Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

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Hilltop
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Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

Postby Hilltop » Sat May 05, 2018 10:47 am

Hello,

I’m hoping to get some advice from some more experienced parents. We have the option of adding one more activity to my daughter’s extra curricular activities but I’m not sure which one would be the most useful for her applying for full-time musical theatre training later.

She is currently doing nine hour-long lessons on a Saturday at our local Italia Conti associates school in acro, acting, musical production, street, tap, ballet, modern, jazz and singing. She also does an hour and half technical dance class with them one evening during the week. She has an hour singing lesson one to one during the week. And a drama and LAMDA class at a local drama school that holds classes in our village.

We have the option of adding piano/keyboard lessons, auditioning at a local dance company that focuses on contemporary dance or doing gymnastics.

Her singing teacher is recommending she learns keyboard to help with singing/reading music and my DD has already recognised that the students learning an instrument are doing better than her at music in school - do you think it’s important to do GCSE music for a career in musical theatre?

She is not currently doing contemporary dance - is this important?

She is very flexible and can do a few acro/gymnastics moves but is desperate to learn more! She’s already doing an acro lesson at IC - is this enough?

We don’t have the capacity for adding more than one, both financially and logistically so which one would people recommend? Which would be more useful in the long run?

Sorry for the long post! Thanks in advance for any replies!

jennifer1972
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Re: Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

Postby jennifer1972 » Sat May 05, 2018 11:28 am

I would go for the keyboard option, just so that she can sit down for a bit!! :lol: No, seriously, it seems like she is doing plenty. Sometimes, less is more, instead of spreading yourself too thin trying to get experience in everything. Contemporary isn't necessary, if they have a good base in ballet, they can pick it up easily. Gymnastics great but as long as they have good flexibility it would only come in hand if they want to go down the dance strand of MT and if she starts with gymnastics you might find that as she gets better, the hours increase. (My 11 year old is an acrobatic gymnast and trains for 12 hours a week at the moment) My eldest DD, who is in her first year of a MT degree studied musical theory even though she doesn't play an instrument and has found it really helpful being able to read music, adjust songs into different keys, harmonise etc, so that would be the one I would go for. GCSE music is really not necessary.

amo185
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Re: Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

Postby amo185 » Sat May 05, 2018 4:45 pm

Your dd appears to be doing loads already. Maybe think of quality rather than quantity first. I think it depends on your dd's level of dance at the moment - ballet background is very important and can let very flexible, acrobatic dancers down in auditions - they lack the technique. If your dd is around Intermediate level for her dancing then I think the keyboard suggestion is good. Your dd will need to be able to find 16 bars of music (for example) in a key that suits her - so understanding notation could be a real plus. If your dd is only at basic ballet level (eg Grade 5) then I'd look to improve that. Just a personal view and others will have their own thoughts! She has while before auditioning for full time places. What does Itali Conti suggest?

Hilltop
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Re: Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

Postby Hilltop » Sat May 05, 2018 6:50 pm

Thank you both for your replies. Yep, I’m aware she’s doing a lot already but she is a type of child that can’t sit still and enjoys it all! Exhausts me keeping up with her!

I will look into the musical theory suggestion - this sounds interesting (I may ask her singing teacher about it).

She is only at grade 4 ballet and I had actually considered adding on an extra lesson a week as she is only doing an hour a week at the moment. I have read and been told that good ballet technique is really recommended. She’s definitely of the flexible, slim build and could do with improving core strength.

I hadn’t considered asking Italia Conti as I find the teachers a bit intimidating :shock: but I may actually do this.

Def food for thought! Thanks.

2dancersmum
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Re: Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

Postby 2dancersmum » Sat May 05, 2018 10:09 pm

I would suggest either the musical theory or more ballet as well.
Ballet -I don't know what syllabus your DD follows for ballet but for RAD our teacher considers up to and including grade 5 to be basic technique levels, 6-8 to be higher grades for non-vocational students and would expect those that want to do vocational training to study the vocational grades too.
Contemporary usually follows on from sound ballet technique - as sort of evidenced that if you do a dance degree, you can do a ballet degree at 16 but contemporary not until aged 18, plus your DD does quite a range of dance styles and I suspect would be able to draw on experience elsewhere if required to do any contemporary at an audition.
Musical theory - advantages were already posted.

Hilltop
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Re: Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

Postby Hilltop » Sun May 06, 2018 7:02 pm

Thanks for your reply 2dancersmum - I did not appreciate that the ballet grades were considered this way. This is very useful to know. My DD did take a couple of years break from ballet which is why she’s a bit behind others of the same age, but as she wants to do musical theatre rather than pure dance, my understanding is that this okay? Thanks again for passing on this info.

springtimepink
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Re: Extracurricular training query for 12 year old

Postby springtimepink » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:55 pm

Another hour of ballet would be my instinct. Solid ballet technique gives dancers a huge edge. Music theory also an advantage.


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