I have recently been given the responsibility of Kids Captain for Motown The Musical Part of my duties is to teach young performers choreography routines from the show. I teach new cast members and also those who are seen to have the possible potential to play the role of young Michael Jackson in the show. I have begun to keep a reflective journal of my "MJ Camp" sessions (for potential youth cast members) and rehearsals for current young performers who are already cast in the role of young Michael Jackson. Below is an entry from my journal which follows a generic format as instructed by the Module One Handbook -
According to section 2.2 on page 25 from Model One Handbook for Institute for Work Based Learning, Middlesex University
"For reflection to be effective it needs to be ‘critical’, which means looking at your own experiences, actions and emotions with a critical eye and thinking about the following question:
What did I do?
Today I taught one of my students the "audition scene", reviewed the "bows" from the show and " The Jackson 5 Medley". I began the rehearsal with a 15 vocal and physical warm-up which consisted of singing along to an instrumental track of vocalises... while we stretched and physically warmed up while singing. We sang and danced through the numbers one time through, then I gave notes and we cleaned followed by another sing and run through.
How did I feel at the time?
The boys were a bit timid and unsure of exactly what was happening but understood the exercises soon enough. I felt the boys were not quite sure how to approach the rehearsals with me at first. They soon realised the intensity that was necessary coming into the rehearsal. I found that the sense of focus is a. it lost.
I am currently the Kids Captain for Motown The Musical currently playing in the West End
What was the impact or effect of my actions and behaviour?
The boys are very impressive and amenable. They are flexible and unless they are used to working a certain way then they can learn in a myriad of settings. My ability to really encourage them and make them laugh is very helpful in their understanding of the material. Also, I find that at young age children will often work hard and work well so that they impress the authority figure or the one teaching. My experience has shown that there are exceptions to this
What could I have done differently?
My running of the rehearsal can be a bit sporadic and unstructured. That being said, I feel that as long as I have enough time to work through the numbers as I should then the rehearsals go very well. However, I should be more structured in my approach, because it is important in planning to achieve certain and specific objectives.
What did other people think about what I did?
The gentlemen were a bit timid and unsure of exactly what was happening but understood the exercises soon enough. I felt the boys were not quite sure how to approach the rehearsals with me at first. They soon realised the intensity that was necessary coming into the rehearsal. I found that the sense of focus is a. it lost.
The chaperone feels that I was hard on them a d really pushed them, which is promising. Also, the assistant music director's feedback was encouraging as he pointed out that I 'have a good way with the kids'.
What will I do differently next time?
I believe that I will go to the next rehearsal with a more rigid format and structure with a certain time allotment for the material that I would like to cover. I will see how this works. Also, being in the room sooner, and being ready to begin the vocal warmup as soon as possible is important for me. Lastly, I will play the vocal warmup on the piano.
What have I learnt about myself and others and what knowledge, skills and insights have I gained?
I have learned that others see me as proactive and are quite willing to give me certain responsibilities easily when I allow myself to be open to saying yes. I would like to increase my ability to work with children in an effective way and develop the best skills and tools for learning. I have a natural ability to be flexible and adjust my teaching methods to ensure others are learning properly, but a formal structure can be very beneficial in helping the students to learn quickly.