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: firstname.lastname@example.org 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!
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.
Inspiring Principals and Tutors
At Little Voices we pride ourselves on working with Principals and Tutors that can inspire pupils to be the best that they can be. If your child comes to Little Voices and feels safe and happy they will succeed, and they will succeed by being inspired. Education as I have said many times is not about feeding children with information and skills. The word ‘education’ derives from the Latin verb educare meaning to draw out. Music and Drama education at Little Voices it is about creating a stimulating environment, to inspire a child to access what they are already capable of. We strive to help every child to find the confidence to shine. One of our core beliefs is “inspiring everyone to be the best that they can be”. As an organisation we 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
These are the values and beliefs that define Little Voices. They have been collated from parents, pupils, tutors and Principals feedback to us. It is what people have said about us as an organisation in their own words, what they have observed and what they feel.
This month at Little Voices we are talking all about inspiration and our inspiring Principals and Tutors.
I looked up the word ‘inspiration’ and Wikipedia said:
“Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something, especially to do something creative. A sudden brilliant or timely idea.”
When a parent hears about Little Voices they feel compelled to pick up the phone, Facebook message or submit a form on the website. They like what they read or have heard about Little Voices and they think it will be good for their child to trial a lesson. They feel that their child needs help with their confidence, or a place to make new friends and develop a new interest, they may see a talent in their child that they wish to nurture, they may have experience another organisation and need a change, they may want to challenge their child further and add to their CV L.A.M.D.A. examinations. There are whole host of reasons WHY a parent enquires with Little Voices.
Our Principals want to get to know you and your child. Who your child is, what they enjoy, what experiences they have had before with all after school activities. Our Principals are keen to help but they are also keen to be realistic and honest. They want to inspire your child to be the best that they can be they want the same as you as a parent. Many of our Principals are parents or they have been working with Little Voices for many years and have experience of the needs of many children and how Little Voices nurtures children.
Our Principals want to ensure your child goes in the right small group for them. They will also be honest with parents and tell you if we are not the organisation for your child. WE don’t do big shows every term, it’s not all about the performance. It’s about the skills its about learning the tools to be able to put them to practise in all areas of life; on the stage, at a family party, in an interview or under pressure in a presentation situation at school/work.
Once your child comes 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. The Principals sometimes teach themselves but often there are tutors who have been trained the Little Voices way and believe in Little Voices delivering the drama lessons or the singing lesson.
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 ad this helps to inspire children, give them ideas and suggestions on how to access characters, their voice and reach their full potential.
Children start as young as Reception age with Little Voices and grow and develop through to 18 years old. They then become Assistant tutors and tutors and even Principals years later, in fact many parents have taught for us, been trained our way and then gone on to be Principals running their own centres too. This organic growth of Little Voices is so special. Inspiration is happening in the teaching rooms, but it surrounds the entire organisation. We continue to develop and grow because of people talking to other people, mentioning Little Voices to their school and their connections, their friends and family. Thank you for this and please continue to do so we are very lucky and proud that Little Voices evolves in this way in towns and villages across the UK. Everyone has something special to share and we intend to inspire everyone to be the best that they can be for decades to come.
All you need is LOVE!
This month’s Little Voices blog is all about ‘love’ and that is quite fitting since it is the month of Valentine’s Day. We strive all year round to get feedback from everyone involved with Little Voices so that we know what we are doing well and how we can improve. Our parents constantly tell us why they love Little Voices, our tutors help us to constantly improve and our franchisees are passionate about getting it right and helping us to grow and improve year upon year. Feedback is king; whilst it helps us to strengthen it also highlights what people love about us.
Our national feedback from every Little Voices centre provides some of the most valuable insights into our pupils, parents and tutors thoughts. The one thing that is highlighted time and time again is that Little Voices really cares about each individual child. Each franchisee and tutor really love what they do and their enthusiasm for Little Voices shines through. This in turn makes children and parents feel warmly welcomed into lessons. If a child feels happy and comfortable they will flourish, and we will be able to get on and nurture their confidence, self-belief, music and dramatic talents.
From that solid foundation comes the ability to help children love the examination process, dispelling the anxiety and apprehension that surrounds that word and the experience they may have had in school of SATs, GCSEs etc. And finally comes the success of passing their examinations have the qualifications to put on their CV and being able to rely on the accredited points for university and college.
All this from an after-school activity! There are not many that can boast similar advantages, and this is what I love about Little Voices. A child really develops and really benefits!
I love the network of people that I work with at Little Voices, the tutors that share their expertise and facilitate our pupil’s learning, but most I love witnessing the development of the individual child.
There is one overriding result of Little Voices training:
A young man or young lady aged 18 years old who is professional, well-rounded, an effective communicator, able to present themselves and oozes confidence.
The result of their training with Little Voices might lead to a professional acting or singing role or equally it will set them up for any other job of their choosing. I have had the pleasure of seeing our pupils go on to law degrees, business, politics, beauty therapy, broadcasting, journalism and everything in-between. I love that an afterschool children’s activity can give a child so many skills for life and they are learning these skills unknowingly through the medium of drama and singing, having fun and working as part of friendship group.
Private 1:1 lessons just do not have the same benefits. They have their place and work alongside Little Voices, but that teamwork is essential in life.
I love to hear feedback and it is communicated with us face-to-face, on Facebook, by email, over the telephone and in written questionnaires. I love to make people happy so listening to everyone within the organisation is imperative to our long-term success.
I am also a great believer in ‘if you don’t ask you don’t get’ so I am asking you to feedback to us, like, share and comment on our posts on Facebook, spread the word about Little Voices to friends and family and help us go from strength to strength.
You may know another child that would benefit from what we do and love Little Voices as much as your child does. You might know a singing / music teacher or have a friend who is an actress and would be a suitable tutor for us to consider or indeed you may know someone who would be ideal for running a Little Voices centre as their business; full time or part time, embrace a new challenge and make it fit in with their current life.
It is natural that as the founder and Managing Director of the organisation that I love Little Voices. I do. I wake up every morning and am privileged to love what I do however the reason for my passion and love is because I see what a difference we make to children’s lives. If you love Little Voices, please help us to help more children and reach out to more families across the UK. Our Principals and I rely on our loyal, supportive parents to help us spread the word lets get more people hearing about Little Voices and loving what we do this month!
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 ability to 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!