Last Minute Exam Prep

Before I sat my first GCSE I barely slept. All I could picture the exam hall looming, the deafening silence only broken by the sound of pen on paper.

When morning came I was exhausted, running on fumes, I barely ate and had to drag myself into my exam. This was the worst thing that I could have done before my exam. I had worked so hard, revised for hours, taken test paper after test paper, I was totally prepared for what lay ahead. Apart from what to do the night before, how to dampen those last minute doubts and fears.

Part of what is so great about Little Voices is that exams only happen if and when each child is ready, there is no pressure to do them at a certain time. But that doesn’t stop the last minute butterflies or little worries creeping in.

How can you help fight them for your son or daughter?

1. Remind them they can do it!

No one has ever failed an exam at Little Voices and I can assure you no one wants to change that! If for any reason we had any doubt that your child wasn’t capable of succeeding in an exam we would not suggest they do an exam.

2. Don’t overwork the piece

Don’t overwork the piece the night before. Do any normal prep, read through it and do a run through or two but don’t agonise over every syllable. All the hard work has already been done by now. Lines should already be memorised so there is no need to pour over the piece.

3. Stick to your normal routine

Have your normal bedtime routine and try and make sure that your child gets a good nights sleep.

4. Have a good breakfast

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meals of the day so not skipping it!
Try and eat something that will give provide enough energy to last for a while rather than something that will give a sugar high.

5. Talk about it

If your child is really worried or even if you are, talk to someone. There is always someone from Little Voices on hand for you to talk to. We will do warm ups and run-throughs before the exam and it’s a great way to get rid of any last minute nerves.

6. Have something planned for after

Have something to look forward to after the exam is finished, perhaps a meal out or a trip to the park or the cinema. This is a great way to celebrate the exam but it can also be a great distraction.

 

If you have any worries about anything just speak to your Tutor or Principal, it’s what we are here for!

Good luck!

 

Tilly

Principal of Little Voices Cheshire West

TOP VOCAL TIPS – the first one today is………POSTURE

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To produce a better sound you need to ensure you do certain things.

Vocal Tip # 1: Posture

I am always saying to our pupils. Don’t lean, stand up straight! 

My own parents and grandparent always said to me as a child, “STAND UP STRAIGHT don’t SLOUCH!”

For performers the truth is…….it makes you a better singer.

How?

It’s vitally important to align your body parts and prepare them to support your sound, while eliminating tension. Tension not only makes you feel uncomfortable and affects your mood, but can greatly restrict air flow, making singing a chore rather than pure enjoyment.

Exercise: Find a wall and stand with your back to it. Place your head to the wall so that your chin is parallel to the floor. Open your shoulders and roll them back to the wall. Without allowing your spine to touch, slowly move your back towards the wall to straighten. Arms to your sides. Feet shoulder width apart, find your balance. Try to relax. The only tension you create should be in your abdominal muscles that are supporting your singing. It is more effective if you do this in front of a mirror. This can especially help you to visualize your stance after you see and feel proper posture!

Hope you have a great week!

Reflection On Drama From a 17 Year Old

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An insightful reflection on drama from the seventeen year old, Sophie Large, who was tragically killed in a car accident many years ago. Jane (our founder of Little Voices) is a trustee of the charity Sophie’s Silver Lining Fund and after her tragic death her parents set up the charity in her honour and support aspiring actors and singers in their Drama School and Music Conservatoire training aged 18+. DAME JUDI DENCH and SIR THOMAS ALLEN are patrons of the charity:

Here is an expert:

It just shows what an enormous impact drama and performing can have on a young person.

“Thoughts on Drama”

I have enjoyed drama since I was 8 years old. For ten years I have wanted to be an actress, stubbornly assuring my teachers as much. In 1995 I got a place in the National Youth Theatre and the introductory course changed my outlook totally. We did a lot of physical drama, and experimented with portraying emotions through physical analogy. Our project was based on the loss of a loved one.

Drama for me, is showing people home truths, and experimenting with ideas that I feel strongly about. I took the Junior Drama Club at school and found directing children, whose minds are so imaginative and uninhibited, immensely fulfilling and exciting. I found it easy to adapt my artistic ideas to their age and as I have always loved working with kids I was very successful. With drama, I have enormous drive. I find it easy to focus myself and try out new ideas.

Drama is an essential part of me. I am lost without it and I want to pioneer my ideas, even if I have no money and have to live in a tent. I would be being untrue to myself if I denied myself the chance to create drama.

Hope you enjoyed this! Her book of poems and writings is available to purchase from the site www.sslf.org.uk

 

The Pursuit of Happyness Has Given Us Inspiration

Well the film The Pursuit of Happyness with the legendary actor, Will Smith, provided me with the inspiration for today’s email.

“Don’t let anybody tell you…. You can’t do something. Not even me. All right?”

This was one of the lines from the film that the father delivers to his son!

It is also a line that all children should listen to and absorb. So it would be a good talking point tonight around the dinner table for us all with our families. Because you can be whatever you want to be and achieve whatever you want to achieve. Luckily through drama and singing lessons we can inspire children to believe in themselves and create the mindset that they can do whatever they want to do.

By building a child’s confidence and self-belief they are better equipped to go forth in life and reach for their dreams.

I came across a video of Kate Winslet’s inspiring advice for young women… here it is.

 

 

What The Music Colleges Are Looking For

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Getting into Music College or Drama Conservatoire is a competitive business. Maybe this will shed some insight into what the colleges are looking for.

I was reading what the Head of Singing at the Conservatoire of Scotland, Stephen Robertson, considered to be a complete package of talents ideal for a singer. He said:

  • Vocal quality in singing but also in speaking voice
  • Instinctive musicality/developed musicianship
  • Personality, and ability to project imagination and character without undue ego
  • Appropriate physicality/presence/lively eyes
  • Evidence of work ethic/self-initiative/appropriate ambition and intelligence
  • Lack of bad habits of coordination requiring substantial revision

It is interesting that the speaking voice is as necessary as the singing voice. Little Voices is all about the voice! The voice for acting, speaking, presenting and of course singing!

 

 

Little Voices FREE Singing & Drama Workshop

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Following the success in neighbouring Putney and East Sheen, Richmond. National performing arts organisation ‘Little Voices’ is celebrating opening up its first centre in the Town of Teddington, Richmond Upon Thames by staging a free singing and drama inspired workshop for local youngsters delivered by west end guest Sarah Harlington. Sarah is best known for playing characters Serena Katz in Fame (UK Tour) whilst starring in Avenue Q and Hairsray Musical Tours. Sarah has a wealth of experience in the theatre and professional industry training at Arts Ed Theatre School.

The free event will be held at Teddington Baptist Church on Thursday 10th November, 4pm (4 – 7 years) and 5pm (8 – 12 years), this will be a rare opportunity for local budding young performers aged 4 – 12 years, who have a passion for musical theatre and who would like for the opportunity to be part of and work with Sarah and the Little Voices team at this ‘one off’ workshop experiencing Little Voices training and learning things they wouldn’t anywhere else.

Ashlea Pearson, the Principle of Little Voices, told us: “We are thrilled that we managed to secure a west end guest to assist on the event and to have her working with us at Little Voices to educate the children of Richmond is amazing! We cannot wait for the event and to watch Sarah put her stamp on the workshop.”

“Participants can expect to take part in an exciting repertoire of activities during the workshops, from doing character work, singing songs and performance techniques.”

Ashlea Pearson, added: “Little Voices has been expanding into South West London for quite a long time now, after the success and high levels of enrolments in Little Voices Putney and Richmond.  Teddington will be the sister venue to our centre in East Sheen, Richmond has already proven to be an amazing Borough and we are extremely interested and excited to begin teaching the children of Teddington.”

 

Classes will be held at Teddington Baptist Church every Thursday from 4.00pm onwards from Thursday 17th November onwards, Little Voices will be offering the chance for pupils to attend a free trial lesson in addition to the free workshop to allow pupils to experience the lessons first hand.

If you would like to know more about Little Voices Teddington or sign up to take part in the free workshop and lessons , please visit www.littlevoices.org.uk or email Ashlea: SWL@littlevoices.org.uk, Call: 02080880113

Welwyn Actress Cherice Mckenzie-Cook opens new drama and singing school in town….


Welwyn actress Cherice McKenzie Cook opens new performing arts school in town
Cherice McKenzie Cook from Welwyn Garden City has opened Little Voices in the town to find the next generation of Hertfordshire stars

A professional actress is set to share her theatrical wisdom with youngsters following the launch event  for the new performing arts school in Welwyn Garden City.

Cherice, is heading the first school in the town to open as part of the national organisation called Little Voices, which offers a range of acting and singing classes to help budding stars learn and perfect their stage skills.
Actress Cherice, said: “I am so excited to be bringing Little Voices to Welwyn. We have already had an overwhelming response from parents and children, as well as huge support from our amazing venue, Applecroft School. “The lessons truly are a fantastic way for children to really build their confidence and develop their drama and singing skills, and because the class sizes are so small we can genuinely get to know and nurture each individual child’s talents and needs.”

Classes will run at this first venue on a Wednesday after school throughout the week. Class sizes are kept very small and all Little Voices schools currently have a 100% pass rate when the children take yearly LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) exams.

Mum-of-two Cherice adds: “Drama is fantastic for building children’s confidence about speaking in public, connecting with others, team building, creativity and of course drama specific skills. “Singing has been proven to make people feel happy, bring groups together, and working on specific singing techniques helps to build talent and confidence.

“We also run theatre weeks during the school holidays. Classes alternate between drama and singing every week and they all take place during the week after school, leaving weekends free.”

Children are taught within a unique framework of drama and singing lessons, in age specific groups of no more than six pupils, working towards accredited musical theatre, drama, acting and communication exams, including LAMDA and Trinity Guildhall.

Little Voices also offer QCA accredited for advanced grades (at levels 6, 7 and 8), meaning that they can count as UCAS points which can help young people with university applications.

Fun but structured lessons aim to boost children’s confidence, team-working skills and their performing abilities.

Cherice, who has been a professional actress for 5 years and completed a combined degree in Psychology and Drama has extensive Acting training in Method acting, Meisner technique,  and classical training.
Classes available at Little Voices include Mini Voices for ages 4-7, Little Voices for ages 7-12, and Voices for ages 12-18.

Little Voices launched on Wednesday 5th October with resounding success. The children were learning accents having fun with drama games to promote confidence and most importantly making new friends! Parents were thrilled and pupils went home saying; “It was so good, can I go back tomorrow?” “That went so quickly, I wanted to stay in there for longer!” Cherice is now accepting pupils for a free trial lesson.

For more information contact Cherice on 07916 138150, email welwynhatfield@littlevoices.org.uk, or visit www.littlevoices.org.uk/welwyngardencity

Little Voices Teddington – Children’s Drama Classes

Does your child love to act?

Would you like to nurture their confidence and channel their energy in an enjoyable way?

 

If you consider how many times your child will have to speak in front of others in their lifetime – present a project or read aloud, attend an interview for college or work, for example, the number will be very high, but how can your child improve these skills in an enjoyable way?

 Whether your child is a complete novice and has never had a drama lesson before or your son/daughter is already attending a weekly stage school and you wish to enhance their current tuition you have found the right place to nurture their acting ability.

 

Book TWO Free Trial Lessons

Before 13th January!

Apply for Free Trial Lesson

Little Voices Teddington provides specialised drama lessons, giving your child specific individual tuition within a group of only six children. Our highly qualified tutors are extremely passionate and are determined to work to your child’s individual needs and ability. Our unique lessons build children’s confidence while working specifically towards termly performances and highly respected and accredited Musical examinations through ‘The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts’.

 

Where Do The Lessons Take Place?

Teddington Baptist Church, 17 Church Road, TW11 8PF

 

What Age Ranges Do We Cater For?

Pupils are organised into small groups of pupils according to their friendships within the groups and their ability.

  • Mini Voices – lessons are 45 minutes and are designed for 4 to 7 year olds, Every Thursday, 4pm – 4.45pm
  • Little Voices – lessons are 60 minutes long and are designed for 8 to 12 year olds, Every Thursday, 5pm – 6pm

What Do Our Parents Think? Recent News

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Your child can learn:

  • How to speak with clarity, projection and confidence

  • How to over come stage freight

  • How to look after their voice

  • How to prepare for a drama exam, performance or audition

    Apply for Free Trial Lesson

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*Terms and Conditions apply. You MUST apply by filling in and submitting a Free Trial Lesson Form – click here to apply. This allows us to assess the different abilities of children, ages and friendships for the lesson. It in no way enrols your child into regular lessons.

Little Voices Teddington – Children’s Singing Classes

Does Your Child Love To Sing?

Would You Like To Take Their Singing and Performance Training To The Next Level?

 

Whether your child is a complete novice and has never had a singing lesson before or your son/daughter is already attending a weekly stage school and you wish to enhance their current tuition you have found the right place to nurture their singing ability.

Book TWO Free Trial Lessons

Before 13th January!

 

 

Little Voices Teddington provides specialised singing lessons, giving your child specific individual tuition within a group of only six children. Our highly qualified tutors are extremely passionate and are determined to work to your child’s individual needs and ability. Our unique lessons build children’s confidence while working specifically towards termly performances and highly respected and accredited Musical examinations through ‘The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts’.

 

Where Do The Lessons Take Place?

Teddington Baptist Church, 17 Church Road, TW11 8PF

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What Age Ranges Do We Cater For?

Pupils are organised into small groups of pupils according to their friendships within the groups and their ability.

  • Mini Voices –  lessons are 45 minutes and are designed for 4 to 7 year olds, every Thursday, 4pm – 4.45pm.
  • Little Voices  – lessons are 60 minutes long and are designed for 8 to 12 year olds, every Thursday 5pm – 6pm

What Do Our Parents Think? Recent News

Your child can learn:

  • How to speak with clarity, projection and confidence

  • How to over come stage freight

  • How to look after their voice

  • How to prepare for a drama exam, performance or audition

LittleVoices_151

 

*Terms and Conditions apply. You MUST apply by filling in and submitting a Free Trial Lesson Form – click here to apply. This allows us to assess the different abilities of children, ages and friendships for the lesson. It in no way enrols your child into regular lessons.

Singing & Drama Lessons in Teddington

Does your child love to sing? Act?

Would you like to build their confidence?

 

If you consider how many times your child will have to speak in front of others in their lifetime – present a project or read aloud, attend an interview for college or work, for example, the number will be very high, how can your child improve these skills in an enjoyable way?

 

Whether your child is a complete novice and has never had a singing or drama lesson before or your son/daughter is already attending a weekly stage school and you wish to enhance their current tuition you have found the right place to nurture their ability!

 

Book TWO Free Trial Lessons Before 20th January!

 Little Voices Teddington provides specialised singing and drama lessons, giving your child specific individual tuition within a group of only eight children. Our highly qualified tutors are extremely passionate and are determined to work to your child’s individual needs and ability. Our unique lessons build children’s confidence through fun and inspiring after school singing and drama lessons while working specifically towards group showcases and highly respected and accredited communication examinations through ‘The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art’.

What Age Range Do We Cater For?

Pupils are organised into small groups of pupils according to their friendships within the groups and their ability.

Mini Voices

These lessons are for 4-7 year olds with a maximum of 8 pupils, working towards accredited LAMDA introductory   Examinations and mini performances.

Duration: 45 minute lesson. When: 4pm – 4.45pm Each Thursday.

 

 

Little Voices

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These lessons are for 8 – 11 year olds with a maximum of 6 pupils, organised by age, ability and friendships. Working on scenes of Musical Theatre for LAMDA Examinations from shows such as Matilda, Shrek and Hairspray. As well as working towards performances a chance for pupils to share what they have learnt with parents, friends and family.

 Duration: 60 minute lesson

 When: Every Thursday 5pm – 6pm

 

 

Where Do The Lessons Take Place?

Teddington Baptist Church, 17 Church Road, Teddington, TW11 8PW

 

Find Out More What Do Our Parents Think? Recent News Term Dates Holiday Theatre Weeks

Your child can learn:

  • How to sing with clarity, projection and confidence

  • How to over come stage fright

  • How to project and talk in front of an audience 

Enrolling with TWO FREE Trials!

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 Apply for Free Trial Lesson

*Terms and Conditions apply. You MUST apply by filling in and submitting a Free Trial Lesson Form. This allows us to assess the different abilities of children, ages and friendships for the lesson. It in no way enrols your child into regular lessons.