How children learn those first performance/ life skills through their first LAMDA exam…

Children come to us from the age of 4 years old. Our mini voices lessons cater for children between the ages of 4-7 with various different reasons as to why they attend. The child could be none stop singing and performing at home, so Little Voices is where the parent of said child has decided to send them for lessons in how to sing and act! The child could be under confident and may need a little help with learning how to make friends at school or putting their hand up in class or a little bit of help in social situations… The list really is endless.

However, whoever the child and whatever their need we will tailor our lessons to help them. And in turn they learn those first performance skills through learning their first LAMDA exam.

The very first part of the exam starts and the child has to walk into the room, stand in front of their examiner and say their name, their poem and who wrote the poem. The children learn eye contact, how to speak loudly and clearly, and to smile. These are all important in performing, and all important in everyday life too.

The children then must perform the poem that they have learnt. The children memorise these in their lessons. Learning how to pronounce words properly, learn new meanings of words… And in performance terms learning all about diction, volume, the speed in which they speak and much more. These children then can mimic these skills in everyday life helping children to pronounce their words properly, not speak to fast or too slow or too quietly.

Once the children have performed their poem, they then have to talk about their favourite toy, photograph or book (dependant on which level of exam). The

Learning from a very young age the importance of eye contact helps to build relationships with people. We often have a giggle in the lessons about how funny it would be if you said hello to someone with your back turned to them, or your head looking all the way down. Children soon pick up these important life skills. Yes they are KEY for strong performances from 4 to 104, but they are KEY for everyday life too.

How can your child be successful? Conquer life with confidence! What is confidence?

We talk about how Little Voices builds children’s confidence but what is confidence really and what does confidence enable you to do in adulthood?

Wikipedia states that confidence is belief in oneself, positiveness, assertiveness, self assurance.

It is true; if you have confidence then you can achieve! Having confidence leads to success and we are completely committed to facilitating every child’s vocal and dramatic learning so that they can be whoever they want to be and achieve and do whatever they want to do!

A child’s future will be shaped by how confident they are. Their success will be a result of how confident they are. We strive at Little Voices and always have done to create a positive learning environment that nurtures a child so that they feel happy, safe and secure to share their ideas, their voice, their skills, make new friends and then their confidence starts to increase as they explore and push their boundaries, acquire new skills and excel in their examinations. The examinations are a critical part of what we do at Little Voices as they act as external verification for a child (and the parents and tutors) that they are doing well !!!! It is not just about rushing through the grades and increasing your C.V. from an early age although that is a really positive element of examinations. When we distribute the results from L.A.M.D.A. examinations it is superb to see the children’s faces and how proud they are of themselves and each other. It helps them to benchmark themselves and to appreciate that pushing their comfort zone boundaries and going through the examination process was all worth it! Another key life skill!

I was reading a blog recently relating to the workplace and Craig Jarrow said in relation to confidence in adulthood that:

  • Confident people start things. They are not shy about striking out on a new idea even when those around them are still pondering it.
  • Confidence allows you to stand up for yourself in a fair and consistent manner. Otherwise, you may find yourself unheard or unfairly treated.
  • Confident people have the ability to say ‘No’ where appropriate. They do not take on unnecessary or inappropriate work or obligations. And at the same time, confident individuals say “Yes” to opportunity. They do not miss new options because they are shy. I have seen individuals’ pass up opportunities (even promotions) because they didn’t think they were “worthy.”
  • Lack of confidence can lead to paralysis from fear. Fear of failure. Fear of what others think. Fear of the unknown. To succeed, you need the confidence to face and overcome your fears.
  • Self-confidence means believing in yourself. Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” He was right.
  • Confident individuals set the bar high and aim high. Lack of confidence leads to weak goals, setting the bar too low, and mediocre results.

 

  • Confidence lets you know your limits and test them. By stretching your limits you increase them. You are stronger than you think!
  • Confidence allows you to ask questions, even when others are silent. Confidence even lets you “ask for the job.”
  • Confident people believe in success. And more importantly, they believe in their abilityto succeed.

 

Believing in Success

Confidence leads to success.

Believe in yourself. Believe in your skills.

And most importantly, believe in your ability to succeed.

As parents we all want our children to be happy and successful and certainly at Little Voices we share your desires for your child too. It is important to us to hear from you regularly and learn about how Little Voices is helping your child or what you feel they need more help with. Please keep in regular contact with us so that we can keep helping your child and every child to conquer life with confidence!

What do you learn after 10 years training #children in drama and singing and at the same time building a national #franchise business?

I cannot believe that this month we celebrate our 10th Birthday at Little Voices. Little did I know that 10 years on from that conversation in a Blackburn coffee shop with fellow co founder Holly Hammond that Little Voices would be a national success, our 100% pass rate in all exams would remain across the country and I would be surrounded by the most caring, passionate and driven people striving to sustain our core beliefs every day.

In 2007 we did not start with the end goal in mind in fact quite the opposite. We had in our minds the word ‘excellence’. That was it. We wanted to provide ‘drama and singing lessons of distinction!’ We would do every element to the best of our ability and provide excellent tuition. We shared a passion for training children well in drama and singing, caring and nurturing their skills, helping them to believe in themselves and truly believed in the power of tuition in drama and singing to impact a child’s entire life – being honest we also benefited from of a few extra pounds in our bank accounts each month. Honestly that was it! 10 years on we are still ensuring that EVERY child leaves EVERY lesson knowing one thing that they have done well and one thing that they need to improve upon and striving for excellence in every part of the company.

A business really can grow from very humble beginnings and a couple of core elements despite a roller coaster 10 years with challenges galore I believe that we have kept what made Little Voices special at the heart of all that we do today.

We truly believe:

  • In gaining life skills to follow your dreams
  • That each and every person has something amazing to share
  • In inspiring everyone to be the best that they can be!
  • In being positive & happy – “You’re never fully dressed without a smile”
  • Learning should be a fun and a happy experience

And we are passionate about building confidence and nurturing talent

We do this by working with the most fantastic tutors and franchisees one could wish to know. I always say that there is no ‘I’ in team and there isn’t. We want to make a positive influence on as many children’s lives as possible and this is impossible to achieve alone. By franchising and recruiting excellent Principals and Tutors we have been able to bring Little Voices to so many more families across the UK and we are still growing!

We have shaped Little Voices to really stand out of the crowd. We are not a theatre school or a performance based training organisation. They exist in towns and cities across the country and they play an important part in a child’s development but fundamental to a child’s success is their belief in themselves and the nurturing of their individual strengths and weaknesses. They need individual attention, care and the time to have their skills nurtured.

We have worked hard to now shout from the rooftops that we sit in the education industry and provide inspirational music and drama education to all children working in partnership for the most part with schools. We work alongside schools both in the school day and as an activity accessible after school for those parents that want to ensure their child has life skills and the confidence to pursue any career that they choose to and all of this is done in a fun, structured way in a very small group. Every child takes examinations with L.A.M.D.A. and this helps them to embrace an examination situation in a positive way as well as building their CV from a very young age. As L.A.M.D.A.’s second biggest customer, globally, we are clearly doing something right both for the children and those that work with us.We take away the fear away from that word ‘exam’. Young people are assessed and examined throughout their school life and we can help children to approach this in a fearless way, positively and with confidence. At the same time children and parents are unknowingly building their child’s CV from a very young age and equipping them for interviews, presentations, meetings and a life of success in whichever career they choose!

Of course we have had several children that have gone on to pursue a professional career in the industry but the vast majority of our children leave us prepared for the big wide world of work in a range of professions that also happens to include the acting/music profession.We exist to help add important layers to a child’s education. It is all about the individual child and ensuring that they become the best that they can be.

So what have I learnt and what can I share:

You never stop learning and neither should you! Teaching is a vocation and it is a two way thing. Embrace it – I do! I am hungry to learn constantly. Children teach you so much about yourself as well as you facilitating their learning.

It’s not easy – Every challenge that you face should be embraced as an opportunity to learn.

You get out what you put in and sometimes you are putting so much in and getting very little out that it takes a strong mental determination and passion to keep you going. Take the rough with the smooth as my dad always said!

There is never a quick win it takes blood, sweat and tears and practice makes perfect!

If you are interested in receiving our 10th Anniversary Newsletter and maybe even having a chat about any aspect of Little Voices – joining us on our national mission, sending your child to lessons, teaching for us et al. please don’t hesitate to send me an email and we can take it from there. jane@littlevoices.org.uk

Jane the Principal of Little Voices Flagship is Nominated for Woman Franchisor of the Year Award 2016

Woman Franchisor of the Year Award 2016A huge accolade for the entire network of Little Voices; every Franchisee, Tutor, Parent and Pupil. Proud to announce that our Managing Director of Little Voices has reached the finals of the EWIF Woman Franchisor of the Year Awards.

Your child excelling in their Christmas Production or nativity or struggling with the enormity of it all! – from a parent and a teacher’s perspective!

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It was during the Christmas period that my own voice was really spotted at my Junior School, Heathfield! We were performing the nativity “He’s Only a Baby” and I was chosen to be Mary. I sang solo for the very first time and my parents and grandparents were there to watch, stunned and amazed. All the other parents were apparently coming up to them afterwards saying “Oh my goodness her voice is outstanding where does she have singing lessons?” I didn’t have singing lessons, I didn’t really even know that I was that good a singer. But I was, it seemed, and from that performance on I was bitten by the singing bug and the love of performing. It gave me the confidence to pursue singing lessons and it gave my parents the foresight to channel my passion and something that I was good at. It is thanks to them that my talent for performing was nurtured from this point on! Little did they know that the cost would run into thousands and thousands years on and two degrees later!

It is always at this time of year that you are invited into school to see the Christmas Nativity or School Production as a parent or you are in the midst of frantically pulling a performance together as a teacher.

I believe that it is at this time of year that potential in children is spotted as parents and teachers alike see a child in a different light. They see them cope with the nerves, the pressure, the excitement and the challenge of performance. Those children that have been hiding their light under a bushel bubble to the surface! They achieve new things and every child pushes their comfort boundary and rises to the challenge.

I saw this only last night when I found myself in a dual role as teacher and parent. My own daughter was performing in her school Christmas nativity performance; however, as the teacher in charge of the choir I was very much a part of the production too.

As a parent I know firsthand how it feels to see your child standing on stage performing, you only have eyes for them. However, last night, in my teacher role, I accompanied and observed children of all ages excelling in their performances both sung, spoken and dramatically on stage in the most beautiful church. I was so proud and I could see pride in all of their parent’s faces too in the audience of several hundred. To be honest I couldn’t really see my own child from where I was positioned with the piano and so I couldn’t be parent last night, sadly!

Several children sang solo for the first time and they were absolutely stunning in their composure and vocal delivery. This may be the start of their singing bug……..it may be the first time that the parents think, “gosh we have to channel this talent and look for singing lessons and drama lessons for our child.”

Among a school performance the success is not just about the ‘stars of the show’ it runs so much deeper than that. There are many less confident children involved too and their success is often just in being able to stand in front of such a mass of people. For some, performing is a really daunting experience but I absolutely know that the benefits of learning how to perform and learning in a fun environment are immense.  The benefits for them in later life are immeasurable; we all have to communicate to strangers in our workplace, we all have to learn to project our voices and have the confidence to deal with interview (scary) situations. It is so important that children are given the skills to be able to deal with these life situations.

When I see a child on the stage struggling to cope with the attention and daunting situation or not clearly enunciating their words it is equally a child that I want to help and work with to develop the skills through drama and singing to perform. This is as important to me as wanting to help those with talent shining through.

If this rings true with you and anything I have said has touched you, or sounds like your child this December then I urge you to find something next year to help your child to grow. It is the perfect time for parents to look for an after school activity that can help them develop their confidence next year or develop their talent. You will witness the growth of their confidence in all areas of their life in the future.

My little 7 year old is a bundle of energy and excitement as the adrenalin kicks in and she is keen to get on stage and perform. This is no doubt because she has it in her blood, I suppose, but also because she has had it nurtured for so many years at Little Voices. Starting the company was the best thing that I ever did all those years ago, I have the best of all worlds and seeing children develop is the most rewarding of all!

Past Pupil Sadie tells us about the benefits of Little Voices in her career

Sadie Thomas

Where are you now? (eg. college/uni/career and location in the world)

  • I am currently living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, after taking a last minute job role with 2 weeks notice I had to pack up my life and move over here!  I am a Women’s Footwear Merchandising Intern at Tommy Hilfiger International Head Office. I am on a placement year from the University of Manchester where I study Design Management for Fashion Retailing BSc Hons.

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

  •  I hope to create my own fashion brand and take on the role of Director and Head Buyer within this, focusing on fast fashion which is affordable but super chic! I plan on moving to Australia in September 2016 to complete a Masters in Fashion Business at the Fashion Institute in Sydney to help further my knowledge in fashion!

 

When did you first join Little Voices?

  •  I joined Little Voices in 2006 and stayed throughout School and Sixth form until I left for university.

 

How did you/your parents hear about Little Voices?

  •  I heard about Little Voices through the co founder, Jane herself, as the business was founded just as I was to join

 

What made you attend and stay with Little Voices?

  •  I had some of the best nights at Little Voices, and made some friends that I will have for life, the pure talent of the teachers inspired me learn more, and I was completely obsessed with Drama and Singing throughout (and still to this day)

 

How do you think Little Voices has helped you – is there a direct correlation between what you are doing now and your attendance at Little Voices?

  •  Little Voices gave me confidence to work solo, and as a team which has helped me significantly now. It helped me with my presentation skills, vocal skills, which I am constantly using in work presentations. Little Voices made me realize that in life you have to remove yourself from you’re comfort zones. I highly doubt I would have moved countries, to a Dutch speaking country with no family or friends if I didn’t have the confidence Little Voices gave me

 

What did you love about your lessons?

  • I loved the freedom of the lessons, and the structure of the lessons (one week singing, one week drama). The teachers made you feel so comfortable, and the other pupils were great to get along with. Having the choice of musicals and plays meant you always had the freedom to choose characters. Little Voices expanded my vocal range, and dramatic skills which have significantly impacted my life today.

 

Can you give a one line quote/advice for those wishing to follow in your footsteps?  (what they should absolutely do to reach their dreams?)

My quote I live by “Spend a little more time trying to make something of yourself & a little less time trying to impress people”

Leading from the Top;Leading by Example

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Marking the closing of the recent National Entrepreneurs Convention at the ICC in Birmingham, Jane Maudsley, Founder and Managing Director of Little Voices, national performing arts training organisation, put on a spectacular performance of The Impossible Dream to inspire the 1500 strong audience of fellow business owners, teachers of performing arts and pupils to believe in the power of their Dreams – that sometimes seem impossible. Leading by example from the very top Jane is passionate about inspiring and training the Principals, Tutors and Pupils within Little Voices so that they grow in confidence and never feel that their dream is unreachable!

 

Mezzo Soprano, Jane commented: “For months I had to keep this performance quiet so that it would have a significant impact at the end of the two day convention and finally it happened. It is all about having a dream and then achieving it and the lyrics perfectly reflect this. Whether you are a performer, teacher or pupil it is so important to have those dreams and to remember that we are capable of realising them,” she said.

 

“I started out as a Mezzo Soprano but at that time did not think of myself as a business, I went on to teach and again slipped into a role that I was unhappy in within schools and teaching at home: again not thinking of myself as a business. I then sat down and pictured that dream and I am now realising it! I created Little Voices, a business which provides teachers with a vehicle to build a future, build a business, and teach the subject they love, successfully, both as a personal aspiration and a financial one. As artists, we rarely set out as business people, but we have to operate like a business whether we are a performer, a teacher or a pupil aspiring to the stage. This performance was the pinnacle for me, highlighting that you can have it all, perform, run a business and be yourself. My performance hopefully inspired our pupils, inspired our tutors and sent a strong message to all that if you want to receive training for your child or you want a successful business model then look no further than Little Voices.”

 

Before Jane went on stage, one of her Little Voices’ pupils Karen Wilkinson, said: “Thinking about you all day today so proud of my teacher performing and showing us all how it can be done.”

 

And one of the Little Voices’ Principals, Marie Blount from Fulham said:“You sang like a perfect angel at the convention last week. You’re incredible and what we have as an organisation is simply outstanding for all involved; pupils, tutors and Principals.”

 

 

Jane closed the ceremony for the Entrepreneurs Convention; a place where business people from across Europe discover what’s new and innovative in business right now and how they can build super successful businesses, during which the likes of Apple co founder Steve Wozniak, spoke on stage, to showcase how to head for your Impossible Dreams!

 

Little Voices offers lessons in singing and acting for children over the age of four. Its students have gone on to gain places in prestigious acting schools and television shows for Channel 4 and the BBC. The professional approach that Little Voices takes to tuition, together with small classes capped at six students, helps students to improve quickly and attain high standards. Becoming a Principal and having your own Little Voices provides a fantastic opportunity for individuals to join a supportive network using a tried, tested and proven business model.

 

For more information about becoming a Little Voices Principal or to find out if lessons are in your area please contact Grace at Little Voices Head Office on 01254 207516 or visit the website https://www.littlevoices.org.uk

 

– Ends –

 

Notes to the Editor:

For further media information contact:         Jane Maudsley

01254 207516

jane@littlevoices.org.uk

 

Further pictures and interviews with parents, children and the Founder of Little Voices are available on request. Do please email or call.

 

More information on Little Voices:

Little Voices was established in September 2007 in the North-West of England by its founders Holly Hammond and Jane Maudsley, who had a passion to create Drama and Singing lessons of Distinction; Little Voices was formed and within its first year became a national success.

Jane Maudsley, a professional opera singer, graduate of the RSAMD and a highly respected vocal tutor was keen to build a reputation in the performing arts industry for providing Drama and Singing training at the highest level. Little Voices has many centres in the North West but nationally locations are opening in the South West, a second venue in London and Yorkshire.

All Tutors hold relevant Music or Drama qualifications and have a wealth of experience in the performing arts industry. They have fully compliant with our Safeguarding Policies and Procedure and have enhanced DBS checks.  All of our Tutors are trained, supported and led by Little Voices Principals and Managing Director, Jane Maudsley.

Following you dreams after Little Voices

Fiona Porritt

Fiona Porritt tells us all about her journey post Little Voices!

Where are you now? (eg. College/uni/career and location in the world)

I have just completed my second year, studying Theatre at Brunel University in London.

After leaving school and completing my time at Little Voices I was accepted onto the Musical Theatre foundation course at The Oxford School of Drama. This was a natural progression from the training I had gained at Little Voices. I am currently an intern for Les Enfants Terribles Theatre Company. This has given me invaluable experience of the inner workings of a successful theatre company. I recently worked the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where I was stage manager on their production of ‘Dr Longitude’s Marvellous Imaginary Menagerie’.

 

What are your aspirations for the future?

I hope that I’m still young enough to not know exactly what I want to be when I grow up! However I know for sure that I’d like to work within theatre, preferably in a creative and collaborative environment.

 

When did you first join Little Voices?

When I started sixth form.

 

How do you think Little Voices has helped you – is there a direct correlation between what you are doing now and your attendance at Little Voices?

I definitely gained a lot of confidence in my ability. I was paired with girls in older years to me and this pushed me to work hard in lessons.

As I completed my Grade 8 I gained UCAS points. When applying for university courses it gave me something else to write about. I believe that universities look at these qualifications very positively, even if it isn’t a career within the arts you with to pursue.

 

What did you love about the lessons?

I loved working in partners and singing duets. I had experienced other acting and singing exams before but they had always been on my own. We were able to try out our ideas in what was a safe environment, and then see the rewards for our efforts in the exam results we achieved.

 

Can you give a one line/quote advice for those wishing to follow in your footsteps? (what should they absolutely do to reach their dreams?)

Take every opportunity that is given to you as any experience is valuable.

Ciara Baxendale life before RADA at Little Voices and her future career

Ciara Baxendale

We were really privileged to conduct this week’s past pupil profile with Ciara Baxendale, one of the first Little Voices pupils from 2007 and now one of the youngest students studying at RADA. She offers advice and words of inspiration for up and coming actors/singers at Little Voices.

Where are you now? (eg. college/uni/career and location in the world)

I am currently living and working in London, having completed the foundation course in Acting at RADA in March 2014.

What are your aspirations for the future?

I would like to continue acting for as long as I can, and would like the opportunity to work professionally on the stage, as so far I have mainly worked in Television and Film. I am also interested in producing, and would like to create my own films in the future.

When did you first join Little Voices?

I joined Little Voices when it first began as one of the first ever pupils in 2007 How did you/your parents hear about Little Voices?

I heard about Little Voices from my school, Westholme, where I had singing lessons and my teacher recommended that I try one of the classes.

What made you attend and stay with Little Voices?

I loved the lessons and formed a close-knit bond with the members of my group. I was always encouraged by the teachers, which boosted my confidence and encouraged me to stretch myself in performance.

How do you think Little Voices has helped you – is there a direct correlation between what you are doing now and your attendance at Little Voices?

I definitely think Little Voices helped me by giving me confidence, especially singing in front of others. I have had several auditions where I have had to sing and I would have been a lot more nervous without my training from Little Voices, which encouraged me to sing front of others, and to perform the song, not to just sing it!

What did you love about your lessons?

My favourite thing about lessons was preparing for exams. I know it sounds odd but I actually really enjoyed taking LAMDA exams and reading the examiners comments so I would know what to improve on next time around, and I loved getting to learn lots of different songs from all the musicals and having the chance to play lots of different roles!

Can you give a one line quote/advice for those wishing to follow in your footsteps?  (what they should absolutely do to reach their dreams?)

If you truly want to reach your goal, you will achieve it. Success comes from belief in yourself, don’t listen to anyone who says that you can’t do it.

 

Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination for Jane!

Jane Maudsley (MD of Little Voices) nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014

Jane Maudsley (MD of Little Voices) nominated for Entrepreneur of the Year 2014

Entrepreneur of the Year for Performing Arts Business Woman

Performing Arts businesswoman and opera singer, Jane Maudsley, has been nominated for the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Later this month Jane will travel to the ICC in Birmingham to see if she is successful in receiving this National Award from the host of the Awards ceremony, Alistair McGowan.
Jane is the co founder of Little Voices and started the performing arts business 7 years ago in Blackburn, Lancashire. Little Voices focuses on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting, delivered in small group lessons of a maximum of 8 pupils to maximise student development. Two years ago Jane franchised the business across the UK to help passionate individuals with an interest and expertise in the performing arts to run successful businesses in a supportive and knowledgeable network. She now boasts locations in West Kent, Dorset, London, Peterborough, Greater Manchester, The Fylde, Preston, Yorkshire and of course the flagship locations run very successfully in Blackburn and the Ribble Valley.
Jane commented: “I am thrilled that I have been nominated for this award. I love what I do and bounce out of bed every morning so eager to get to work! It is an honour to be in this category and it is an award that I would treasure and feel is representative of the entire team of Franchisees, Tutors, Parents and Pupils that have enabled my success with Little Voices. There is no ‘I’ in team and we have the best support network ever. I will only accept the best and hence why our vision for the future is to be the only performing arts organisation that parents consider when they are looking for high quality training in the UK,” she said.

Little Voices is elite training for those children who wish to build their confidence or head for a life on the stage! They pride themselves on caring for each and every child and nurturing their talent and confidence so that they are well prepared for life. They boast a 100% pass rate in all of their exams and excel with Merits and Distinctions year after year.

Jane is a professionally trained Opera Singer and will also be singing at the ICC at the closing ceremony of the Entrepreneurs Convention. It will be a huge accolade if she can also secure this award!

For more information about Little Voices lessons for your son/daughter or the business opportunities that Little Voices offers please contact Jane directly on 01254 207516 jane@littlevoices.org.uk