Discovering Drama has been part of our lives for 13 years. My daughter started with Olga aged 5 and my son followed suit the following year. Now as teens aged 18 and 17 they still love going to their drama class on a Saturday afternoon.
I’ve observed a surly teen get out of my car before class, to return an hour later laughing with a pal and full of chatter about whatever they had been up to in class, and that is only one of the benefits. Others include confidence in their abilities to articulately express an opinion and to do a presentation in front of their peers comfortably and capably. This was invaluable when it came to CBAs (Classroom Based Assessments) for the Junior Cert. The years of performing in Summer and Christmas productions meant that they were both well used to being in front of an audience and that really stood to them.
Another benefit of drama class as regards school life is that drama students are exposed to and engage with many different playwrites ranging from Shakespeare to the more modern scribes. As drama studies is a core component of both the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert syllabi this has been a huge advantage in English class. They are also engaging with stage craft in a very practical way and this gives them a very real understanding of what they need to be able to write about in answering that question on the Junior Cert paper.
My daughter and son have done the LAMADA drama exams and achieved gold medals this year i.e. the final exam. The preparation for these exams happens outside of the regular drama classes and once again Olga and her team manage to make these classes engaging and fun. I feel it has been of immense benefit to my children to stand in front of an examiner, perform some studied texts and discuss the process all the while in the knowledge that they are being graded. Character building is how I would describe it. Discovering Drama students take this daunting scenario in their stride thanks to the confidence and resilience skills that Olga and her team have fostered in them.
Add to this the way drama class deals with many sensitive topics pertaining to teens such as bullying, social media use etc. The teens themselves often set the agenda after a discussion in class and Olga and her teachers navigate these topics expertly and sensitively in a fun and safe environment through drama.
In short the benefits of drama include
1. It’s enjoyable and fun. A chat and a laugh with friends in drama class.
2. It increases confidence.
3. It builds resilience. The show must go on and the idea that nothing is as bad as you might fear it to be.
4. It helps them to formulate opinions and express them clearly.
5. It compliments the English Curriculum in school.
6. It exposes them to a wide range of literary texts thereby broadening their horizons.
Drama has been without a shadow of a doubt the best extra curricular activity that my children have been involved in. The return they get for one hour a week is phenomenal.
Both my children attend DD and they love it. Olga is the ultimate professional with excellent communication skills and a genuine interest in all her students. The classes are well structured and paced with something for everyone to engage in. I truly believe in the power of drama to improve self confidence, emotional intelligence concentration skills and creativity. When the students all get a chance to tread the boards it is such a wonderful celebration of their unique talents. A lifetime of firm friendships is the legacy of DD. A wonderful outlet for students.
My family has been involved with Discovering Drama since 2005. Throughout this time, I have found the level of professionalism excellent. The confidence building, the life skills and the friendships are a testament to the wonderful atmosphere within the school.
Olga and her team always ensure that every child shines as brightly as the sun! The students learn how to accept their achievements and disappointments with grace. The well-structured lessons help them develop critical thinking and problem solving skills that they can apply in all areas of life. They are encouraged to make choices and learn how to guide their own learning. Discovering Drama has not only boosted my girls’ confidence but has helped develop their communication skills and interview skills making them more empathetic and resilient people who can deal with the unexpected and stay cool! Reading and reciting scripts (for exams and plays) have increased their verbal and literacy skills over many years. Olga’s “Hands On Shakespeare” workshops definitely helped break down the barriers for the Leaving Certificate and gave them a more modern appreciation for his plays!
The journey is more important than the end product and this is most certainly reflected in Discovering Drama’s ethos.
As a primary school teacher my students have benefitted greatly from having Olga and Heather (Discovering Drama) teaching drama in our school. Their level of professionalism is excellent, always putting the needs of the students in the various classes first.
My class really enjoyed all aspects of the weekly drama lessons which were conducted in a very safe environment. They loved to move and interact with others which helped them develop their self-confidence, their communication and negotiation skills. Through the structured lessons they learned how to deal with others and cultivate new relationships. To my amazement and delight I have seen the quietest and shyest of children over time develop the confidence and bravery to perform in front of their peers. Drama nurtured these skills.
Olga and Heather through drama improved my students’ listening skills and muscle memory which in turn helped to motivate and reduce stress within the group. My students were more inclined to work better as a team and use skills learned in drama to negotiate with each other in a more mature manner.
As a Chinese proverb says “Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I will remember. Engage me and I will understand.”
Discovering Drama does this and more.
My children attended Discovering Drama from the age of 8 . As they grew up, activities came and went , discarded as they outgrew or tired of them – but not so with Discovering Drama . Discovering Drama was the one constant that bridged the gap from childhood , through their teenage years and into early adulthood. They lived for their weekly classes . Their excitement palpable as they eagerly anticipated their next class and their enthusiasm infectious as they recounted the events of the class they’d just attended or discussed future plans for class . Drama was more than just a class – it was a highlight of their week.
Olga and her team of teachers are outstanding . They have a natural ability to bring out the best in students . There are no stars in Discovering Drama . Each student is given the opportunity to shine . Each student is treated fairly and respectfully and is provided with the tools to guide them to become the best version of themselves. They are enabled to grow up into confident and competent young adults. I have no hesitation in recommending Discovering Drama . Enrolling my children with Discovering Drama was the best gift I could have given them .