During the lockdowns, there were huge changes in the lives of young people. Babies became toddlers, pre-schoolers were ready but unable to start school, children grew into teenagers and teenagers missed out on the many stages that spark early adulthood.
When schools returned, they did all they could to catch up on lost learning and prepare children for numerous exams. But it is not just academically where children missed out. The on-going isolations when school bubbles burst has had a worrying impact on children’s mental health and social development.
Although there have been numerous articles written about the impact on the pandemic on children, with more than 50 Razzamataz schools across the UK, the theatre school professionals have seen first-hand how it has affected young people who have never previously suffered with anxiety.
“As professionals working with a wide range of children for more than 20 years, we have seen how the different age groups have been affected,” says Denise Hutton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “Although Covid curtailed many of the normal interactions children would have in the early years, many of the younger children have enjoyed having their parents around for much more time. However, that has made them less independent than they would otherwise have been and with the older children and teenagers, many of them have suffered a huge loss of confidence. Principals across the network have reported that this age group have found coming back to face to face classes really challenging.”
As a network, the Head Office and Principals have been doing lots of activities to address these issues and to work on building back self-confidence. “Many of our students were just getting to the stage in their lives when they were going out with friends, becoming more independent and experiencing much more of the world,” adds Denise. “Obviously, lockdown put a stop to all of that and although schools have been back a while, it is going to take far longer to make up for these lost milestones.”
Razzamataz Theatre Schools offers exceptionally high standards of performing arts training in dance, drama and singing. The classes cover a wide range of genres from classic West End and Broadway musical theatre through to the commercial genres of street dance, acting for camera and pop singing.
Although many students go on to gain places at prestigious performing arts colleges and into West End shows such as Hamilton & Juliet and Matilda, many families send their children to Razzamataz because of the huge difference it makes to their confidence and the many life skills that they learn.
“My daughter started Razzamataz last year and absolutely loves her lessons. She was very shy before she started but Jude, Phil and all her teachers were so welcoming and really put her at ease. In the past year it’s just been wonderful to watch her blossom and her confidence increase so much,” Razzamataz Leeds parent.
#MoreThanJustaTheatreSchool is the hashtag attached to Razzamataz Theatre Schools because of the feedback from students and families on the positive impact that Razzamataz has on each child. When children return after the summer break, the Principals, teachers and staff will be working on helping children to reconnect with any of the lost life skills that occurred as a result of the pandemic.
“With more than 50 schools in our network and with Principals from a wide range of backgrounds, we are confident that we can help all children, no matter what stage they are at,” adds Denise. “Through performing arts, we can help our students express any worries they have, help them build resilience and encourage teamwork and friendships.”
Now is a great time to start a children’s theatre school business. Franchisees are drawn to the Razzamataz network for a number of reasons including:
- Research has found that children participating in creative activities were happier than children who did not.
- Children make up a never ending market.
- Parents are always looking at ways to keep their children entertained away from screens and social media.
- The pandemic has brought into sharp focus how important skilled teachers are in children’s lives.
- People are valuing the live/work life balance even more. Franchisees always cite the fact that they can work flexibly and from home as one of the major benefits to running a Razzamataz.
- The support and training that Razzamataz provide allows a wide range of people to be part of the network.