What did you fail at today?

I can’t tell you how many times I see every day a child who fears failure. Outside of my Principal role at Little Voices, I am a teacher in an alternative provision for children who have been excluded and also a Specialist Leader of Education, where I have trained teachers on how to incorporate life skills into the curriculum.

The fear of failure is a problem that isn’t being addressed enough.

I started reflecting on where this comes from. When does it start? Because, when you are a baby you have no fear. You try to learn to walk, you fall down and you get back up again. You keep going.

Where does this fear of failure come from?

Maybe the fear of embarrassment or the feeling of being unworthy. This fear being so strong that you start to avoid doing the task or you self sabotage something to protect yourself. So you stop taking risks, you hold back, making sure you never have that feeling of shame.

Failing would just confirm that you weren’t talented/good enough

But failure shouldn’t be seen as a bad thing. Failure should be seen as an opportunity to grow. 

Maybe the questions should turn from “What did you achieve?” to “What did you fail at?” and “How can you improve next time?” Making it ok to fail. Because failing is an opportunity to grow. It’s a discussion to have over the dining table in the evening. It’s something to own and not be scared of.

A growth mindset is something that is a skill. 

At Little Voices this is what we are experts at. The whole time we create an environment that is nurturing and rewarding, while knowing that progress looks different for every child.  We understand that a child may need extra work with their confidence, or another child may need help with their use of dynamics at bar 24. We make sure that no matter where a child is on their journey that they feel successful, because success breeds success. From tailoring our approach with every child, we get the results we want.

How do we do this?

Our group sizes. 8 or less in a class means we CAN do this well. We get to know our learners very well and understand what they need to work on and what they do well at. By emphasizing the successes, and building trust, we can then slowly build up children’s resilience.

So what does it take to get a child to say “I can’t do it!” to “I want to do it again!”

Trust, patience, persistence… and showing evidence that they can! We may not achieve this in one session, BUT there are plenty of opportunities we jump on to prove that our children CAN do it. The process begins soon as they step in the classroom. “I can’t do this..”, “Let’s try anyway. Would you like me to help you? Don’t worry if you get it wrong, we can start again!”

THEN, one of the most important things happen. When our pupils succeed the classroom erupts in applause.

What a feeling… the complete opposite to shame

Then followed up by the tutor saying “See! You said you couldn’t do it. But you did” Then a lovely certificate or sticker to mark the achievement. I have seen pupils nervous (understandably..) about their LAMDA examinations, but coming out smiling shouting “CAN WE DO IT AGAIN!”

That feeling should be experienced again and again, so our pupils want to feel that way. It should outweigh the fear of shame.

What a lesson to learn. A lesson that can be taken into your child’s adult life. This is a lesson that is invaluable.

 

Maybe, we should first make sure we practice what we teach. Frequently reflecting on our own failures and not beating ourselves up for them. Every failure has a lesson we can take from it, which we can pass on to our children. Then today in our classrooms or at the dining table we should have an open conversation and ask our children “What did you fail at today?” Let’s make it a thing that’s not frightening, but spoken about.

SO.. What did you fail at today?! 

 

**** If you are a parent who has noticed this is something you would like to develop with your child or if you are school wanting to help a key group of pupils develop resilience feel free to contact me on 07877620340 or ealing@littlevoices.org.uk ****

What makes Little Voices different to any other Performing Arts Organisation?

For those of you who may not have come across Little Voices before, we are a company that leads with our heart and genuinely cares for every individual that walks through our doors! Little Voices is an organisation that’s been nurturing children and guiding them for 13 years! We use drama, singing and performance skills that equip children for life! At Little Voices you will find outstanding tuition, expert guidance, support and traditional methods of teaching drama and singing, so that children can pursue a life on the stage or increase their confidence in all areas of their life.
At Little Voices we pride ourselves on traditional and inspirational yet fun filled lessons, which are taught by passionate and highly qualified tutors so that your child can excel in a happy environment.

So, what makes Little Voices different to any other Performing Arts Organisation?

 

LAMDA

In lessons pupils are taught and prepared for their LAMDA exams (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts). These exams are widely recognised and do eventually go towards UCAS points. These UCAS points can assist with our pupil’s University applications, so essentially pupils are building their CV from an early age! LAMDA have high standards and outstanding worldwide reputation. We do teach this is an extremely fun and up lifting way filled with positive reinforcement and encouragement! Little Voices is the second biggest customer, globally, to LAMDA with thousands of pupils across the UK achieving exam success each year! We are proud of our 100% Pass Rate and from this year our pupils even feature on the LAMDA website!

Giving Parents Peace of Mind!

Children’s activities in the UK are UNREGULATED.. Did you know that?! So parents have no idea whether the classes are safe! Activity providers don’t have any set standards to benchmark their services against, so anyone can set up a class with no safety standards, health regulations, training even – in place! Shocking, isn’t it?!

However, here at Little Voices we have been awarded 5 Gold Stars by The Children’s Activities Association, for compliance in everything from paediatric first aid, to GDPR to safeguarding, fire marshalling, and with the current circumstance, infection control and COVID 19 training- meaning that parents who enrol their children with Little Voices have FULL peace of mind that the

y will be looked after by full DBS enhanced tutors and that they have passed all Health & Safety & First Aid Qualifications.

Little Voices is the FIRST Performing Arts organisation to proudly pass this.

 

Small Class Sizes

At Little Voices we follow a very unique lesson structure of Drama and Singing. These lessons alternate each week, pupils have a full lesson focusing on their drama skills one week, and a full lesson concentrating on their vocal skills in singing the next week and so on. 

But, One of the biggest differences at Little Voices to any other organisation, is our super small class sizes. We work with children in groups of no more than 8! There are SO many benefits of this. Firstly, pupils get a lot more focus and attention from their tutors. Tutor are able to adapt lessons to suit the needs and strengths of our pupils. Not only are pupils receiving expert tuition, but a tutor is able to really nurture each individual personality and build a bond that promotes a child to feel 100% comfortable and safe in their lessons. In order for a child to grow and develop skills its important they feel both these things! As well as growing each individual personality, our small groups also encourage team work and all the skills to work as part of a team! From listening skills, to problem solving and being part of a ‘cast’! These are skills that are important throughout life.
We love our small class sizes! It ensure NO child gets left at the back, no matter how shy or confident, and children are able to make friends, some that may stick with them for life!
Although we do work towards exams, building a child’s confidence and nurturing each individual personality is our main focus!

              

Children’s Mental Health & Well being

Here at Little Voices we are passionate about creating a safe environment for children to feel safe and comfortable in their own skin! We are always promoting positive reinforcement and encourage children to talk through their feelings, and use their time with us to truly express themselves!- That’s what theatre is all about after all!

Did you know anxiety affects 1 in 5 children in the UK?  We know children go through lots of ups and downs in their lives, they can be open to nerves and anxieties, and this may be even more heightened with the current pandemic. At a time when children’s confidence is quite low, they’re struggling with emotions & feelings, performing arts lessons, particularly those taught in small classes, really help with positive mental health & help create a happy child!

At Little Voices we thrive on building a child’s confidence, and this is done by building a very special bond between tutor & pupil, they trust their tutors and are encouraged to give anything a go, with no fear of making mistakes! Each child is on their own little journey & have different needs, it’s up to us to nurture their own personalities and help them grow!! The skills they learn to help cope with emotions, nerves, changes in life, are skills will stick with them throughout life.

Critical thinking skills and creative problem-solving abilities are goals for children’s development, as well as exploring different emotions! Not only that, but singing and drama actually have SO many health benefits too!

 

Schools

We recognise the tremendous work teachers do for our children. At Little Voices we work very closely with school teachers to help provide this tuition that may be missing in the school. With cuts to the curriculum, we understand the pressure schools may be under to provide a taste of the Arts to their pupils. We have had many conversations with Head teachers over the past year, who simply don’t have the time or the expertise to give pupils this option, and we completely understand this! We are an external organisation that works very closely with each schools needs to create a programme that’s right for their pupils and school, enabling schools to give their pupils chance to explore their imaginations, build confidence and develop life skills. We currently have school partnerships and have been helping schools to create super happy children and creating a safe space to talk through their feelings and have fun!

 

If you would like to book free trial lesson at any of our centres across the Fylde Coast, or to arrange a phone call with your school please email or phone on 07599709306

Skills for life (part 2)

 


 

SO, just to recap… We’ve already heard about understanding emotions, learning empathy, team work skills, language and communication skills… But there is more. All this from a drama and singing lesson… Yes. So as well as getting trained to a very high level in these skills, the other skills are just as valuable, if not more so for everyday life! 

One of our biggest aims of our lessons is to help our children grow in confidence. A confident child is a happy child. The word confident, doesn’t mean over confident and cocky, it is a child who is comfortable in their own skin, who believes in themselves, and who has the ability to do what can actually seem like fairly simple tasks. For example making friends, putting their hand up in class, reading out loud, applying for a job, asking a tough question. Having confidence comes into lots of parts of our everyday life. If we build on these skills from a young age then we hope that children will grow into well rounded happy adults!

Our classrooms provide a safe space for children to explore their inner creativity and we really embrace individuality. We know and love that each child is individual and has their own ways. We welcome every individual personality with welcome arms. This builds on a childs confidence to be themselves – and what more could you want for your child! 

To chat more about the skills for life, we’d love to speak. It is a topic we are really passionate about! Have you noticed your child is getting any of these skills in their lessons? Are there any of these skills you want us to specifically work on with your child?

We are there for you and your child and we really care. 

Questions? Get in touch! Email me on samantha@littlevoices.org.uk or call on 07515 873894.

WHY IS PERFORMING ARTS SO IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN?

There are so many benefits and core skills Performing Arts teaches children. Performing Arts plays a huge role in helping children to develop their creative skills, language skills, social skills, decision making, risk taking, emotional intelligence and how to communicate effectively with others with CONFIDENCE!

Performing Arts is all about self-expression and exploring alternative options, learning how to work with different people and ideas and embracing individuality! There is no right or wrong answers, it’s all a matter of perception and expression and this helps to improve self-confidence and self-belief, leading onto a natural pathway for children to master many more skills that will support them through life!

Performing Arts gives children a space to explore different ideas and concepts and try out different point of views- which is SO important in this day and age! Most importantly Performing Arts allows children to be playful and creative. To explore curiosity and try out new things and new ways of thinking! Children learn to trust others and build relationships as they learn to share their own ideas and thoughts with confidence, and to listen to others with respect.

Whether or not children decide to go on to pursue acting or singing professionally, participating in drama and music lessons will help them to develop life skills that are a growing necessity in the modern workplace (sometimes this is the difference between getting the job over someone who is great on paper but in person lacks confidence). Performing Arts inspire creativity, and increasingly valued skills in most workplaces!
Every child at some point in their life will experience a job interview, or a situation in which they will have to speak and present themselves. With  an experience of performing arts and the confidence and communication skills that this equips children with, children feel empowered in whatever career path they decide to follow as they become adults!

Performing Arts is a brilliant way of allowing children to express their feelings and emotions. Its a place for them to express themselves and to work through their emotions in a safe environment. It’s a way of letting off steam, reducing frustrations and dealing with anxieties, which is VITAL for good mental health! If they have already experienced the nerves and anxieties when performing, children are more likely to recognise these feelings in later life and able to cope with them!

Performing Arts teach children to never give up! That they can achieve their own goals and gives them life skills that will help them flourish!

Little Voices on the LAMDA website!

Have you seen the LAMDA website?

 

We are feeling so privileged and excited this week at Little Voices…
Back in March, LAMDA attended our Little Voices centre in Kew Bridge, to take some fabulous photographs of our pupils to add onto their website. Not one, not two, not three but FOUR images were chosen! Thank you to LAMDA for capturing some truly beautiful and magical moments.
Be sure to have a look at LAMDA’s website and take a look for yourself!

 

Self Tape Competition!

Are you aged 4-18 and want to put your confidence and acting skills to the test…Why not have a go at our self tape competition? All you need is a camera/phone and somebody to record you!

This competition is open to ALL, so whether you are a Little Voices pupil or not, get involved!

We have split our competition into appropriate age groups. Here is what each age group will be expected to do for their self tape entry…

  • Minis 4-7 years (Reception- Year 2)

You will have the choice of 3 poems. You must learn and recite this poem to camera.

  • Little’s 7-12 years (Year 3- Year 6) 
  • Voices 12 years+

If you are a “little” or a “voice”, you will have the choice of 3 scenes (duologues) which you must learn and produce a self tape for. TOP TIP: You will need somebody to read the other characters lines.

Each age group will have a winner and will receive a £25 cinema voucher!

Our competition will be judged by a few of our tutors who are all working actors/performers/creatives and of course industry professionals. The deadline for our competition is Friday 4th September at 5pm.

To apply for this competition, please fill in our competition application form and a member of our friendly team will be in touch with you!

Competition Form

  • This form must be filled in by the parent / legal guardian of the named child.
  • By filling in this you are consenting to Little Voices contacting you by telephone
  • IMPORTANT INFORMATION

    Please read carefully, all fields must be completed*
    I authorise Little Voices to use and/or permit others to use my minors competition entry for educational, informational, adverting and marketing purposes without compensation on Little Voices social media platforms. I understand no full names or locations will be included if images or videos are shared.

Little Voices in Lockdown!

Did you spot us in the Blackpool Gazette on Sunday? Take a look at the link below 🙂
https://www.blackpoolgazette.co.uk/business/consumer/fylde-coast-performing-arts-teams-online-success-lockdown-2923524

We have been helping children through this strange time.
As we teach in groups of no more than 8 children. This helps our expert tutors to really get to know each individual child, help guide and nurture them as well as building group skills and encouraging friendships.
Our small class sizes helped us to immediately move our weekly classes online, with no change to time and day, lesson format, class mates or their tutors. Children have already had so much change, we wanted to change as little as possible!

It has been so important to us that children kept some kind of familiarity & consistency with their weekly lessons. At Little Voices they are used to receiving such focused attention in a safe setting and can completely be themselves! We didn’t want them to lose this, so made the decision to continue, using online lessons! We really had no idea what our online lessons would look like! But we are so happy to say 17 weeks on, and pupils are still attending and absolutely love it! We have been overwhelmed by parents comments and feedback.

 

“Without putting too fine a point on it, Little Voices put more effort into staying in contact, planning and providing lessons online during lockdown, than my daughter’s school did! It was fantastic, well done Ellena and team”
Little Voices Fylde Parent

 

 

Little Voices has kept us going through “lockdown”. I, as a parent, can see the effort Ellena and Kerry have put into the lessons and its definitely lifted spirits in our house during and after the lessons
Little Voices Fylde Parent

Children are the most important thing to us. Our regular lessons help keep a little bit of normality in their little lives and create a little bubble away from the crazy world to talk about their feelings and have a good sing song! Performing Arts is a great way for children to express themselves, have a sense of routine, encourage team work and  keep their minds sharp!
To truly show how unbelievably proud we are, each pupil received a unique hand delivered Little Voices medal last week, for powering through the 17 weeks of online lessons! We had these specially made for each pupil! This medal represents the resilience, bravery and determination each pupil showed through lockdown!

Our lessons usually run during term time, however we have made the decision to continue throughout summer with weekly online workshops. We feel children (and parents) need us more now than ever! We would love to spread the word and help nurture any child across the Fylde!

Mondays- Freckleton
Tuesdays- St Annes
Wednesdays- Kirkham
Fridays- Kirkham Grammar Junior School (KGJS) After school Club

Follow us on Instagram & Facebook!

 

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Virtual lessons keep our pupils happy!

 

Little Voices is living and breathing positivity – as a provider and educator of LAMDA, Singing and Drama tuition for children aged 4 – 18 years. Little Voices have moved their lessons online and have made it their duty to make sure their pupils and parents have peace of mind that their after school classes would be able to continue – spreading love, care, fun and learning at such un precedented times.

Little Voices work closely with schools including; Guildford High School, Guilford County School, Brookwood Primary School, St Swithuns Junior School, St Andrews Pangbourne and Ash Grange Primary providing either lessons during the school day or after school Drama and Singing lessons of distinction preparing children for yearly LAMDA exam awards. 

Sadly not all other after schools clubs have been able to continue and run online. Little Voices nationwide have managed to accomplish a great deal by moving their lessons and large number of classes online with great support from their parents and head teachers at the schools they work with.

They teach in small groups of up to eight pupils, so they can bring everyone together online to see each other, for short bursts of online interactive lessons along with their teacher ‘keeping calm and carrying on’. 

To find out more about Little Voices contact principal Samantha MacGregor on: 07515 873894 or email samantha@littlevoices.org.uk.

 

I confess to being rather sceptical about online drama/musical theatre lessons but you have totally pulled it out of the bag; Daisy has genuinely LOVED her Monday evening lessons with Little Voices. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
Emily DaviesParent

Little Voices LAMDA After School Clubs Have Continued Online

Little Voices is living and breathing positivity – as a provider and educator of LAMDA, Singing and Drama tuition for children aged 4 – 18 years. Little Voices have moved their lessons online and have made it their duty to make sure their pupils and parents have peace of mind that their after school classes would be able to continue – spreading love, care, fun and learning at such un precedented times.

Little Voices work closely with schools including; St Pauls Barnes, St James Prep, Old Vicarage, Dolphin School, The Roche, Unicorn School, Chiswick and Bedford Park, Oasis Putney and St Johns Walham Green Primary School providing more than 300 children across South West London with after school Drama and Singing lessons of distinction preparing children for yearly LAMDA exam awards. 

Luckily, over half of Little Voices pupils took their exams before the schools began to close due to COVID 19. Little Voices are currently celebrating the news that all children who took part in the exams gained Merits and Distinctions! The news was warmly welcomed and appreciated from many parents and Little Voices students who are currently at home due to lock down.

Sadly not all other after schools clubs have been able to continue and run online. Little Voices have managed to accomplish a great deal by moving their lessons and large number of classes online with great support from their parents and head teachers at the schools they work with.

They teach in small groups of up to eight pupils, so they can bring everyone together online to see each other, for short bursts of online interactive lessons along with their teacher ‘keeping calm and carrying on’. 

To find out more about Little Voices contact principal Ashlea Pearson on: 0208 088 0113 or email her: swl@littlevoices.org.uk.

Little Voices INDUSTRY CHAMPION 2019

The winners for the prestigious ‘What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2019 have now been announced – and Jane Maudsley CEO of Little Voices which was founded in Blackburn is amongst them!

These pioneering awards were launched in 2007 to celebrate the UK’s best children’s clubs and classes, along with leaders, volunteers and party providers for children – as nominated and voted for by the experts – parents, carers and parents-to-be.

Over the last decade, the What’s On 4 Kids Awards have become established as the industry accolade with hundreds of exceptional businesses and individuals in the flourishing sector keen to be part of the action and be in with a chance to be revealed as a finalist or winner! Parents and carers logged on to What’s On 4 Kids to cast a massive 80,000 nominations and votes to ensure that their ‘most-loved’ were in the running.

Little Voices founder Jane Maudsley is officially the winner in the highly esteemed Industry Champion category and she received her award at the glittering ceremony on 11th October. This award is judged by the Children’s Activities Association Board of Trustees.

 

Little Voices trains children to be the best that they can be in life and on the stage through their drama and singing lessons delivered in schools across the UK. The company was founded in Blackburn and boasts numerous national awards and recognition in both the children’s activity/education sector as well as franchising.

 

Jane from Little Voices said: “This was a completely overwhelming accolade to receive. We have worked tirelessly in the children’s activities sector to help each and every child aged 4-18 years  through our drama and singing lessons of distinction. Children’s after school activities play a massive part in a child’s life and sets them up to be confident communicators. In a world of technology and  severe lack of arts education in schools, we are able to help every child to be the best that they can be. Little Voices helps every child to find their voice, nurturing their confidence and talents so that they  believe in themselves and are well equipped for their life and career.”

Nick Howe, Regional Enterprise Manager for NatWest Business Banking in London & South East, added:

 

‘At NatWest we are keen to support growing businesses – the lifeblood of the UK economy – by being more than just a provider of financial services. We are delighted therefore to be the official hosts for the 13th National What’s On 4 Kids Awards! We congratulate all those many businesses that made it through to the exciting final stage and celebrated with us at our London Bishopsgate HQ.’

What’s On 4 Kids Managing Director, Sam Willoughby, concludes

‘Each and every year it’s a pleasure to welcome back so many activities, keen to be part of these National awards once again but it’s also so exciting to see the new nominees from this thriving sector being showcased for the first time. We know from parents’ testimonials how clubs, classes and individual leaders have such a positive impact on the lives of their children and it’s an honour therefore to publicly recognise and celebrate these activity providers in this way. Huge thank you to NatWest, Morton Michel and all our sponsors and supporters as well as the thousands of parent voters for being such a massive part of the What’s On 4 Kids Awards 2019’.

ENDS