A typical Stage It! session
There's no such thing as a "typical" Stage It! session, because we try to ensure every session is new and different. However, there are some common themes across all our sessions, as outlined below.
We always start with some warm-up games. Depending on the theme of the first lesson, this could be an active game, designed to get everyone warmed up, a drama game to stimulate the imagination and creativity, or a general team-building game, to get everyone working together. We will then move on to our first lesson, which will follow one of the four main themes - Act It!, Move It!, Sing It! or Create It!
We usually teach the entire class together. However, sometimes it can be useful to split the class into smaller groups, if they need to focus on different elements of a project, for example. Alternatively, we may run sessions for two or more classes together - the Juniors and Inters are sometimes taught in this way. We have the use of breakout rooms for smaller project work, and all students will be supervised by a member of staff at all times.
After a mid-session break, where students will be given a free drink of squash or water and a biscuit, we have another warm-up game, and then move into our second lesson. Depending on the length of the lessons, we may be able to cover a third lesson some weeks.
Often, our sessions focus on rehearsing for a forthcoming show. However, even though this limits what we can cover, we ensure there is always some variety, and we throw extra activties in to break up the rehearsal time.
Within an Act It! lesson, students will learn the basic techniques used by actors. We cover vocal technique, non-verbal acting, basic stage direction and terminology and how to create a believable character. Students will have an opportunity to rehearse and perform in a wide range of styles, from the classics to modern TV and film scripts. We will be teaching the differences between acting on stage and acting on film. We will also cover other forms of acting, including pantomime, mime, puppetry and more. Our lessons focus on active participation, rather than sitting and listening. We have found that even the least confident children love getting involved in putting on sketches and plays and performing them in front of one another, and, at the end of term, in front of a large audience. However, we don't force any of our students to do something they feel uncomfortable about, and one of our biggest joys is watching children gain confidence over time. We use a variety of props and costumes during our lessons to add to the acting experience. If anyone has any unused costumes or useful props lying around, please let us know, as we are always looking to add to our collection!
Move It! lessons include our dance tuition, during which students will learn about different styles of dance. However, we will also be offering less conventional tuition during these lessons, including zumba and yoga, for example. We also make sure that every student is suitably warmed up before taking part in our Move It! sessions, by playing a range of fun, active games. Due to the physical nature of our Move It! lessons, we recommend that our students come to Stage It! in comfortable clothing. Please see our Uniform Page for more information. Our Move It! lessons often go hand in hand with our Act It! theme, as we will be exploring physical theatre and mime, which necessitate a good awareness of body movements.
Within our Sing It! lessons, students will have an opportunity to sing a wide range of songs, ranging from modern rock and pop, through Broadway musicals and more classical choral works. As well as singing in a class-sized choir setting, they can sing in smaller ensembles, and we are also able to provide solo voice coaching. We choose the music specifically to suit younger developing voices, and also train our students in techniques which will protect their voices.
During the Sing It! lessons, we will also be covering basic musical technique, including rhythm and harmonisation. If students can play a musical instrument, there will be performance opportunities - however, we cannot at present offer individual instrument tuition.
Our Create It! lessons offer students a chance to get involved in a wide range of activities. One week, they may be designing and making sets and props for a forthcoming production, the next they might be composing a song and then recording it. Students will get the opportunity to try movie making, costume design, script-writing, marketing and much more. Where possible, Stage It! will cover the cost of materials involved in Create It! activities. However, there may be instances when we ask for an extra contribution from parents/carers towards our costs in some lessons. We will keep these to an absolute minimum.