The question for how to raise confident children is often brought up. Not every child is born the same and confidence varies from child to child. There are many ways to help nurture self-confidence and self-esteem, but one way stands out from the rest.
A study performed by University researcher Özcan Palavan noted that “problem-solving skills levels and self-confidence levels of college students of primary education have improved after being introduced to the drama education”.
A report published by Social Science Research Unit at the Institute of Education has also found that primary school children participating in drama experienced an increase in self-confidence. Additionally, the researchers also determined that listening and speaking skills improved as a result of drama as well.
Here at Mozarts Kindergarten we witness first hand the impact that drama and singing can have on a child. Children who were once too shy to play with others have flourished into confident, young people.
Some of the ways that we use drama and singing to slowly build confidence are:
- The Hello song. Every morning we start our day with our own Hello song. Every child joins in welcoming each other and saying hello to you, and you, and you, and you. This is inclusive and allows the opportunity for singing right at the start of the day. Other musical instruments can also be incorporated to change the way the song is sung, and suggestions are led by the children for other ways that we could sing it.
- Karakia Song. At the start of morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea, one child is chosen to help lead our karakia, with the other children echoing the song afterwards. Children are encouraged to sing this on their own, however some may need a help from a friend to begin with. This natural introduction to standing up and singing in front of their peers allows the concept to seem normal, without being forced. Those who were once too shy to try, are now eagerly hoping to be chosen to sing.
- Drama time. A story is read aloud and then this is followed by a dramatic adventure! Elements of the story are chosen by the children and, using their imagination, are acted out through drama, dance, music or art. Everyone has fun bringing the stories to life right before their very eyes. This is a special approach that we take to help children process and reinterpret the story.
- Spontaneous play. “It’s time for the show!” is a common phrase heard at Mozarts. Children are encouraged to act out and put on shows when they feel inspired. The teachers will support them by being the audience or even joining in when asked! When children use their imagination to develop a scene so vividly, this must be supported so that they feel confident to continue and build on this.
- Mozarts Choir and Christmas Concert. We have biannual concerts on a true stage which are a highlight for parents and friends who come from all over New Zealand to be part of the delighted audience. Children love learning the songs which are all done with accompanying actions and dance. Our annual Christmas pageant is a highlight for the children and their families. We also hold our annual Christmas Concert. The show is based around a Christmas story, which is then adapted so that every child has a part and starring role!
Through all aspects of our early childhood learning programme, we aim to encourage children in everything they do and build their confidence so that they believe they can achieve anything. From a young age, it is crucial to support children to grow into self-confident learners. Self-confidence is gained from each small success, which in turn gives children the courage to continue and create more success.