Speech & Drama Teaching Diploma

In April 2022 I completed an online Diploma in Teaching Speech and Drama with the Irish Music & Drama College accredited through the Victoria College of Music & Drama, London.

This is a new course for the IMDC and a new area of learning for me. Over the past few years Pitch & Pulse has developed a small Musical Theatre Production group operating on an ad hoc basis – cramming a production into a short timeframe, the focus being on shared experience and participation.

Over lockdown, like so many of us, I took time to review where I am now and where I want to be. I love teaching the piano and have no intention of stopping, but I am currently at student capacity and want to do different things. Whilst assessing what I do that I enjoy most, an advert from the IMDC popped into my view for an online Teaching Diploma in Speech & Drama. I had explored the possibility of such a course previously but there were no online options, travel to Dublin would have been a requirement – one I could not manage with my other daily commitments.

Undertaking this course will enable me to develop my Pitch & Pulse portfolio, extending it to include Group Speech & Drama lessons with Graded exams if required as target goals.

The Diploma course is designed to provide the knowledge to teach speech and drama, working within the performing arts industry. But also develop other skills important in the provision of education services including modules on safeguarding, policy and procedures, observation experience, business and marketing.

Over the past 8 months a gang of fabulous women worked hard through a very intensive and thorough course, delivered online by Donna and very ably supported by Annette and Kate of the Irish Music and Drama College.

Working closely with the certifying body, Victoria College of Music, London this was a ground-breaking course as the first Speech & Drama Teaching Diploma delivered online. The onus was very much on the individual to put in the work but the support was always there from the college and from each other.

20 & 21 November Weekend

Our in-person weekend in Cork was very intense but such great fun. Meeting in person the rest of our merry band of soon to be fully fledged Speech & Drama Teachers. We had plenty of workshops covering not only practical ideas and concepts, an improv workshop with Liam Heffernan (Glenroe) but also business aspects of teaching. An introduction to Safeguarding in Drama Teaching and the Business of Drama, covering sales and marketing and social media.

Concluding with a healthy dose of Musical Theatre!

As part of the final exam we had to memorise a 5 minute piece from Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues – I chose A Woman of no Importance… I really enjoyed doing this – a frightening project at the outset when considering I have problems remembering why I’ve walked into a room! But I did it – and I may post a video of my monologue as I did enjoy it and… we laughed…

I feel very proud and honoured to have met all of the other participants and we were a diverse group ranging from musicians and music teachers, actors and acting students, and those just wanting a complete career change.  We shared an amazing journey and despite the distance made great friends and were always there for each other.

The fun and experience of exploring new teaching methods and subjects, developing plans and workshops to deliver left us all full of enthusiasm to start.

My decision to undertake this course was to allow me to build on the performance opportunities I have so far given children through Pitch & Pulse Performance. It gives the knowledge and capability to develop students further, possibly to taking Speech & Drama graded exams if they choose, but certainly to further build confidence and presentation skills in each participant.

Look out for stand-alone workshops, group classes and let’s get everyone’s confidence and communication skills built up and back to where they were before we were all locked up for two years!!

Thank you to Donna, Annette and Kate of the IMDC for all your support and teaching.

Thank you Rachel, Aisling, Alex, Laura, Nicola, Mairead, Hannah, Ciara and Dee…

Most of all – thank you to Danna Davis… for coming with me!!…

To quote Alan Bennett… “I was alright on the Monday, and I was alright on the Tuesday…” I think I’ll be alright for the next while!

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