Can Singing Classes or Drama Classes help my shy child?Posted on 04/06/2020
“Butterflies In My Stomach” by Miss Katie A
I remember sat on the sofa watching tv with my family when my parents told me I was starting my local theatre school the following week. I was the most ecstatic eight-year-old around until this wave of emotion washed over me. I was nervous, fearful but most of all I was ANXIOUS. Who knew a child of eight years could experience anxiety.
However, Anxiety can hit at the very early ages of six months. Whether that be separation anxiety at the youngest of ages or experiencing common fears such as spiders and the dark at a slightly older Pre-school age. Once a child then starts school and is placed into unknown situations and environments, social anxiety can start and that can cause a child to become shy.
I wasn’t a shy little girl. I was always either singing into my karaoke machine to friends and family or putting on a show using the inflatable pool lilo to make a curtain for my stage performance. I had always dreamt of performing on the West End Stage. But starting at a Theatre School gave me, what some people like to call ‘butterflies in my stomach’.
As a child we like to instantly solve an unknown feeling, for example if we didn’t like a certain vegetable, we wouldn’t eat it again or if we didn’t win or understand a game we would say “don’t like that game’ and not play anymore.
As adults we have to be a child’s solution to an unknown emotion such as anxiety, but not the quick-fire solution. We have to be part of the long-term answer that will benefit the child in more ways than one. We have to talk through their fears and thoughts. We have to lead by example.
So, the night came, and my mother dropped me off for my first drama class. She did not stay nor take me home when I panicked, and seventeen years on I am now a teacher there. I have never left!
I meet old and new children every week for my Mini Stars classes. Some come bounding in not even waving goodbye to their loved one/s and some need a little smile, a hand to hold or some encouraging words of confidence. Some may be shy some may be confident but my main goal is to make sure they are happy and come out beaming with joy when they leave. As Mini Stars are of such an young age it will only be when they feel at real ease that they will start to shine in confidence, whether that be share a piece of exciting news in front of the whole class or put their hand up for a solo in singing. Watching them grow in confidence week by week is heart-warming and if they say to me ‘I have butterflies in my stomach then I reply with ‘that shows this means something to you, it shows you have real passion’.
“Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction, ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must but take the step” Naeem Callaway.