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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I'm a real boy! » » Vent courses for kids (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

AReady
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Can anybody recommend a good resource for children wanting to learn vent? I have a lot of kids ask me where they can learn it, and I'd love to be able to recommend a course. I'm thinking of primary school aged kids, roughly the 7-10 year old bracket. Thanks.
KeithS
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Hi AReady,

It's great that you want to introduce vent to interested young children. I teach an informal vent class to middle school students at my school. While they are a bit older than the kids you mention, I'd suggest going the same route that I took. For kids who are generally interested, I'm not sure I'd recommend a full-blown course. Instead, I'd put together some available resources and provide the kids with a good taste of the basics. Then, if they really take to that, you could recommend something more extensive like Tom Crowl's course and/or the new Maher interactive course that is soon to be released.

I introduced my students to the material on Steve Axtell's site. This is a really nice introduction to mouth position and sound substitution:

http://www.axtell.com/vent.html

I ended up copying and pasting the material on Steve's page (with Steve's permission) and put together a packet for each student.

I then gave each student a copy of Mark Wade's character description, a comprehensive breakdown of a vent character. Once the students had a good idea of what character they wanted to create they practiced voices, drew their character, and then began making their puppet (usually a simple sock/moving mouth puppet). They then wrote a basic dialogue between themselves and their characters.

I go into all this in a bit more detail in a recent Ventriloquism Weekly podcast interview that can be found here:

http://ventriloquismweekly.podomatic.com......55-08_00

You did not say if you would be assisting the students. Obviously, what I described above is best when an adult is facilitating the whole thing. But, you could still give them Steve’s material, and maybe even Mark’s, and they’ll have a good start.

If none of this works for you, you can always suggest a good book. For that age, I recommend “Ventriloquism in a Nutshell” (I believe Mark Wade sells it on his website), “Ventriloquism Magic with Your Voice” by George Schindler, and/or “Ventriloquism Made Easy” by Paul Stadelman.

I hope this helps! Good luck!
Steve at The Dummy Shoppe
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Wow Keith,

You said a mouthful. Great advice, but you did not leave much room for anyone else to say anything :o)

Steve

www.thedummyshoppe.com/blog
KeithS
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Quote:
On Mar 26, 2014, Steve at The Dummy Shoppe wrote:
Wow Keith,

You said a mouthful. Great advice, but you did not leave much room for anyone else to say anything :o)


Ha! Well, I did wait over 24 hours to respond! Smile
AReady
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Thanks for your thoughts, Keith. It is very helpful to see what you have been able to put together there. I was thinking firstly of some resources I could point kids to which wouldn't need my direct involvement as I am not currently running classes, however running classes with good resources would certainly be the ideal. The web page is Axtell is fantastic, I will recommend this to the kids as a starting point.
KeithS
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Fatastic, AReady. All the best to you and to the kids!
AReady
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KeithS I listened to the podcast, you have shared so many great ideas there, thank you. Sounds like a fantastic programme you've got going at your school.
KeithS
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Thank you, sir. Yeah, the kids and are having fun.
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