Monthly Archives: April 2015

Young Performers Children’s Library

Ms. Françoise Calvel of Layam Cultural Events and Training PVT LTD conducted a 10-day theater (drama) workshop for children from March 30 to April 10 at the Children’s Library. The workshop provided an exciting opportunity for young performers to develop their skills.

How theater training helps kids

As well as having lots of fun using their imaginations and creating characters and stories using costumes and props, drama activities can help children learn about emotions and will help build self-confidence, improve communication skills, and develop teamwork and stage skills.

Attending theater classes help children/teenagers to respect themselves and also others. They also learn to manage their emotions and also find out how to express and practice self control. In addition, the learning of the numerous techniques of theater allows them to apprehend their body in space in a better way.
According to Ms. Françoise Calvel, the director of the play, the important aspects of acting is to understand yourself, to express your emotion, to create attitude and character. “For all that you must know how to control our body, so through several exercises, we work on body expression, clown, mask, and improvisation. Children learn that everything is coming from stomach: emotion, voice, reaction. Clown, mask and improvisation are only some techniques of performing arts.” – she says. It was interesting to note her point that the objective of theater training is not to remove shyness, but to know how to control it.

What they did

Children had fun experiencing the many aspects of theater as they developed skills and got in touch with their imagination. This is what Aysha Joyce, a participant of the workshop had to say about the camp – “We learned so many things like Attitude of a character, action and reaction, emotions, body language and a lot more. And all of us have new friends too. Thank you Françoise Calvel – A teacher with great energy and passion for theater.”

Topics Covered

The following topics were covered during the 10- day camp (2 hours per day).
– Occupation of space
– 5 senses, emotion bases
– attitude of character
– improvisation clown with dominant and dominanted
– creation of character paper mask
– how to create a story ? With action/reaction and problem.
– how to use the space, the group ?”

The camp ended with a performance for the families of children on the evening of the last day.

Li’l Musings – It really IS OK to fail!

(This article was submitted by Mr. George Mathew who is the CEO of a new-age preschool chain based at Trivandrum called “The Wonder Years Preschool”. The author is a researcher on child development and can be contacted at For more details please visit

Why is it that as a species we have this almighty aversion to failure? Is failure so bad that its very mention evokes hushed murmurs and seedy looks? Why is it that we don’t realize that success and failure go hand in hand? In fact, we fail and succeed umpteen number of times every day of our life. Don’t believe me?

OK , let’s do a simple mental exercise. Think back on your day and honestly write down your successes and failures. How many have you got? I got around 40 – 50 successes and failures each. Surprised? Finding it difficult to come up with even a few?

Why do you think that is so ? Well, it has got to do with how we define the terms success and failure.
The Webster’s Dictionary defines success (in this context) as “an event that accomplishes its intended purpose” and failure as “an event that does not accomplish its intended purpose”

So, in a sense, anything that we do (or do not do) can end in a success or a failure. Simple. For example, I am driving along and have to overtake a vehicle in front of me. If I do that, it is a success. If not, it’s a failure.
When we see things in this light, success and failure need not be that bad, right? In a way, failure is sometimes good. Going back to our example of overtaking cars, if I always try to be successful no matter what, I might end up in a bad crash. We need to let go sometimes.

I know this is over-simplifying things. But it is just to drive home the point that failure need not be all that bad and sometimes it is even desired.

This brings us back to the question – Why do we consider failure to be so bad?
I think it is because from a very young age we have been conditioned to think that failure is bad. Nowadays it is taken to such levels that some children do the unthinkable because they are unable to take the pressure.
We need to teach our children the difference between good and not-so-good failures. Good failures are the ones like the overtaking example. The not-so-good failures are the type we see in the big bad competitive world out there.
In the hyper-competitive world we live in nowadays, failure is scoffed upon… it’s taboo. But even here, what we need to teach our children is not to lose sight of the forest for the trees. We need to help them see the big picture. In the grand scheme of things, is 60% any worse than 90%? 10-15 years down the line, will it even matter?
I am not saying that we should not get our children to study hard. No, we need to encourage them to learn and understand the world around them, but at the same time we need to prepare them on how to deal with inevitable failure.
So why do children fail in certain areas? Maybe it’s not their area of interest. Maybe they did not understand the concepts as taught by their tutors. Maybe they temporarily had other things on their minds. The reasons could be endless and specific to each individual child.

Come on, let’s face it. Our children, however brilliant they are, are going to hit a roadblock sooner or later. Most of us face it at school level itself. Some parents teach their kids to look at the bigger picture and take it in their stride. They even help them see the not-so-apparent bright side of failure.
And this not-so-apparent bright side is what is most interesting about failures.

Most successful people will tell you that things did not go as per their original plan and they “failed” at it. But those failures would have made all the difference
Even I have many such stories of “failure”. When I finished my MBA program, I was interviewed for the post of Product Manager at After the interview, the panel promptly rejected me.
But that rejection meant that I got the opportunity to appear for BIG FM radio for the post of Cluster Head for Kerala. Eventually, I ended up thinking beyond a mere job and finally set up my schools. Looking back, I value that interview more than the ones that selected me because at the end of the day, it made all the difference.

For if I was selected, I am pretty sure, with the salary package they were offering and the city I had to work in, I would never think of starting something of my own. So that rejection turned out to be one of the best blessings I have received.

Our kids will have failures… many failures over the years. Our job is to ensure that they are ready to face them when it hits. As parents, one of the most important things we can give our children is the confidence to experiment, fail, try again, fail, and repeat without having the fear of being ostracized or being rebuked.
If we can give them the confidence that, no matter what, we will be there to support them in their time of need, then we can watch them truly fly!

(Mr. George Mathew is the CEO of a new-age preschool chain based at Trivandrum called “The Wonder Years Preschool”. The author is a researcher on child development and can be contacted at For more details please visit