ASTANA – After-school programmes are an essential part of a child’s upbringing. Activities and hobbies greatly increase a person’s chance to be successful.
The Yerke children’s dance and choir studio offers a unique opportunity to develop the skills and knowledge of gifted children and enjoy the creative adventure of their tender age.
“The idea to open a studio did not come about by chance. Teaching adult patriotism is difficult, but possible, but when you teach children to love and respect their homeland from childhood, it’s completely different. Learning to understand, appreciate and be proud of the art, traditions and history of your country is priceless. At the same time, we do not conduct any agitation lectures with children; we show this with our own example,” said Yerke head Yana Chigarkova in an interview for this story.
The Armed Forces National Military Patriotic Centre opened in the capital Dec.1, 2015 and the children’s studio was launched a few months later. The studio is not only open for children of military personnel, but for young talents from all over the city.
The main thing is to tear children from gadgets and social networks and dedicate their time to something useful, noted Chigarkova.
“In Soviet times, there were special clubs for children interested in sports, art or playing musical instruments and they were affordable for every family. Now, the situation has changed. As for us, we teach children for free and enrol talented children. We try to captivate and introduce not only Kazakh and contemporary art, but also art of other countries. There is such a kaleidoscope of cultures and religions in Kazakhstan and this leads to the multifaceted development of personality,” she said.
Young and ambitious teachers have a great desire to work, create and study, she added. It’s vital for them to stay imaginative.
“We started to work in full swing last September. We held a large audition with the participation of 150 children and about 50 were selected. The most remarkable event was the performance of our soloists at the New Year charity ball held with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Our choir also performed at the Bal Bala gala concert, Tumar, the first television awards, and many other events. We plan to participate not only in live concerts, but also in television projects,” she said.
The studio also offers acting technique and drama classes to learn the emotions and skills of performing on stage.
The studio enrolls skillful children with good voices aged 7-14 and those 4-15 for choreography classes. The programme includes breathing, developing voice, vocal hearing and acting skills, vocal and technical exercises, public performance and public speaking.
Acting skills teachers work not only on diction and articulation, but also on the ability to do two things at the same time. Then, the brain becomes familiar with multitasking and can do three-four things simultaneously on stage – sing, dance, and interact with the audience.
“We are now gaining experience, so we try to participate in almost every big event. The stage is the best teacher and with experience comes mastery. People always ask me why children feel so free on stage and how do you achieve this. The answer is simple. We praise them, even for small achievements, we believe in their talent and uniqueness, and, most importantly, we love them. When they feel loved and appreciated, they feel comfortable on stage. Children, not clamped by rigid frames, rules and remarks, develop faster and open their talent more easily. If you keep up with watering flowers, they always bloom to perfection,” said Chigarkova.
The Instagram account of the studio is detskaya_studia_astana.