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!
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 examiners 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.