The trick to helping children learn lines quickly is all about making it fun. Memorizing dialogue is work, but it’s work that can be turned into play. The more children enjoy playing, the more time they’re willing to spend on the task at hand. Here’s how to make learning lines a game.
Tackle small sections. Confronting a whole script can be intimidating for even seasoned actors. Make the challenge easier for your child by breaking the script down into smaller pieces. Tackling short sections means the child doesn’t face a daunting amount of work all at once. Once your child has learned two or three sections, review them before moving on to the next couple.
Set it to music. If your child has only a few lines to learn, set them to music and make a song out of them. Fit the lines to a catchy tune your child already knows and see how much faster the learning goes. This technique ditches boring traditional learning methods, and it works!
Rehearse with them. Studies show people remember 90 percent of what they hear compared to only 10 percent of what they read. Saying the lines out loud and rehearsing as often as possible goes much further than reading the script silently.
Choose the moment. Bedtime is primetime for studying, research reveals. Recall improves significantly when children study right before bedtime. Rehearse with them until they know the scene, and then review their lines just before they go to sleep. Review again the next morning to reinforce what the child learned the night before.
Keep scripts handy. Make several copies of the script and keep them around so that your child can review lines whenever it’s convenient. Stash a copy in a backpack, the car and your purse. A 15-minute drive to school offers a perfect opportunity to read lines.
Relax. The ability to memorize lines is not a divine gift but rather a skill that can be learned. A stressed child is not going to master that skill easily. Keep your child relaxed, and don’t scold if learning is not going quickly. Take a break if you see your child is getting frustrated. Acting should be fun.
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