THOUGH generally overlooked as a subject, drama classes can help add to the growth and development of students in various ways. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Antonia Yip, Min Woo Kim and Yifeng Wu explore the skills and life lessons that one can pick up from drama.
“Why do I need to learn drama? I’m not going to be an actor anyway.”
It’s a sentiment expressed by many students at Trinity College Foundation Studies (TCFS) who feel that drama as a subject contributes little to their studies.
Though a little more than half the students we spoke to generally enjoy attending drama classes, they also failed to see why it was a compulsory subject or how it added to their learning. Many students consider drama classes a nightmare given how vulnerable they sometimes feel having to perform in front people.
While stage fright is nothing out of the ordinary, once students are able to step outside their comfort zone and manage their fear of public performance, they should be able to enjoy the process of discovering themselves and exploring new possibilities.
Teamwork and communication
TCFS Drama Subject Leader Danny Fahey, says that “drama is the chance to dream while awake”.
With drama, Mr Fahey explains that “you’re accessing the same weird parts of your brain as you do when you’re asleep. You don’t always know where the answers come from [and] you don’t always know why but it does. Just like in a dream, somehow it all makes sense.”
To shed some light, Trinity College alumni Angus Leung feels that “drama [classes had] helped [him] gain confidence in communicating with people”.
He also believes that it has helped him learn “how to put [himself] in other people’s shoes”, expressing that it was “important when it comes to teamwork”.
In addition to helping students learn skills in teamwork and public speaking, drama class also allows students to think more creatively. This is especially important in tertiary study and later on when students enter the workforce.
Gilly McIness, a drama teacher at TCFS, feels the subject allows students to tap into every part of their consciousness in order to seek creative solutions to problems.
“I don’t know another subject that addresses every part of a person. All of your mind, all your creative mind, your logical mind, your analytical mind; it’s just everything,” she says.
The show must go on…
Another life lesson that drama classes can help instil on students, no matter how good of an actor they might be, is that they should’t ever stray from their goal and stick it out until the end. Like a live performance on stage, life doesn’t always offer second chances, so try and tough it out no matter how dire your situation might look.
To sum up, it’s easy to see why drama might be overlooked as a subject, but that shouldn’t discredit how effective these classes can be in nurturing a student’s character.
As challenging as it might be for some, these classes do offer students an avenue to learn more about themselves and develop new skills that would assist them later on in life.
What is your stance on drama classes? Is it useful to you or do you find it a waste of time? Have you learnt anything in your drama class? If so, what? What other subjects do you think should be compulsory? Let us know in the comments section below.
This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch us via firstname.lastname@example.org.