Why Drama Classes are Becoming a Must-Have

It doesn’t seem like that long ago when parents across the world were dealing with lockdowns, school closures, and social restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While some may have enjoyed aspects of stepping away from their busy, social commitments, it’s no secret that children all over the globe suffered.

Now, a few years on, many parents and teachers have noticed a rise in anxiety and a lack of confidence in their young children and teenagers. Tasks like working in groups or public speaking fill many with terror, and it’s no wonder that parents are seeking out ways to help their children build these important life skills through extra-curricular classes such as drama.

O’Grady Drama has been providing developmental drama classes in Australia and internationally for over 45 years. It prides itself on offering a unique curriculum championed by speech pathologists, psychologists, parents, and teachers alike. Not only do we offer a comprehensive programme covering speech, movement, improvisation, and performance, we teach children skills that extend far beyond the stage.

Here are five ways that Jessica Whitehill, an O’Grady Principal from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, believes our drama classes can help your child thrive in life:

1. Builds Social Skills

Children (and adults) spend too much time on screens. That’s a fact. As much as we all try to instil rules surrounding this, screen time has become a staple, which research shows is not good for our social or interactive skills. Drama classes are a great way for children to counteract this growing trend. The face-to-face, collaborative nature of O’Grady Drama classes encourages teamwork, empathy, and effective communication, which are essential for personal and professional success. What’s more, our classes present an alternative community for potential friendships with like-minded peers, and we often see children forge tight, lifelong bonds with other students.

2. Boosting Confidence

Whether your child is already “theatrical” or leans more towards the shy side, drama classes are a fantastic way to build confidence and practical skills in public speaking and creativity. Performing in front of peers and an audience helps students overcome stage fright and develop a sense of self-assurance. This confidence is not limited to the stage but extends to everyday life, enhancing their ability to speak up in class, participate in discussions, and engage socially.

3. Enhancing Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

Emotional intelligence (EQ) is fast becoming a buzzword and it’s for a very good reason. The benefits of having a high EQ enable us to actively listen, read the room, tune into social and emotional cues, and respond appropriately. The O’Grady Drama programme promotes emotional intelligence by allowing students to explore different characters, emotions, and situations. During a class, they may play a myriad of characters from an ‘exhausted mother,’ a ‘lonely celebrity,’ or a ‘child with self-esteem issues.’ This type of exploration helps students understand and manage their own emotions better and develop empathy for others.

4. Improving Public Speaking Skills

Public speaking is a critical skill in nearly all career paths. Drama classes offer continuous opportunities for students to practice speaking clearly and confidently in front of others. Within every class, our speech work focuses on articulation, expression, tone, projection, and memory of lines. These skills are directly transferable to future professional environments, from job interviews to presentations and leadership roles.

5. Promotes and Improves Creativity

O’Grady Drama classes promote creativity by encouraging imaginative play, storytelling, and role-playing. Each week, students engage in large-group and small-group improvisations, often having minimal time to create a short snippet that includes a beginning, middle, and end. For example, students may be asked to create a scene surrounding a prop, or they may be given a set opening line or a genre like “thriller.” We mix it up constantly! This ensures no one gets too comfortable, ensuring students learn to quickly come up with creative solutions. Students are also encouraged to work with different partners each week versus only pairing up with their friends. This highly creative, inclusive environment nurtures original thinking and problem-solving skills, essential for personal and academic growth.

In summary, it’s clear that drama classes are no longer just sought after by students simply wanting to become professional actors, rather they are a staple for children of all ages to develop important life skills that go far beyond the stage.

O’Grady Drama offers affordable, fun lessons for primary and secondary students alike with locations across Australia, from Hobart, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and beyond.

To enrol in a class near you, please visit our website for more information…and ACTION!