Does your child enjoy doing impersonations? Have they always been comfortable taking centre stage and taking on different characters and acting? You might just have a budding young actor on your hands. Nurture this passion and take this talent further by considering having your child apply for the Direct School Admission for secondary schools (DSA-Sec) programme through performing theatre. In this blog we provide you with a comprehensive guide on how you can prepare your child.
What are the DSA auditions?
The DSA-Sec programme allows Primary 6 students to gain admission to secondary schools in Singapore based on their talent in sports, performing theatre or specific academic areas. Different schools offer different subsets of CCA groups and academic programmes that they focus on and also have different selection criteria and processes. This information is usually released by late April, so check the school’s website to keep up to date with the requirements, key dates and general process.
If your child is successfully admitted to a school offering English Drama, they will be trained to be ready to represent the school in competitions and performances. These might include the SYF Arts Presentation.
What will your child be assessed on?
To adequately prepare your child for the DSA-Sec programme, it is important to understand what schools in Singapore look out for. Firstly, it is imperative your child already has a passion and love for drama and performing. They should relish the idea of standing up in front of a crowd and speaking.
It is also important that they are mentally ready for the rigours of the preparation involved in large-scale performances, which could include several hours of practice a few times a week. Perfecting their craft also requires persistence, patience and hard work. During their DSA interview, they might be asked questions that ascertain their level of commitment, discipline and motivation.
During the audition, your child could also be asked to act out a scene they have prepared and they will be evaluated on their ability to vary their speech and emotions, articulate and project their voice.
Having relevant drama experience would also increase your child’s chances of successfully entering a school through the DSA programme. This could include representing their primary school in national drama competitions or having performed at external events, this would work in their favour.
Signing your child up for drama-enrichment classes also stands them in good stead with DSA evaluators. Consider MindChamps Académie of Stars, a premier performing arts school, that focuses on developing the craft of performing and readies your child to be a versatile, confident actor.
What can you do to nurture the passion at home?
1. Organising playacting at home
You can do this by acting out scenes from your child’s favourite book or improvising with role-playing. It can be as simple as on the fly sessions or elaborate performances with props, costumes and even an audience. Doing this regularly, a few times a week, perhaps, allows your child to practise acting and become more confident about themselves as a performer.
2. Recording and playing back your child’s performance
In order for your child to push their boundaries and truly excel, having self-awareness of how they are currently performing can go a long way. Observation is one key component of acting and training your child to understand themselves as well as the people around them can allow them to recreate this behaviour on stage.
3. Immerse your child in theatre
Inspire your child and deepen their love for the craft of acting by taking them to watch plays regularly and reading plays to them. In this way you expose them to a variety of actors, acting styles and how emotion is conveyed. You also introduce them to potential role models whose careers they can follow as they further their acting.
3. Drama classes with MindChamps Académie of Stars
Enrolling in acting classes helps develop essential skills in your child, such as nurturing creativity, confidently speaking in public and being able to regulate their emotions. If your child shows an innate talent and love for acting, drama classes help to mould them and sharpen their existing abilities. MindChamps Académie of Stars specifically designs a programme to prepare children aged 11-12 years old for the DSA auditions and interviews. This DSA preparation is organised into 4 modules:
1. Preparing the mindset : Expect the Unexpected
2. Practice of better speech : Speech Technique
3. Developing a Champion Mindset*
4. Developing audition skills
The curriculum aims to facilitate a creative, spontaneous and positive mindset, equip them with elocution skills to clearly deliver their lines and build fearlessness and confidence. MindChamps’ unique Champion Mindset focuses on moulding outstanding individuals who exhibit “100% respect and zero fear”™. Additionally, in order to ensure students feel prepared for the DSA acting auditions, we conduct several rounds of rehearsals, focusing on speech techniques, stage movements, scene studies and monologues. .
Nurture your child’s talents with extracurricular acting classes
Being able to grow their passion in acting and meeting peers that share the same passion can bring out the very best in your child and ensure they meet their fullest potential. As parents, we can create the optimal conditions for their talents to flourish. Speak to our team of instructors at MindChamps Académie of Stars to learn more about our school, the curriculum and how we can ready your child to ace their DSA auditions.