What makes a great teacher?

Jane 1What makes a great teacher? What makes the best singing teachers or the best drama teachers?

You will always remember the teachers that had the biggest influence on your life from school and other activities as a child. In my opinion those teachers are the most important and probably the best. Just take a moment now to think about the teacher that had the biggest positive impact on you? Who was he/she, why does he/she stick clearly in your mind when most teachers fade into the distant memory?

I think that they had certain qualities that are imperative and when I started Little Voices the fundamentally most important criteria was to have tutors working with us in our performing arts family that had those special qualities as well as the background in performing arts, of course.

Letters after you name and all the education/academia in the world in my opinion does not make a great teacher.

The word education comes from the latin verb educare which means ‘to draw out’. Teachers are educating our children, Little Voices Tutors are drawing out the very best from our pupils. Working with individual pupils and their needs is what it is all about – not imprinting and instructing them but working with them, caring and supporting them.

So what do I think makes a great teacher?

  • An Inspirational person – someone who you look up to, admire and respect. Perhaps you want to be like them? Especially in performing arts they need to practise what they preach!
  • Someone who genuinely cares and is interested in you – it is really important that a teacher understands you and knows your strengths and weaknesses, can help build your confidence and we know at Little Voices that when a child feels happy their confidence will blossom.
  • Someone who can effectively communicate to you – they can change the ways and means in which they present information to you and can help you to explore your own ideas and understand how to do something! Everyone is a different type of learner; auditory, visual, kinaesthetic or a mixture of those and a great teacher will facilitate ever type of learner
  • A great teacher obviously knows their subject and is constantly learning and developing to enhance their knowledge base. They keep themselves current and are hungry for new learning and embrace new ideas.
  • They are passionate, bubbly and approachable but coupled with being highly organised and reliable. Well these are certainly attributes that I look for. Our entire Little Voices organisation is built with these qualities in mind.

 

Does this sound like you? OR does it sound like the people that you would want to work with? Learn how it could fit in with your life and in your area.

 

Look at what we do www.littlevoices.org.uk/business

Look at what our parents say about us www.littlevoices.org.uk/parenttestimonial

 

Contact Jane 01254 207516 or email jane@littlevoices.org.uk

What do I love about LAMDA?

Having taught LAMDA examinations to individuals and groups for over 8 years with a 100% Pass Rate there is obviously something that I love about LAMDA. I have recently been asked to feature in LAMDA’s new brochure which I feel quite touched by so as my first blog I wanted to touch on the central part of what we do at Little Voices the entire core of what I do every day and why I do it! IMG_2948

We primarily work with the Musical Theatre syllabus for Groups, Solo/Duos and the Communication syllabus which was termed Introductory, Preparatory and Preliminary but is now known as Stage One, Two and Three. Our entire idea for Little Voices 8 years ago was launched at the same time as the Musical Theatre GROUP syllabus. It just makes sense – to have a realistic setting for a piece of musical theatre to be examined as part of ‘a cast’ rather than individually – this is so real ! We rarely stand on stage as a professional and do a full blown soliloquy or solo. This way children can receive individual tuition as part of a very small group but also learn to interact and work with others.

The Introductory Communication syllabuses allow very young children to build confidence, work on their diction, eye contact, posture, projection, articulation and have the experience of an examiner, exam day and the adrenalin rush / nerves accompanied with this. These provide the perfect foundations for 4 – 7 year old children. It is so lovely to see them arrive for the examinations and witness the parents looking even more nervous than the children. It is all about the preparation!! We really strive in Mini Voices lessons to make it a ‘fun’ experience preparing for the examination. We talk about the friendly ‘Grandma’ or ‘Grandad’ figure (hopefully not offending the young LAMDA examiners among the team) that will be listening to their poem and talking to them about their favourite toy,photo or book. The fact that the young children can enter the examination room with something that means something to them definitely provides comfort too!

The Group Musical Theatre Syllabus provides such a huge opportunity for creativity and freedom. It promotes individuality and team work, hones all the skills of diction, musical rhythm, timing, pitch, articulation, characterisation and is a way of allowing children of similar ages and similar or varying levels of confidence / ability to work together and learn from each other. Every child matters and can take a role and character most suited to them. You can have such fun choosing what piece to perform from any genre of Musical Theatre; Billy Elliot, The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls, Legally Blonde, Frozen, Annie to name but a few! You can add costume and props and generally have ‘a ball’ preparing musically and dramatically for the examination.

All of the examiner over 8 years (we hold approx. 6 + exam sessions a year  and growing), with the exception of one, that I have ever met, have been OUTSTANDING. They are incredibly knowledgeable, supportive and clearly passionate about their role.

This is why I love LAMDA and we continue to work so closely with them…..