personal experience behind some of these. It seems anyone who once appeared in a school musical or the chorus of an amateur theatre pantomime is now starting up their own drama classes or musical theatre groups. Parents are paying out up to $500 a term for poor quality training by people with little or no actual professional experience or training themselves. Yes, they may have a Blue Card but that means nothing except a clean police record! It doesn't mean they know child development, the psychology of teaching children of different ages with different abilities or personalities, how to cope with the personal problems an individual child might be having etc.. I have seen some absolutely dreadful productions, concerts, performances where parents, grandparents, friends have paid out again and yes, loved watching their special child onstage but I have cringed at the poor standard of the actual production, the failure to understand what might have been done and the inability of the 'teachers' to bring out the full potential in every single child on that stage. I care about the child always in the back row who looked so unhappy. If you are going to pay out mega dollars then ensure your child has the very best training from someone who does know what they are doing and who cares about every one in that class, who isn't just child minding and misleading you into thinking your youngster is a star. With proper coaching every child can shine, they will develop their true potential, learn self confidence, the discipline needed, team work and the thrill of performing and they will be learning correctly. Just ask a few questions before you pay out! Reply
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