We know you’ve often wondered as a child how actors onstage or on set manage to memorize their lines for an entire movie or play. And now that you’ve found your child in a school play themselves, you’re finally facing the overwhelming dilemma you’ve always wondered about long ago: how do actors memorize their lines? Is it supposed to be an arduous process? Or is there a fun way to do it? Memorizing lines can be daunting even for seasoned professionals. Here’s how you can make memorizing lines with your kids fun.
These Simple Tips Will Make Memorizing Lines with Your Kids Fun and Easy
Practice it with them.
Become a crucial part of the learning process by rehearsing the scene with them until they have completely memorized their lines. To start, read the scene very slowly with your child. Have them listen, respond, and learn the words as best as they can. Then review it right before bedtime. Studies have shown that studying lines before going to bed can have a huge impact on recall. If you have ever tried waking up with a song persistently playing in your head for no reason, that’s exactly how it works. Review the lines again with them the following morning to help lock them into memory.
Break the script into smaller parts.
Do not burden your child by making them tackle the entire script all at once. Even adults like to break things down into simpler parts to make learning a much easier process. Sit down with your child and break down the script into smaller sections. Chunk it down by using slashes ever three words or two related sentences at a time.
Try various learning styles.
If your child is a visual learner, have them look at their lines. Maybe have it flashed on a large screen if you think it helps. If they are an auditory learner, have them write the lines on paper after reading the script out loud. To make it even more effective, record them reading it so they can listen to the recording over and over. If they are a kinesthetic learner, incorporate movements or the director’s stage directions while they are memorizing. According to a scientific study conducted by psychologists Helga and Tony Noice, the combination of movement and speech strengthens a person’s ability to recall the next line. “Memory is aided by physical movement,” Noice says. “In one study, lines learned while making an appropriate motion—e.g., walking across a stage—were more readily remembered by actors later than were lines unaccompanied by action.”
If you don’t want to take your chances, use all of these learning styles.
Turn cues into a question-and-answer game.
Memorize the first and last few words of the lines with them and the few last words of the lines of characters that lead to your child’s character. By knowing the cue lines, your child will not only be more prompt and timely in delivering lines, they’ll eventually find themselves quickly grasping the context of the story and characters in just a matter of few key words. This is also an effective way to familiarize the meanings of their lines instead of emptily memorizing them word for word. By learning cues alone, they’ll be focusing more on how the meaning of each line bridged the first few words to the last few words. That’s already taking in substantial subtext with just minimal effort! To turn it into a quiz, begin by saying a cue. If they’re visual learners, use cue cards. Your child must be able to “answer” the cue with their line. Try doing this out of sequence until they’ve memorized all the cues leading to their lines.
The Most Important Tip
Acting should be fun. Scolding and continuously stressing your child will not yield positive results. Making them upset will only make memorizing lines more difficult. If they are having a rough time, divert their attention by taking them out to the park. In an article published by the Chicago Tribune, Cindy Gold of Northwestern University suggests that after looking at a few lines (maybe one page), it is helpful to either go for a walk or take a nap. During the break, the information your child just processed moves from short-term memory to long-term recall, where they will be able to recall things easier.
Good luck and have fun!