Select Region
Helping Parents Make Better Decisions

Get Fun (and Safe) Family Outings for This Summer!

Ask the Expert: Should I Enroll My Shy Child in Musical Theater Classes?


The education director of TADA! Youth Theater in Manhattan answers why it might be a good idea for parents to enroll a shy child in musical theater classes to help their development, why parents' support is essential in nurturing an artistic child, and the importance of "failing forward."

Girl with UmbrellaMusical theater is the medium with which we work, but the byproduct is building confidence, helping self-esteem, and really learning life skills. If someone wants to pursue a professional career in the arts, these programs help too, but that's not TADA!'s main focus. Musical theater programs, like the ones at TADA!, allow kids interested in musical theater to find their voice and improve their self confidence.

The ensemble programming we have at TADA! Youth Theater offers a team atmosphere, where everyone is treated as equitably as possible. Programs with a safe environment like that help shy or introverted kids come out of their shell, even within a day.

As students start to learn by doing, they soon come to know that it's safe to explore and express themselves. Within a theater game, for example, any contribution you make is a good one. There are no right or wrong answers.

What should you say to a young child who forgot his lines during a performance or a school play?

Performing, like most things in life, requires preparation and a great sense of discipline. With this in mind, you would remind a child that, “preparation is essential and if you’ve prepared the best you can then that’s okay if you miss a line or if you’re not perfect.”
Nothing's perfect and that's the philosophy of any true artist. No matter what, you should always strive to be better, to improve. We can all learn from our mistakes and fail forward.

How important is a parent’s support in encouraging and nurturing an artistic child?

An artistic child is often not your typical child and the current daily life in and outside of school sometimes doesn’t properly support this creativity. Artistic children can be uniquely different and it’s important to have parents support their children’s artistry by expressing and supporting back to them the message that they are liked and that their artistic pursuits will be supported and encouraged because that's an extension of who their children are.

Parents and children should strive to maintain really good communication. For example, parents can ask why their children are interested in certain activities and then they can look together for options within their community that might foster that interest.

Rod Christensen is the director of education at TADA! Youth Theater in Manhattan where he oversees all aspects of the education department, which explores core elements of musical theater training and performance with programming for children in pre-K to 12th grade from all racial, economic, and social backgrounds.


Want more content like this? Receive our Scoop packed with great ideas

Related Articles:


Featured Listings:

Bach to Rock - Nanuet

Bach to Rock - Nanuet

Nanuet, NY BACH TO ROCK is a music education center for students of all ages. Our unique method is based on the knowledge that students learn best when they join...

Diller-Quaile School of Music (The)

Diller-Quaile School of Music (The)

New York, NY The Diller-Quaile School of Music was founded in 1920 by pianists Angela Diller and Elizabeth Quaile. Since the School?s founders believed that the ca...

Portledge Summer Adventures

Portledge Summer Adventures

Locust Valley, NY Portledge is situated on a pastoral 63-acre campus in Locust Valley, just 15 minutes north of the Long Island Expressway. This beautiful former Gold C...

Star Kidz-Westchester

Star Kidz-Westchester

Let Your Child Shine! Star Kidz is the unique smash-hit program that combines singing, acting and hip-hop dancing all in one class.