For the most important dramatis personae in your life…
If your kid has a flair for dramatics or is known for being persistently argumentative, why not cater to their strengths and get them involved in a speech, drama or debate class? Learning a performing or speech art can develop life skills such as problem-solving and effective communication. These skills then become the foundational blocks of strong leaders and assertive adults. Speech and drama classes are also a great way for kids to work in a team and gain confidence – and you can be sure they’ll have lots of fun while doing it!
Whether you have a young performer at home who loves the stage or a shy little one who needs encouragement to express him or herself, you are sure to find a suitable programme in Hong Kong. We have rounded up places to learn acting (and those that offer exams and international qualifications), effective communication, public speaking, debate and presentation skills and more.
Editor’s Note: The situation in Hong Kong regarding closures and restrictions on opening hours due to the coronavirus is constantly evolving. Many businesses are taking extra precautions, but please make sure you follow the latest government advice and stay home if you have recently travelled overseas, have interacted with anyone who has been away, or display any symptoms. Also, check directly with each class prior to booking to avoid disappointments on deals or facilities.
Speech And Drama Classes In Hong Kong: Acting, Theatre And Performing Arts
Faust has been inspiring Hong Kong’s youth performers and artists since 1999. It offers drama workshops and holiday camps for kids aged 3 to 18 years. Each age grouping offers something different as kids learn all about theatre, story-telling, and acting methods. Children build confidence, teamwork and performance skills while exploring their creativity and ingenuity.
Faust also offers free trials to newcomers during set dates to let newbies try out performing arts for the first time. These classes are conducted across various schools and venues across Hong Kong and the Faust studio in Sheung Wan (there are online options as well for young playwrights). Faust is now a certified centre for the LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art) examinations and also offers LAMDA workshops – good news for your budding artist who’s serious about the craft.
The Helen O’Grady Academy first opened in Australia in 1979 and now operates in 27 countries with around 55,000 students each week. Helen O’Grady started as a teacher as well as an actress and took her knowledge of children’s development and her passion for acting to create the Helen O’Grady Drama Programme. It is suitable for kids aged 3 to 17 years and aims to develop confidence, communication and positivity through performing arts and teamwork.
The drama programme is structured with specific aims for each age group. For younger children, the focus is on language development and storytelling and as the kids grow, their repertoire is expanded to music, movement, speech, structured and improvised scenes and more. With after-school programmes and holiday camps, and a variety of convenient locations, it’s a popular choice for the performing arts for kids of all ages.
Starlit Voice offers way more than just your standard vocal lessons. From drama, musical theatre, and public speaking, Starlit Voice has a programme suitable for any vocal art. It provides integrated London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) Performance and Communication programmes to give students (5 to 18 years) the opportunity to get an international qualification. Starlit Voice offers after-school workshops, private one-on-one classes as well as performance-based holiday camps and online courses.
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Trinity College London is an international exam board that’s well recognised for assessments and courses all over the world in drama, musical theatre, speech and English. At its centre in Hong Kong, kids (5 years and up) will learn to develop their communication and interpersonal skills within each programme and will be assessed and awarded certifications upon successful completion. Many of these programmes are recognised in other educational institutions. Trinity College London’s Advanced Grade Qualifications in Drama (Grades 6 to 8) carry certain UK Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) points for university and higher education entry.
Kids Gallery has a variety of drama and speech classes (some online options) for children from 3 to 12 years. These range from musical theatre to speech and communication, performance-based workshops for the London College of Music (LCM) Speech Festival, interview prep and holiday camps.
This performing arts training studio is for children and young adults from 3 to 18 years. All coaches have vocational training as well as professional performance experience. CentreStage Studios specialises in acting, communication skills, vocal coaching and musical theatre classes. It also offers the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examination and Hong Kong Speech Festival prep courses. The studio recently took some of its most popular courses online as well.
Jumbo Kids Theatre is a professional children’s theatre group. Founded in 1999, it’s currently got a one-year grant funding by the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. The team has many full-time actors and graduates from the School of Drama at the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts (HKAPA). You can sign up for an annual membership at $20 per year and enjoy 20% off on each purchase of a Jumbo Kids Theatre performance, as well as its courses and workshops (the application form is in Chinese only).
Hong Kong Children’s Musical Theatre (CMT) offers an all-round performing arts training programme for kids between 2.5 to 17 years. The course has elements of acting, dancing and singing and students also learn about the values of quality, compassion and caring for the planet. These courses require an audition before children are admitted. Please note that these courses are primarily in Cantonese.
Speech And Drama Classes In Hong Kong: English, Communication And Life Skills
Looking for drama classes with a difference? FairPlay Learning provides a 2-part curriculum (including English/Drama classes and Social Impact workshops) dedicated to bringing together students from different backgrounds to foster social and emotional learning. It connects local school students, living below the poverty line, with international school students, looking to support their community. The drama classes are particularly useful as acting out alternative points of view as a group encourages empathy and teamwork. They also help develop soft skills such as new vocabulary, vocal awareness, body language, emotional intelligence and, of course, confidence.
This course by ESF Language & Learning is meant for kids in their final year of kindergarten (4 to 5 years). It helps build speaking confidence, communication and presentation skills and is ideal before children go for their primary school interviews. Through imaginative play, role play and drama games, students explore themes and books to unleash their creativity and storytelling talent. Children even become aware of body language through the actions, games and songs in class. These are important life skills in today’s world.
Speech And Drama Classes In Hong Kong: Debate And Public Speaking
Future Leaders Academy offers debating and public speaking courses for kids. It hopes to inspire critical thinking and communication while teaching children to form reasoned and factual arguments. The aim is to develop leadership skills and uncover tomorrow’s leaders. Your children will have the chance to participate in both local and international competitions for debate, public speaking and writing. Future Leader’s Academy offers its courses at select school locations. Children aged 7 to 15+ years can join the debate programmes, while the public speaking ones start at four years.
See Change Education
See Change Education is an online learning programme that offers courses in debate and public speaking. It aims to expand on a child’s worldview and encourage him or her to think outside the box. Many of See Change Education’s tutors are from Ivy League schools so your kids will get coached by instructors who graduated from some of the best universities in the world. Suitable for children from 5 to 12 years, a free trial is also available for these online classes. The institute also has a “Women in STEM” public speaking programme to inspire young girls.
While mainly focused on academic success, Kids Edge Education also has communication classes for kids. These prove useful both for studies and general life skills. It offers primary school interview preparation courses along with a storytelling programme for K2 and K3-aged kids. The aim is to help enhance their creativity, public speaking, logic and language development. Primary school-aged children can enrol in a public speaking course. It also offers programmes for those who want to participate in the HK Schools Speech Festival.