There are a few organizations offering drama, singing and dancing. Devon Drama offers something different. Our courses are designed specifically to prepare young people (from age 5) for a variety of performance based LAMDA exams. This process develops creative imagination in a practical way and also teaches important ‘life-skills’. Our group sizes are small, usually between 3 and 8 pupils. Where we have groups of younger children (Years 1 to 6) our maximum group size is 12 pupils.
We offer a free assessment to any pupil who is thinking of taking up LAMDA drama with us. The session lasts between 30 and 45 minutes. We suggest that parents come with their children. It is a useful opportunity for you to meet us and ask questions. We like to spend the larger part of the session with the new pupil where we can assess the grade level and explain what the different exam options are. Parents join us at the end with any questions they may have.
How LAMDA Exams Help Young People
LAMDA exams are annual. The LAMDA courses help young people to be confident public speakers and learn excellent communication skills. Not many young people have these skills and they can be learnt more quickly than you think!
Our secondary education system is geared towards academic achievement: getting people through written exams and into university. Yet imaginative expression, physical creativity and presentation skills, taught through drama, are fundamental to young people, regardless of what they do in life. Many large organizations spend millions of pounds every year to train their staff to ‘communicate, present, sell and market’ more effectively (see www.devonvoicecoach.co.uk).
LAMDA exams are now recognized by Universities and carry a UCAS point tally. Universities understand that those who have these qualifications have already acquired valuable life skills, such as being able to present themselves well and speak clearly; good voice projection, correct breathing technique and good physical control. Unfortunately a lot of young people applying for jobs and university don’t have these skills.
What happens in a LAMDA drama session?
What happens in a session depends on the age of the pupils attending. Younger children, Years 1 to 5/6 benefit a great deal from work on their diction and speech clarity. For example they enjoy pulling faces in voice exercises and playing with tongue twisters! If there are any speech problems the majority of them can be solved with little effort.
As young people enter adolescence a certain amount of shyness and self-consciousness inevitably sets in. At this stage learning good breathing techniques, combined with good diction and public speaking skills, reduces self-consciousness and increases confidence. Everybody preparing for a LAMDA exam learns voice production techniques according to age, experience and need. Pupils decide what LAMDA discipline they want to follow, for example, Verse and Prose or Acting. They choose pieces and work on them. The work involves developing creative imagination, control of movement and gesture and all the skills that go into making a successful performance or presentation.