What to tell your friends about Little Voices

 

Little Voices builds confidence and nurtures talent through inspirational education in music and drama for children aged 4-18. Our trained singing and drama tutors follow a LAMDA syllabus and teach in small class sizes of 8 children. We are passionate about helping all of our pupils reach their full potential and we take great care to get to know every child. It’s a wonderful caring environment where everyone gets a part and your child can make new friends and grow in confidence and develop so many important life skills such as posture, eye contact, good communication skills, handing nerves and most importantly, confidence.  

 

Our tutors make learning fun…

At Little Voices we totally understand that if a pupil is enjoying their lesson, then they are much more likely to learn. We learn lots through games, and every single game has a reason and a purpose behind it. The more the children enjoy what they are doing the more they will learn.

Once children come to our centres they will be warmly welcomed into a small group of similar age/ability children. They may feel a little apprehensive but how they leave the teaching room will be different to when they first arrived. They will feel safe, they will have fun and they will experience an inspiring lesson with our tutors. Our tutors want the very best for your child; they want to get to know them, to make them feel included in the group dynamic as soon as possible and because our groups are so small our tutors know every child individually by name and what they are capable of. Our tutors are very passionate, highly motivated and genuinely care. They have a love and experience of the performing arts, they have high expectations and help your child to be the best that they can be. Often tutors have performed themselves as well has having teaching experience and this helps to inspire children, give them ideas and suggestions on how to access characters, their voice and reach their full potential.

 

No one forgets a great teacher…

When you went to school do you have a couple of teachers who stick out in your mind for being great teachers? If so, what made them so great? Was it the fact that they made every lesson boring and the same? Or was it the fact that the lessons were full of fun and inspiration? I’m going to guess the second one. 

A good teacher is a teacher who uses lots of different resources and techniques to get the best out of their pupils. Someone who has the ability to inspire, listen to and encourage its pupils. 

We only recruit great teachers. Our lessons are lessons of distinction, and in order to ensure that, we need to recruit tutors of distinction. 

Who inspired you at school? And why? Why not ask your children the same, the answers really are priceless. 

Would love to hear your answers! 

 How can we ensure that our children have confidence?

 

6 tips in ensuring our children have confidence… 

  1. Give praise where praise is due. 
  2. Lots of positive talking with a growth mindset
  3. Put them in different situations where they have to speak to lots of different people of all ages. 
  4. Let them make their own decisions – guiding them as necessary. 
  5. Nurture their special interests. 
  6. And of course send them to Little Voices so that we can get to know them and nurture their special talents

Why is confidence so important?

What does confidence even mean?

Confidence is the feeling or belief in an ability to do something, according to google!

Children have so much to acquire and achieve. There’s so much for them to handle from such an early age especially once the school journey begins. There are many transitions along the way too; high school, friends, getting a part time job, handling the wider world and social media.

I once heard that a confident child is a happy one, and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t necessarily mean the children who are born to be on the stage, but the children who have the confidence to know their own mind, and be able to go through life with self belief. The children who have the confidence to speak to other children and adults, create friendships, not be too nervous about performing in the school nativity, who are happy to make friends on holiday, who are happy to join new clubs out of school, who are happy to put their hands up in class. And as these children get older, children who have the confidence when they join high school to just go for it, the children who know how to handle themselves in job interviews, or interviews for college and university. 

Some children are just born to be confident, others have a little more trouble. Some children need that little bit of extra help to believe in themselves to be able to do something. And that’s where lessons like Little Voices can help. Specifically tailored to building confidence – helping conversational and social skills whilst getting all the important performing arts techniques, examination experience and brand new friends – all these things not only help children who want a life on the stage, but parents who want well rounded children. 

So confidence is important for a child’s general happiness and to help create a well rounded individual. They don’t need to be the next big star, but confidence will certainly help them conquer lots of things that little people need to conquer! 

The benefits of LAMDA exams are endless!

 

LAMDA exams boost a child’s CV from a young age, their exams are supported by OFQUAL and are QCA accredited which attract UCAS points for college and university applications. As one of LAMDA’s biggest customers globally we cannot express the many benefits LAMDA exams have to offer;

  • Improve over all confidence
  • Gain qualifications
  • Speaking and listening
  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Expand vocabulary to improve powers of self-expression
  • Improve confidence in speaking and listening
  • Memorise and recall information
  • Engage in constructive informal conversation
  • Work both on his/her own and participate as a member of a team

Every child will at some point need to go for an interview, every child will present themselves in a speech or project presentation situation, every child needs to have the skills to communicate effectively, the ability to work with others and have strategies to handle nerves, anxiety and challenging situations. Little Voices gives these key life skills and many more in abundance through our drama and singing lessons.

Contact us to find out more!

Email: westsurrey@littlevoices.org.uk or call: 07515 873894

Have you had a fun packed summer?

Are your relieved or sad to be back to the normal routine?

This months blog comes from our Managing Director Jane Maudsley!

There is something superb about life getting back to normal but also a sadness that family time, holidays and slightly later lie ins are a distant memory for another year.

 

We have had a summer full of theatre weeks and workshops across the country and the achievement of every child on the stage has been amazing! Theatre weeks never cease to amaze me as children push the boundaries of possibility in their delivery of lines, songs and create a show for parents to see in such a short space of time. Whilst our summer activities help busy parents with childcare they really are a learning,  fun experience for our pupils. They make friends for life, learn new skills and perform to the very best of their ability showcasing their theatrical talents and building their confidence in all areas of performing particularly handling nerves, presentation and teamwork.

 

I have watched several final performances this summer and it has been so lovely to chat with parents and pupils afterwards about their experience. Parents are beaming with pride and admiration for their children, rightly so, and the caring, professional and outstanding nurture and training given by every Little Voices tutor and Principal. You only need to look at our reviews across the country on Facebook pages to read what parents think about the theatre weeks/camps and workshops. They are not just about childcare, Little Voices experiences really are about the nurture and personal development of your child.

 

As we get back to lessons this month there is also a period of reflection on the past 11 years as we celebrate Little Voices birthday. On your own son/daughter’s birthday I am sure that you think back to the day that they were born, the milestones they have achieved and all that you have gone through together. 

 

It is just the same in business and I always say that Little Voices is my second child, born three months after my daughter was born. It was 2007 and three weeks after we decided to start some drama and singing classes called Little Voices we had 12 pupils attending having one singing lesson and the following week one drama lessons. This continued and through parents talking to other parents and schools recommending us to their pupils Little Voices grew from strength to strength. The same comments were always overheard. “If you want your child to grow in confidence, be well trained and attend an after school activity where they are safe and really cared about as an individual you need to try Little Voices. You need to speak to the tutor there, she really cares!’. Well that ethos has continued for 11 years and I can tell you that every single one of our Little Voices centres is owned and run by an individual who really cares about your child and their development not just in the arts but in life. 

 

Every child is an individual and at Little Voices we recognise and celebrate that. Now is a good time to ring your Principal talk about your child and ensure Little Voices will fit into your busy life this academic year. Equally if you have not been in touch for a while touch base and discuss where your child is up to now. Every child will at some point need to go for an interview, every child will present themselves in a speech or project presentation situation, every child needs to have the skills to communicate effectively, the ability to work with others and have strategies to handle nerves, anxiety and challenging situations. Little Voices gives these key life skills and many more in abundance through drama and singing lessons.

 

Each Principal at Little Voices has their own journey and their centres will celebrate their own birthdays this year. Whilst the number of years will be different one thing will be absolutely the same – how much they have cared about every single child and family that has attended Little Voices lessons. It’s in our culture to care and nurture children’s confidence and talents. So I am sure that we are all going to experience another year of fantastic examination results, elation when children succeed both in a Little Voices lesson and in the rest of their lives at school, in family circles, jobs and the community. Your Principal is there to help you. 

 

For some children they will embark on their second, third, fourth, fifth even eleventh year with Little Voices this term. It is common for the pupils to attend until they are 18 and go from the shy, under confident 5 year old to the teenager whom you cannot get out of the limelight!

 

It is equally common each year for pupils to leave Little Voices for a short time, because there is a clash of activities or they lose their interest in the arts for a short time but then they return because they miss their friends, the tutors and they want to build their CV from a young age and have the kudos of the LAMDA examinations for university, college and job prospects. A quick conversation with your Principal will never be a wasted one – I promise you that. They take the time to really understand you and your child and what your needs are at different times and they make it their mission to exceed your expectations. Give them a call!

 

As I reflect this September the milestone of being 11 years old at Little Voices is poignant as my own daughter starts secondary school, it is the end of one era at Junior School and the start of another era. There will be new challenges ahead and navigating the teenage years will be not without their challenges I am sure. One thing won’t change though she will still be with her friends and continuing on her Little Voices journey each week. For me, as her mum, it is important that she has activities after school that she has always loved and a sense of consistency against the vast amount of change she will experience at her new school. Little Voices is a safe environment where she feels comfortable and happy. We are changing centres to ensure it fits logistically with her school but she wants to get Grade 8 when she is 17/18 and I want that for her too. She has had a summer of theatre weeks and is looking forward to the next LAMDA achievement this year.

 

Give your child the gift of confidence and skills for life through Little Voices this school year –  I don’t think that you will regret chatting with your Principal.

Blog: August 2018

Just how do theatre weeks benefit our children?

 

Children need stimulating, and whilst in school parents don’t have to worry about how they are filling their days. Children love to learn and are like sponges – absorbing the knowledge given to them. So during the school holidays it is natural to want to make sure that children are still being stretched and their learning doesn’t just stop. This does not mean that we need to sit children down on hot summer’s days and force them into doing their times tables. Learning can be fun, and can so easily be disguised as fun! 

Theatre Weeks and Workshop Days in the summer tick off lots of boxes for parents. Parents are looking for childcare in the school holidays as normal routine is disrupted. Theatre weeks run to normal school times making it possible for parents to still go to work. The ‘childcare’ and learning that they would get when their children are at school is covered.

Children don’t feel like they are necessarily learning! The things children learn on theatre weeks will probably go unnoticed! To name but a few:

  • Learn how to work in a team with children your own age, older and younger
  • Learn how to make friends outside of school
  • Learn about different emotions included in the theme and the story of the theatre week
  • Learn about the stage and how to be safe on it
  • Scripts and lyrics help children’s vocabulary
  • Learn the art of storytelling 

And SO much more…

But don’t just take our word for it…

“A great place for them to have fun in the holidays, improve their confidence and performing skills. My daughter loves every minute and we were so proud of her in this last Moana performance as she took centre stage and sung beautifully – something she has shied away from before – so it is really helping her learn how to perform. Thanks to all involved.”-Julie Stroscio

“Yvie had a fab week with High School Musical. The staff are so professional and helpful and is great to see her develop so much in the space of a week. Totally recommend theatre weeks to anyone!” -Kim Bent

“Evelyn was totally buzzing after the Moana theatre week. She immediately said she wanted to do it all over again and it was so lovely to see how she lit up when all the songs came on. Thank you little voices for giving her such a positive experience.” – Katharine King

 

Want to book your child on the next one? Click the button below to find out more!

BOOK A THEATRE WEEK!

Voices

Our lessons for young people aged 13-19 

 

This month is all about our older pupils. We might be called Little Voices but we teach all the way up to 18 years old! Our Voices lessons are for young people aged 13-18 and we can proudly say that we have so many Voices pupils with us now who started with us when they were very young! To see them flourish over the years is fantastic. Many assist us at lessons front of house and go on to become assistant tutors in our theatre weeks and even return to the Little Voices after university as tutors!

 

Voices lessons are ideal for those looking to gain valuable life skills that will take them through into the next stage of their life. Whether they need extra points to assist their college and University application, need confidence for a job interview, feel nervous about going to university so want to gain some group and team skills before going or are aggressively following a career on the stage… Whatever the reason may be, Voices lessons can help them. 

 

The Voices lessons are great for confidence building and making sure that our older pupils are totally prepared for whatever an interview or audition throws at them. LAMDA solo and duo examinations at grades 6, 7 and 8 carry accredited points that can be used for university and college entry. And remember even if their university course does not accept the accredited points the benefits of drama and singing tuition every single week will have built a young person’s life skills for the interviews that follow an application to higher education. The commitment that your son/daughter has shown by attending an after school activity every single week alongside what they have learnt will be such positive discussion topic for the personal statement section of an application form. 

 

For those pursuing a drama school place Voices lessons can play key part in that process. The choice of audition repertoire can be discussed and prepared with our expert tutors. Our groups are so small and we are able to give individual tuition and guidance in our groups to help pupils to achieve success. Our track record last year in one franchise was outstanding as every single pupil that applied for drama school got a place. 

 

The examination results received at Little Voices from LAMDA will shine on the application form and can be a talking point in an interview. The preparation and the journey that I have seen many Voices pupils take is a huge learning curve and disappointment is very much part of that journey. Strength of spirit and determination is needed – in many ways the audition process is setting you up for the job itself! To even attempt to get into drama school, having the correct training and examinations behind you is vital. Voices lessons aim to provide pupils with a full understanding of what they are letting themselves in for as many of our tutors are or have been working professionals as well. It is really important to manage expectations as well as allowing a pupil to indulge in their aspirations and pursue their dreams. A Voices lesson is a safe space to manage expectations and the rollercoaster of auditions both successful and unsuccessful.

 

If anything resonates with you and you feel that your teenager would benefit from vocal and dramatic training in our nurturing small group environment please get in touch with your nearest Principal. We really care at Little Voices and will do our best to advise you.

 

 

Why we are so proud of our 100% LAMDA pass rate

 

At Little Voices we focus on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting. These are delivered in very small group lessons to maximise student development. All of our pupils take an examination with LAMDA at least once a year. We operate in the education industry and excel at what we do. We make a promise to our parents when we take their children on as pupils in our lessons that we will care for their child as an individual, and every single lesson their child attends will be carefully planned to suit the needs of the children within the lesson. We also tell every parent that their child will do an exam once a year and we will ensure that we will prepare them to enjoy the exam experience. Exam can be such a scary word, and we want to make sure that children are not scared of exams; they are just part of life. 

 

We pride ourselves on building confidence and nurturing talent, we are not a stage school. Little Voices is about the individual child and helping them to achieve their full potential for life! We have a close relationship with LAMDA and have been taking these examinations since Little Voices started nearly 11 years ago, with just 12 pupils! We are so proud of our 100% pass rate because it shows the care we take for every single exam piece and more importantly every single child. We will NOT put a child into an exam room if they are not ready. We will NOT set a child up to fail. If the case be that the child is not ready for an exam within the year time frame, then the care for the individual child must come first. Setting a child up to fail and turning exams into a scary and negative experience could ‘scar’ them for life. 

 

Lots of time and effort goes into ensuring that every single exam that we take is prepared, and that all the children know what they are doing during the lesson time. We focus on expert guidance and traditional teaching methods in singing and acting, delivered in very small group lessons to maximise student development. It is also crucial that the parents help their children at home by practicing lines and also helping to encourage your children to know just what they are doing when they walk into that exam room. The more positive and constructive work a child is doing, the better the experience will be.

 

We LOVE it when our certificates arrive and we can hand them out. The pride our pupils feel in their work is just priceless – their faces when they show their parents their achievements is wonderful. So we are so proud of our 100% pass rate because it once again highlights just how much we care for our pupils. We spend so much time and effort ensuring that our pupils are happy and prepared to give them a really positive experience of exams from the tender age of just 4. 

 

We pride ourselves on building confidence and nurturing talent, we are not a stage school. Little Voices is about the individual child and helping them to achieve their full potential for life – and that is why we are so proud of our 100% pass rate! We do just that! 

What are these 5 gold stars and what does it mean to Little Voices?

 

 

This accreditation means the world ! Working in the education and children’s activities industry it has been an increasing frustration that parents and often schools presume (incorrectly) that activity providers are regulated by some bigger body! The industry is not regulated anyone can set themselves up as an activity provider and offer their services to parents, schools and run from community halls and facilities. They are not on anyone’s list to check. How worrying is that?

 

It is my belief as the founder and CEO of Little Voices that we have a duty of care to join together and raise the industry standards and educate parents, schools, local authorities and the government. As a highly ethical franchisor with the care of each individual child at the heart of what we do we have always been able to fly the flag high for providing as safe an environment for children’s learning as possible and we have an array of stringent policies and procedures in place and always have had. But for me it is not just about looking after us at Little Voices. As a professional it is about giving back and the greater good of our wider industry. Finding the CAA and going through their accreditation programme was very important to me as I believe in their mission and it is much needed. Endorsement of what we do, how we do it and how appropriate to a child’s development our lessons are from those as young as 4 to 18 years in compliancy and delivery is fantastic!

 

Its not until something happens tragic happens that the government will regulate and insist on certain guidelines until then I believe prevention is better than a cure and we need to educate schools, parents and teachers to check who is providing the activities. At the moment after school activities are not on anyone’s radar and it cannot continue! 

 

Activities, classes and clubs are a valued and much-loved part of most children’s pre-school and extra curricular leisure and learning time, but until now, there has been no formal guidelines to assist parents, schools and nurseries in choosing how to invest their time and money in popular pastimes.

 

The Children’s Activities Association is an industry-led, not-for-profit community interest company founded and governed by experts to help parents, schools, nurseries and all children’s activities providers by raising the standard of children’s activities as well as give more families access to these excellent activities. Parents, schools and nurseries no longer need to worry about what questions to ask about things like health and safety, child safeguarding, criminal record checks, qualifications or training. 

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).

 

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.