The premise of Drama tuition is to provide support for students undertaking various assessed units, which become increasingly specialised at advanced levels. Each course offers a chance to grow in knowledge and ability both practically and theoretically. As a subject based on individual response and communication, Drama develops personal skills of self-expression and social growth, as well as technical skills in problem solving and design. Working interactively is absolutely integral to course assessment, and a Drama tutor can provide a secure environment for students to express their ideas and respond openly and intuitively. It is essential that this is a stimulating and supportive environment, where each individual finds mutual respect and trust. Drama tuition provides such a learning experience, and can be inspirational for students who initially are less confident at school or in front of groups.
At its basic level, Drama focuses on Language, Movement and Theatre, which are inter-related elements including speaking, writing, improvising, rehearsing and understanding. These different aspects allow students to explore how ideas and emotions can be communicated, and how relationships are built and maintained. Primarily, students are assessed through creating, presenting and knowledge-based learning. They will practise generating responses to stimuli, and shaping their explorations into presentations that can be shared and evaluated. Drama tuition can be particularly helpful in assisting students through the brainstorming process, and learning the important skill of self-evaluation. The support of a Drama tutor also extends to more practical tasks such as compiling a class-work folio and exam preparation.
As students progress in their Drama studies, the skills of performance become increasingly important, and learners are given freedom to choose their own topics for investigation and performance. Such directorial responsibility often thrives from extra support and encouragement, and the expertise of a Drama tutor can really help students to engage with the perspective of a director or actor, as well as their intended audiences. It is also likely that students will begin to study entire dramatic texts, and trends within contemporary Scottish theatre. The output of this work can be both practical re-interpretations, and essay-based examination questions, so a thorough knowledge and understanding of historical, cultural and theatrical context is essential. Acting projects come to be assessed by external examiners, and require increasing breadth of character portrayal and skilful dramatic technique from candidates. Extra-curricular opportunities to rehearse and amend these performances are valuable.
The highest levels of assessment for Drama continue to build on all the skills aforementioned, stretching students to independently make creative decisions, devise their own topics, and carry out personal research. These are high demands, and the additional support of Drama tuition can be invaluable to reaching the highest potential of the individual, who will need to become adept in both theatre theory and arts processes. Throughout their drama studies, students are expected to balance several different skills, from acting to directing to designing, and a Drama tutor can help to pinpoint strengths and weaknesses in order to maximise personal output and overall satisfaction.
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