Claire Cork says the professionalism and passion at Musical Theatre Masterclass was highly influential in the musical development of her twin daughters Robin and Phillippa.
While they might still be in primary school, Robin and Phillippa Cork are two of the more experienced students at Musical Theatre Masterclass as the twins enrolled for the first time two and a half years ago.
After excelling in a school play at an early age, their mother Claire allowed them to explore their talents on stage. And MTM seemed the perfect fit for the girls to continue their development.
“They’ve always been natural performers. They would constantly sing and dance at home,” explains Claire. “But it wasn’t until they did very well at school plays and started voice training that they really started building a notable passion for musical theatre.
“A friend had recommended [MTM founder] Dane Marais, so I visited one his classes with the girls… just to see what it was all about. He clearly made a great impression as the girls begged to go back the following week. They loved it.”
Claire noticed encouraging positives during their time at MTM.
“Musical Theatre Masterclass has allowed my girls to take on leading roles in productions, which aren’t common for young people interested in the arts. While they’ve always been able to sing and move instinctively, there’s been a notable explosion of confidence and ability since they started with Dane.
“He has challenged them with lead roles but also supported them with the skills and confidence needed to succeed in them.
“And as a parent, I’ve always been interested in musical theatre. But even more so in recent years as I’ve been able to watch my daughters on stage.”
Claire commended Dane as a musical theatre mentor, as well as Head of Choreography Kayla Van Tonder.
“Dane is an enthusiastic, energetic and inspired teacher. He can be a hard task master as he treats the girls as if they are much older and more capable than mere primary school kids. For him, musical theatre demands commitment and perfection,” said Claire. “This can take a bit of getting used to but I’m glad that he takes it at seriously as he does. We’ve been involved in too many extramural activities that have been done so unprofessionally that ultimately the kids lose interest and give up with very little to show for it.
“Kayla is a honey and a very good mentor too. The girls love her and her choreography.”
And it seems the experience at Musical Theatre Masterclass has contributed to the twins’ growth off stage as well.
Claire explains: “As mentioned before, they have grown enormously in confidence and skill as performers and this has no doubt helped them to be more poised and confident in general. I think MTM has also contributed to developing their grit and determination and so aided their personal growth. The friendships it’s allowed them to develop with older kids, and the experience of belonging to a group, has also been very meaningful to them.”
Claire definitely recommends MTM to parents who have children interested in musical theatre.
“If your children truly love singing and dancing and are willing to dedicate their time after school to musical theatre classes, then MTM will be a great experience,” she said.
“Thank you to MTM for giving Robs and Pips the opportunity to find their voices, to grow and shine. Good luck in all your endeavours. May the school go from strength to strength.”
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