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  • centrestagekids

Broadway Lessons: What Kids Learn from Musical Theatre 🎭

After teaching kids musical theatre for over 20 years I know the skills and traits kids learn even when they do not know they are learning. Every step, every note, and every twirl teaches kids lessons that last far beyond the final curtain call. I love the difference I see when kids start a and who they become by the end of the program.


Youth performers playing Fiona and Shrek


Finding Their Voice


In the world of kids musical theatre, every character has a story to tell—and every performer has a voice waiting to be heard. Through singing, acting, and dancing, kids learn to express themselves authentically, embracing their unique voices and celebrating their individuality. Performers of any age can discover the power of their own voices and the importance of speaking their truth. I find sometimes giving kids the lines and characters allows them the freedom to say and do things they wouldn't normally do and then leads them to finding their own voice.


The Art of Collaboration


Behind the scenes of every dazzling production lies a team of talented individuals working together to create something truly magical. In the world of kids musical theatre, kids learn the art of collaboration, coming together with their fellow performers to harmonize, synchronize, and shine. One of my favourite exercises is to have a group of performers walk around the room and someone yells "TIMBER" then like a tree the do a trust fall and every performer around them supports them. They have to take the risk of falling and asking for help and they learn how to look for cues on who needs support.



2 youth performers playing Mama and Papa Ogre


Stepping Into Someone Else's Shoes


In musical theatre, kids have the chance to step into the shoes of characters from all walks of life, from swashbuckling pirates to lonely princesses. Through empathy and imagination, they learn to see the world through someone else's eyes, gaining a deeper understanding of different perspectives, experiences, and emotions. Whether they're playing the hero, the villain, or the comic relief, each role offers a new opportunity for growth, connection, and exploration. At the beginning of our sessions I always ask performers what kind of role they want to play and it's interesting to see which performers are drawn to certain characters, we then as a group read the script, I explain my vision and ask them again what kind of role they are looking for and most of the time their answer will change.



Embracing Failure and Resilience


In the world of musical theatre, the path to perfection is paved with plenty of wrong notes, missed cues, and forgotten lines. But with every stumble comes a chance to learn, grow, and try again. One big lesson I have when it comes to rehearsal we ask the performers to "Be strong and wrong" - which means we want them to sing loud, dance full out and try their best even if they are not 100% sure, then we can help and correct. They learn being "wrong" is not a big deal, it is part of the process.



Five performers playing Little Pig, Baby Bear and blind mouse


The Joy of Creativity and Expression


Above all, musical theatre is a celebration of creativity, imagination, and boundless possibility. From crafting costumes to choreographing dance numbers, kids revel in the joy of bringing their ideas to life and sharing their talents with the world. Through improvisation, storytelling, and artistic exploration, they discover the transformative power of their own creativity, learning to trust their instincts, take risks, and dream big.


So, let the curtains rise, the music swell, and the spotlight shine—because in the world of musical theatre, every child has the opportunity to take centre stage and shine like a star.

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