Musical Theatre Exams (Solos & Duets) 2017-21

Musical Theatre Examinations (Solos and Duets) 2017-21

 

THE GUIDELINES FOR MUSICAL THEATRE EXAMINATIONS FORM AN INTEGRAL PART OF THIS SYLLABUS AND SHOULD BE READ IN CONJUNCTION WITH IT

 

Entry Forms are available from the Irish Board’s office or may be downloaded. Examination fees are available here.


Preliminary One – Suggested ages: 5-7

Announce and sing one Action Song or Nursery Rhyme, with simple actions (maximum time: 2 minutes)

Preliminary Two – Suggested ages: 6-8

  1. Announce and sing an Action Song or Nursery Rhyme, with simple actions (maximum time: 2 minutes)
  2. Discuss with the examiner what the song is about

Junior One   Suggested ages: 7-9

1  Announce and sing a song from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with simple actions/choreographed movement (maximum time: 3 minutes)

2  Discuss with the examiner what the song is about and the mood of the song

Junior Two – Suggested ages: 8-10

  1. Announce and sing a song from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with simple actions/choreographed movement (maximum time: 3 minutes)
  2. Discuss with the examiner what the song is about and the mood of the song
  3. Be able to describe the character who sings the song in the production

Junior Three – Suggested ages: 9-11

  1. Announce and, in character, sing a song from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with actions/choreographed movement, the song to be preceded by a short (maximum one-minute) piece of dialogue either from the production, or devised by the candidate(s) (maximum time: 4 minutes)
  2. Discuss with the examiner what the song is about and the mood of the song
  3. Be able to discuss your character with the examiner

Junior Four – Suggested ages: 10-13

  1. Announce and, in character, sing a song from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with actions/choreographed movement, the song to be preceded by a short (maximum one-minute) piece of dialogue either from the production, or devised by the candidate(s) (maximum time: 4 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short dance (of any style) of your choice OR announce and perform a short (maximum two minutes) dramatic selection of your choice with suitable characterisation and movement)
  3. Discuss with the examiner what the song is about and the mood of the song
  4. Be able to discuss your character with the examiner

Intermediate One – Suggested ages: 12-14

  1. Announce and, in character, sing two contrasting songs of your choice from musical theatre productions, musical films, musical animated films or musical TV series (contrast may be in style, era, mood, tempo or genre) with appropriate movement (maximum time: 7 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short dance of your choice OR announce and perform a short (maximum two-minutes) spoken selection with suitable characterisation and movement (this selection may be either taken/adapted from the libretto of the work from which one of your songs was taken, or devised, based on the character portrayed by you in one of your songs)
  3. Bring to the examination brief notes on the show(s) from which the songs were taken, the type/category of the songs performed, the character(s) being portrayed, the context, subject and mood of the songs and be able to discuss these items with the examiner

Intermediate Two – Suggested ages: 13-15

  1. Announce and, in character, sing two songs of your choice from musical theatre productions and/or musical films, one written prior to 1960 and the other written in or after 1960, with appropriate movement (maximum time: 7 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short dance of your choice OR announce and perform a short (maximum two-minutes) spoken selection with suitable characterisation and movement (This selection may be either taken/adapted from the libretto of the work from which one of your songs was taken, or devised, based on the character portrayed by you in one of your songs)
  3. Bring to the examination brief notes on the show(s) from which the songs were taken, the type/category of the songs performed, the character(s) being portrayed, the context, subject and mood of the songs and be able to discuss these items with the examiner

Intermediate Three – Suggested ages: 14-16

  1. Announce and, in character, sing two contrasting songs of your choice from musical theatre productions and/or musical films, with appropriate movement. Each song must be chosen from a different era/genre (see Guidelines) (maximum time: 7 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short dance of your choice OR announce and perform a short (maximum two-minutes) spoken selection with suitable characterisation and movement (This selection may be either taken/adapted from the libretto of the work from which one of your songs was taken, or devised, based on the character portrayed by you in one of your songs)
  3. Bring to the examination brief notes on the show(s) from which the songs were taken, the type/category of the songs performed, the character(s) being portrayed, the context, subject and mood of the songs and be able to discuss these items with the examiner
  4. Be able to follow simple stage directions

Intermediate Four – Suggested ages: 15-17

  1. Announce and, in character, sing two contrasting songs of your choice from musical theatre productions and/or musical films, with appropriate movement. Each song must be chosen from a different era/genre (see Guidelines). One of the songs must be preceded by a short (maximum one-minute) piece of dialogue either from the production, or devised by the candidate(s), performed in character (maximum time: 8 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance, to music from a musical theatre production or musical theatre film of your choice
  3. Bring to the examination brief notes on the show(s) from which the songs were taken, the type/category of the songs performed, the character(s) being portrayed, the context, subject and mood of the songs and be able to discuss these items with the examiner
  4. Be able to discuss how to create and sustain a character when performing

Senior One – Suggested ages: 16-18

  1. Announce and, in character, sing two contrasting songs of your choice from musical theatre productions and/or musical films, with appropriate movement. Each song must be chosen from a different era/genre (see Guidelines). Each song must be preceded by a short (maximum one-minute) piece of dialogue either from the production, or devised by the candidate(s), performed in character (maximum time: 8 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance, to music from a musical theatre production or musical theatre film of your choice
  3. Bring to the examination brief notes on the show(s) from which the songs were taken, the type/category of the songs performed, the character(s) being portrayed, the context, subject and mood of the songs and be able to discuss these items with the examiner
  4. Be able to demonstrate and explain the importance of intercostal diaphragmatic breathing

Senior Two (Final) – Suggested ages: 16-19

  1. Announce, introduce and perform a thematically linked musical theatre programme comprising three items from musical theatre productions and/or musical films. The programme must include singing, speaking/acting and choreographed movement/dance and contain some element of contrast (in mood, style, era or genre) (maximum time: 10 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance, to music from a musical theatre production or musical theatre film of your choice
  3. Bring to the examination comprehensive notes on the show(s) from which the songs were taken, the composer(s) and librettist(s), the character(s) being portrayed, the context, subject and mood of the songs and spoken piece(s) and be able to discuss these items and your performance with the examiner
  4. Taking one of the pieces performed in your programme, be able to discuss your ideas about staging, costume and make-up

Proficiency Examination in Musical Theatre (Solo only) – Suggested ages: 17-20

  1. Announce, introduce and perform a thematically linked musical theatre programme comprising three items from musical theatre productions and/or musical films. The programme must include singing, speaking/acting and choreographed movement/dance and contain some element of contrast (in mood, style, era or genre) (maximum time: 10 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a song from a musical theatre production or musical theatre film of your choice, the performance to incorporate simultaneous singing and dancing/choreographed movement
  3. Announce and perform a one-minute prepared improvisation based on one of the characters represented in your thematic performance
  4. Bring to the examination comprehensive notes on the show(s) from which the songs were taken, the composer(s) and librettist(s), the character(s) being portrayed, the context, subject and mood of the songs and be able to discuss these items and your performance with the examiner
  5. Be able to discuss the compilation of your programme, how you prepared the programme for performance, your vocal preparation, and the various techniques used in your performance

 


 

Musical Theatre Examinations (Guidelines)

Guidelines for Musical Theatre Examinations

(These guidelines form an integral part of the syllabus requirements and should be read in conjunction with them)

 

The Nature of the Musical Theatre Syllabus

The Irish Board Musical Theatre syllabus facilitates students to develop a range of appropriate skills which are required for musical theatre performance.

We suggest that teachers use the structure of the syllabus to encourage their students to practice and experiment with different styles, and pieces from different genres and eras, in order to enhance their learning experience and their appreciation of the historical development of Musical Theatre as an art form.

At the more senior levels, it is expected that candidates will present a balanced programme, incorporating contrasts of style, mood and genre.

 

Eras/Genres

In some of the Intermediate and Senior exams, reference is made to different eras and genres. Although these are subject to alternative categorisations, we have identified such eras and genres as follows:

Eras

    • Music Hall, Variety or Vaudeville (19th or early 20th Century)
    • British light opera and musical theatre (early 20th Century)
    • Early 20th Century American musical theatre
    • 1930s, 1940s, 1950s and 1960s American, British and European musical theatre
    • Late 20th and early 21st Century American, British and European musical theatre
    • Contemporary musical theatre (2010s)

Genres

    • Operettas
    • Book musicals
    • Musical comedies
    • Rock musicals
    • Concept musicals
    • Juke-box musicals
    • Disney and animated musicals
    • Musical TV series

 

Choice of Pieces

The Irish Board does not set particular pieces to be performed in any of its examinations. We expect that at junior levels, teachers will choose pieces that are age appropriate, that intermediate and senior level pieces will be chosen in collaboration with students and that pieces generally present an increasing challenge to students as they progress through the examination levels.

 

Dramatic Context

In Musical Theatre there is an understanding that, for the most part, songs are performed in the context of an unfolding story or theme. Students are expected to know and understand the context within which the songs are placed. In the examinations, candidates are expected to demonstrate these contexts through characterisation and an understanding of the physical and emotional situation of the character(s) being portrayed.

Simple costumes and hand props can aid characterisation and are encouraged but are not assessed for marking purposes.

 

Adaptation of Material/Libretto

Spoken pieces should be performed in character.

Extracts from plays and musicals, spoken as part of the examination requirements from Junior Three on, may be from the libretto or may be devised by the candidate(s). If taken from the libretto, the extract may be edited and/or adapted from any part of the show to suit the examination requirements. We advise against a solo performer attempting to perform what is essentially a duet or duologue where the other character must be imagined and her/his lines are not spoken.

In the context of a thematically linked programme at the senior levels, it is expected that the candidate(s) will link the pieces in an appropriate and creative manner.

In group examinations, where a spoken element is required by the syllabus, it is not expected that all members of the group will speak. However, it is expected that all group members will engage theatrically in the performance.

 

Presentation

As with a stage performance where a performance begins with the opening of the curtain or the entrance of the performers onto the stage, the examination starts the moment the candidates enter the examination room. Performers should find their places promptly and in silence. For group examinations at Kindergarten and Preliminary levels, it is understood that candidates may require some assistance with their entrance and this will be permitted. In group exams, from Preliminary Two, general presentation will form part of the assessment.

It is expected that each performance will be preceded by an announcement that indicates the title of the song, the show from which it is taken and its composer/lyricist. At Senior levels, it is expected that candidates will provide more information about the pieces being performed or the themes being explored.

For solo and duet exams from Intermediate One, candidates are expected to bring to the examination written notes, as specified in the syllabus. These should be legible and neatly presented in a folder or binder, and will be returned to the teacher following the examinations.

The keys of pieces may be changed if necessary in order to accommodate the vocal range of the performer(s) or to protect the voice(s) from strain.

In duet exams, interaction between the candidates is expected and each candidate should play a part of equal or near equal length.

 

Discussion

In solo and duet examinations, the examiner will discuss with the candidate(s) the choice, context, meaning, characterisation, interpretation and performance of the songs chosen, in accordance with the syllabus. The examiner will expect candidates to be able to enter into discussion in relation to these items in the context of their performance. As candidates progress through the levels, it is expected that candidates will be able to demonstrate greater levels of understanding not only of the pieces performed and their dramatic content and context, but also of the technical and interpretive skills used in their performance. The precise content of the discussion will be at the examiner’s discretion and she/he may not cover all elements of the syllabus requirements.

For group examinations, although opportunities for meaningful engagement between the examiner and members of the group may be limited by the size of the group, it is still expected that group members will have an understanding of the piece(s) they are performing and will be able to articulate this if required.

 

Accompaniment

Candidates may use live or recorded accompaniment for their exam. When live accompaniment is used, the accompanist (who must not be the candidate’s parent, guardian or teacher) must leave the exam room following the performance of the prepared pieces. An assistant (who must not be the candidate’s parent, guardian or teacher) may operate equipment for recorded accompaniment but must leave the exam room immediately after the prepared pieces have been performed. The use of backing tracks with vocals is not permitted.

The use of microphones is not allowed.

 

Assessment

In solo and duet exams, the distribution of the potential marks awarded is as follows:

Requirement 1 Requirement 2 Discussion
Preliminary 1 100
Preliminary 2 90 10
Junior 1 80 20
Junior 2 80 20
Junior 3 80 20
Junior 4 50 30 20
Intermediate 1 50 30 20
Intermediate 2 50 30 20
Intermediate 3 50 30 20
Intermediate 4 50 30 20
Senior 1 50 30 20
Senior 2 50 30 20

 

In the Proficiency examination the potential marks to be awarded are as follows: 50% for requirement 1, 15% for requirement 2, 15% for requirement 3 and 20% for discussion.

 

In group exams, the distribution of the potential marks awarded is as follows:

Announcement
&
Presentation
Requirement 1 Requirement 2 Requirement 3
Kindergarten 100
Preliminary 1 100
Preliminary 2 10 90
Junior 1 10 90
Junior 2 10 90
Junior 3 10 90
Junior 4 10 60 30
Intermediate 1 10 60 30
Intermediate 2 10 60 30
Intermediate 3 10 60 30
Intermediate 4 10 60 30
Senior 1 10 60 30
Senior 2 10 60 15 15

 

Marking and Awards

70% will be required to pass any examination; 75% – 79% will be awarded a Merit; 80% -84% will be awarded Honours; 85% – 89% will be awarded First Class Honours; 90% -100% will be awarded a Distinction.

A certificate will be awarded to each candidate achieving 70% or over. Each candidate in the Musical Theatre solo and duet examinations achieving a mark of 80% or above will receive a certificate and an Irish Board Performance Medal.

In the Musical Theatre Proficiency examination, a medal will be awarded to each candidate achieving a mark of 85% or above.

The pass mark for the Diploma of Associate in Musical Theatre Performance examination is 75%.

 

Reading Examinations 2017-21

2017-21 Syllabus

Being able to read aloud in such a way as to convey effectively the content of a selection and to sustain an audience’s interest is a valuable skill.

The purpose of these examinations is to provide candidates with the opportunity to become clear, fluent and confident readers who can convey story, character and mood to an audience. Using appropriate posture, holding the book in such a way as to allow the audience to see the candidate’s face, and using eye contact will be important during the examination.

From Grade One, it is expected that candidates will be familiar with the book/ story from which the extract is taken.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’  for some detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Preliminary Grade One – Suggested ages: – 7 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 100 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Preliminary Grade Two – Suggested ages: 7 – 8 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 200 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Grade One – Suggested ages: 9 – 10 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 300 words taken from a book of your choice
  2. Discuss with the examiner the book from which the selection is taken
  3. Answer questions on the meaning of some of the words in the prepared selection

Grade Two – Suggested ages: 11 – 12 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately 350 words from a book of your choice
  2. Discuss with the examiner the book from which the selection is taken
  3. Answer questions on the technique of reading

Grade Three – Suggested ages: 12 – 13 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared selection of approximately pages from a chapter of a book by an Irish author
  2. Discuss the book with the examiner
  3. Read at sight a selection provided by the examiner

Grade Four – Suggested ages: 13 – 14 years

  1. Prepare in advance a chapter from a book written before 1920 and bring the book to the examination
  2. The examiner will select a passage from the chapter to be read aloud by you
  3. Discuss the content of the chapter with the examiner

Grade Five – Suggested ages: 14 – 15 years

  1. Read aloud three pages from a book of your choice
  2. Read aloud a poem of your choice
  3. Discuss, with the examiner, the technique of speaking verse and prose

Grade Six – Suggested ages: 15 – 16 years

  1. Read aloud a prepared extract (of your choice) from any version of the Bible
  2. Read at sight an extract from a book selected by the examiner
  3. Read a prepared extract of your choice from a national newspaper
  4. Discuss your programme with the examiner

Final Grade – Suggested ages: 16 – 17 years

  1. Prepare in advance, and bring to the examination a book of your choice
  2. The examiner will select a passage from the book to be read by you
  3. Prepare and present to the examiner a short oral review of the book
  4. Discuss both book and author with the examiner
  5. Read a prepared extract of your choice from any Shakespearean play

Irish Board of Speech and Drama Fellowship 2017-21

Eligibility:

To be eligible for consideration for a Fellowship award, a candidate must:

  • hold the Irish Board of Speech and Drama Licentiate Diploma
  • have a minimum of ten years Speech and Drama teaching experience
  • have a current examination centre with the Irish Board of Speech and Drama
  • submit a resume of their work in speech and drama during the past five years.

Entry Procedure:

Candidates wishing to enter for the Fellowship examination should submit evidence of their eligibility, together with the examination fee by 1 May or 1 November. Candidates meeting the eligibility requirements will receive written confirmation that they have been accepted for examination within twenty-one days.

Requirements:

Section One: Practical Performance

Prepare and deliver from memory:

  1. A six minute recital on a single theme or author, to incorporate verse, prose and drama, with a linking script written by the candidate (50%)
  2. a three minute abstract mime (15%)
  3. a short piece of movement to music choreographed and performed by the candidate (15%)
  4. a performance, not to exceed three minutes, of one of the following:
    a.        scene from a contemporary comedy
    b.        a scene from a period play written before 1800
    c.        a scene from any play by William Shakespeare (20%)

Section Two: Viva Voce

To discuss with representatives of the Irish Board of Speech and Drama your contribution to Speech and Drama over the past five years, and to discuss any aspects of Speech and Drama chosen at the discretion of the representatives. Marks will be awarded for the demeanour, fluency, enthusiasm, originality and personality of the candidate. The duration of the discussion will not exceed 20 minutes.

Section Three: Thesis

To write and submit a thesis (minimum 10,000 words) on any original aspect of Speech, Drama or the Allied Arts. The thesis must be the candidate’s own work, and will be retained by the Irish Board of Speech and Drama.

A minimum of 75% in each section is the mark required in order to qualify for the award of a Fellowship of the Irish Board of Speech and Drama. The award will be made at the sole discretion of the Central Council of the Board.

Diploma of Licentiate (Teaching Diploma) 2017-21

Diploma of Licentiate (Teaching Diploma) Entry Form →

The Irish Board of Speech and Drama Diploma of Licentiate is a speech and drama teaching qualification.

The Licentiate syllabus encourages candidates to develop dramatic skills which will form the basis for their teaching of practical speech, drama and communication skills to their future students. The syllabus also encourages candidates to acquire a comprehensive practical knowledge and understanding of the field of speech and drama, which will provide a firm foundation for their teaching career.

The Lesson Demonstration, in which a candidate will teach a group of children, provides an opportunity to assess a candidate’s ability to create a rapport with a group of children and enthuse them in the subject.

The Dissertation provides an opportunity to research and explore a particular aspect of speech and drama of interest to the candidate.

Entry Forms are available from the Irish Board’s office or may be downloaded. Examination fees are available here.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for entry, a candidate must:

  • be at least 20 years of age
  • have obtained at least a ‘H4’ in English in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination, or equivalent
  • hold the Associate Diploma (Teaching) of the Irish Board of Speech and Drama (AIBSD (Teaching))
  • submit with the entry form a letter from a recognised Speech and Drama teacher confirming that the candidate has been studying Speech and Drama for at least three years.

Documentary evidence of eligibility MUST be submitted with a candidate’s entry form.

Requirements:

Section One: Practical Performance

  1. Introduce and perform from memory a seven minute recital incorporating prose, verse, drama and a linking script. The recital may be on a theme, or it may contain the works of one author (50%)
  2. Perform a short piece of movement to music, choreographed by the candidate, OR Perform a two minute abstract mime (35%)
  3. A discussion with the examiner(s) on your experience in speech and drama, and how you aim to use your licentiate qualification (15%)

Section Two: Lesson Demonstration

Teach a group of children for 20 minutes on any practical aspect of speech and drama. The lesson should be a planned and structured learning experience for the children and should be interactive and participative. Candidates should display sincerity, creativity, focus, enthusiasm and classroom management skills.

Section Three: Written Examinations

Paper One (2.5 Hours)
A written examination based in the following topics:

  • Teaching and Learning, including an understanding of current theories of teaching and learning and their application in the teaching of speech, drama and communication.
  • Participation and Engagement, including effective methods for engaging students, encouraging participation, maintaining discipline and commitment, and maximizing learning in speech and drama classes.
  • Lesson PLanning, including devising and compiling a programme of work for a term/year on any particular aspect of speech, drama and communication to a defined group of students. Formulation of aims, objectives and lesson plans. Forms of classroom-based assessment of progress and achievement.
  • Resources, including sourcing, selecting, collating, grading and preparation of teaching resources and materials. Sourcing and storage of costumes, props, equipment, sets and so on, required for class work and for performance.
  • Establishing a School/Academy, including market research, location, venue/premises/facilities required, marketing and advertising, fees and fee collection, financial management, insurance, staffing, health and safety, child protection measures, equipment, relationship with parents and the community.
  • Festivals, féiseanna and examinations, including their purpose, value, advantages and disadvantages, the organisation and administration of a private or local Féis, preparing students for competitions in general, preparing students for particular competitions and/or examinations in verse speaking, prose, drama (solo, duologue, group), reading, choral verse speaking, mime, movement to music, improvisation and public speaking.
  • Adjudicating and examining, including the differences between adjudicating and examining, skills and qualities required in an adjudicator/ examiner, preparation for an adjudication/ examination assignment, criteria for assessment and marking, marking schemes, the purpose and value of verbal adjudications.
  • School Concert, including the purpose and value of the School Concert, the advantages and disadvantages of the School Concert from the points of view of the school, teachers, parents and students, devising and compiling a concert programme, organising a school concert (venue, stages and staging, sets and scenery, costumes, lighting, stage management, make-up, prompting, props, music)

Paper Two (2.5 Hours)
A written examination based in the following topics:

  • History of Western Theatre, including an outline knowledge of the characteristics, themes and influences on modern theatre of Greek theatre, Roman theatre, Medieval European theatre, theatre of the Italian Renaissance, Elizabethan theatre, Restoration theatre, 18th and 19th Century theatre, 20th Century theatre and Contemporary theatre. The history of theatre in Ireland. Outline knowledge of key theatrical genres.
  • Acting Theory and Methods, including knowledge and understanding in particular of the work and influence of Aristotle, Brecht, Boal, Stanislavski, Artaud, Strasberg, Meisner and Brooke.
  • Acting Styles, including the differences in acting style required for stage, film and television.
  • Costumes, including an outline knowledge of costumes through the ages, ideas about costumes for children and the school play/concert, sourcing, designing and making simple costumes for children.
  • Play production with adults and children, including the processes of producing and directing plays from initial reading to performance. Casting, staging, set design, sets and scenery, props, costumes and make-up, direction, and backstage organisation.
  • Stage lighting and sound, including lighting equipment (floods, spots, follow spots, beamlights and gobos), lighting control systems, lighting design, the use of colour, devising a lighting plot/ marking a script, lighting effects, creating atmosphere with lighting. lighting a performance with limited or no professional lighting equipment. The design, selection and use of music and sound effects in theatrical productions; knowledge of basic sound equipment; the pros and cons of using microphones in young people’s productions.
  • Stage Management, including the role, responsibilities and functions of the stage manager throughout the production process.
  • Poetry, knowledge and understanding of poetic forms and genres, rhythm, metre, metrical patterns, rhyme, alliteration, assonance and consonance.

Please note that candidates will be permitted to sit only one examination paper per session

Section Four: Dissertation

Write and submit a dissertation of not less than 4000 words on any aspect of Speech and Drama, bringing in your own experiences as a teacher. The thesis must be the candidate’s own work. The dissertation should contain an introduction outlining the aim of the dissertation and should be laid out in logical fashion. Any quotations must be referenced with the name of the author, the date and, if appropriate, the publication from which it is taken. A bibliography of sources (including internet-based sources) must be included.

Dissertations should be typed/word processed, printed clearly in black ink on one side of white A4 paper, should be covered, titled and soft-bound. Submitted dissertations will be retained by the Irish Board of Speech and Drama.

75% in each section of the Diploma examination is the mark required to pass.

Candidates may attempt each section a maximum of three times.

Candidates must complete all sections of the Diploma of Licentiate within three years of undertaking their first section.

Diploma of Associate (Teaching): AIBSD (Teaching) 2017-21

Diploma of Associate (Teaching) Entry Form →

Many speech and drama students feel that they would like to teach the subject. With drama now included in the primary school curriculum, being provided for in an increasing number of post-primary schools, and with demands from parents for private tuition, opportunities for employment in the field are increasing.

Entry for the Diploma of Associate (Teaching) examination signifies the aspiration of a candidate to become a speech and drama teacher. While the Diploma of Associate (Teaching) is not itself a teaching qualification, it is expected that each candidate intends to gain a teaching qualification in the future, and will have gained some experience in the teaching of speech and drama under the supervision of a qualified teacher.

The Associate Diploma (Teaching) syllabus not only encourages candidates to demonstrate their skills in performance, but also encourages them to develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of key historical and theoretical aspects of speech and drama, providing a foundation for further study.

A high standard of technical ability will be required to pass the practical section of the examination.

Entry Forms are available from the Irish Board’s office or may be downloaded. Examination fees are available here.

Eligibility:

To be eligible for entry, a candidate must:

  • be at least 19 years of age
  • have obtained at least a ‘H4’ in English in the Irish Leaving Certificate Examination, or equivalent
  • have studied Speech and Drama for at least three years.

Documentary evidence of eligibility MUST be submitted with a candidate’s entry form.

Requirements:

Section One: Practical

  1. Perform from memory a short own choice poem (25%)
  2. Introduce and perform a solo dramatic selection from any play of literary merit, not to exceed three minutes (25%)
  3. Speak from memory a prose selection not to exceed two minutes (25%)
  4. Read at sight a selection chosen by the examiner (10%)
  5. Hold a discussion with the examiner(s) about your speech and drama experience to date, and your future plans (15%)

Section Two: Paper (2.5 Hours)

A written examination based in the following topics:

  • Theory of Speech and Drama, including definitions, meaning and understanding of the importance of modulation (pitch, pause, pace, inflection, tone), diction, volume, phrasing, projection, resonance, vowels, and consonants. Candidates should be familiar with the use of exercises and techniques to enhance voice and speech. Speech faults and how to recognise them. Basic anatomy for voice production. Breathing. Movement (including fundamentals of period movement), gesture, stage directions, stagecraft.
  • Performance, including how to prepare verse, prose and drama for performance. Character study and creation. Speaking Shakespeare.
  • Storytelling, including the purpose and value of storytelling in drama class, different types of stories, methods of storytelling, encouraging and facilitating engagement and participation by pupils in stories, dramatising stories, including the use of tableaux vivantes.
  • Choral Verse Speaking, including the difference between choral speaking and action poems, the purpose and value of choral speaking, benefits to students, choral speaking techniques and exercises, choice of material, effective choral poems, preparation, grouping, conducting, preparing a choir for competition and examination.
  • Mime, including definition, the history and evolution of mime, outline of the work and influence of key Mimes such as Deburau, Decroux, Barrault and Marceau, mime conventions, techniques and exercises, types of mime (occupational, recreational, story, character, abstract, traditional and pantomime blanche), how mime may be introduced to students of different ages and experience.
  • Movement to Music, including definition, choreographing movement to music, introducing it and choreographing it with students. Choice of suitable music.
  • Improvisation, including definition, the history and development of improvisation from the Commedia Dell’Arte to the present day, the use and value of improvisation in working with text and character, how improvisation may be introduced in drama class and how the improvisational skills of students may be developed, themes and methods used in solo, duologue and group improvisations in class, féiseanna and examination work.
  • Public Speaking and Presentation, including the skills and techniques required for effective public speaking, content and structure, oratorical techniques, appropriate styles of delivery for different purposes and sizes of groups and venues, how to introduce public speaking to students, exercises for fluency and confidence.
  • Puppets, including a general knowledge of different types of puppet, how they are made, how they are manipulated, making simple puppets, their use in drama classes, devising and producing simple scenes and puppet plays.
  • Poetry, including an outline knowledge of the main periods of English poetry (Chaucer, 16th and 17th Century, Shakespeare, metaphysical poets, nature poets, Victorian poets, pre-Raphaelites, 20th Century and Modern poetry). Outline knowledge of the history of poetry in Ireland. Candidates are advised to study at least one period of poetry in depth and have an in-depth knowledge of the life and work of at least one poet.

Candidates will be expected to include examples from their own experience in their answers where relevant.

75% in each section of the Diploma examination will be required to pass.

Candidates may attempt each section a maximum of three times.

Candidates must complete all sections of the Diploma of Associate (Teaching) within three years of undertaking their first section.

Diploma of Associate in Musical Theatre Performance: AIBSD (Musical Theatre) 2017-21

Diploma of Associate in Musical Theatre Entry Form →

The Irish Board’s Diploma of Associate (Musical Theatre Performance) syllabus provides those who wish to progress further in Musical Theatre with the opportunity to explore the genre and develop their skills.

Candidates will be expected to demonstrate a significant level of technical and interpretive skills in the key musical theatre elements of singing, acting and choreographed movement/dance.

Entry Forms are available from the Irish Board’s office or may be downloaded. Examination fees are available here.

 

Eligibility

The candidate must be at least 18 years of age on the date of the examination.

Requirements

  1. Introduce and perform from memory a thematically linked programme consisting of 5 performances including
    • three songs from published Musical Theatre works, at least one of which must have been written prior to 1960
    • two spoken items from published Musical Theatre works, or published plays

The programme must include singing, speaking/acting and choreographed movement/dance and contain a significant element of contrast (in mood, style, era and/or genre). The duration of the programme, including introduction, linking script, setting up and clearing away must not exceed 20 minutes.    (70%)

 

  1. Submit a Portfolio (of not more than 1500 words) containing a comprehensive study of a character of your choice from a published Musical Theatre work from any period.

The portfolio should contain:

    • information about the composer/author/librettist, period in which the work is set, genre, historical/social context
    • a summary of the plot
    • a description of the character and the character’s relationships with others in the work
    • ideas about staging, costume and make-up
    • comprehensive notes on how you would convey the character convincingly through voice, movement and

The Portfolio must be submitted with the entry form for the examination and will form the basis of a discussion with the examiners.  (20%)

 

  1. Discuss with the examiner(s) your musical theatre experience and future plans.  (10%)

 

75% is the mark required to pass the Diploma of Associate in Musical Theatre Performance

Diploma of Associate in Acting Performance: AIBSD (Acting) 2017-21

Diploma of Associate in Acting Performance Entry Form →

The Irish Board of Speech and Drama Diploma of Associate in Acting Performance provides an opportunity for candidates who have significant and varied drama experience to be assessed in a wide variety of drama forms.

The syllabus facilitates a candidate to develop his/ her skills, technique and talent in period and modern drama, verse speaking, prose speaking, mime/ movement to music, and sight reading.

Candidates will be expected to display a very high standard of technical and interpretive skills in order to pass the examination.

Entry Forms are available from the Irish Board’s office or may be downloaded. Examination fees are available here.

Eligibility:

The candidate must be at least 18 years of age on the date of the examination.

Requirements:

  1. Perform from memory a five minute recital, compiled by the candidate, comprising prose, verse, drama and a linking script (25%)
  2. Perform an own choice dramatic selection not to exceed 3 minutes duration from a recognised play written before 1900 (15%)
  3. Perform either a character sketch or a dramatic selection from a recognised play written since 1900 (3 minutes) (15%)
  4. Perform a mime OR short piece of movement to music choreographed by the candidate (15%)
  5. Perform an impromptu improvisation. The subject will be given by the examiner at the examination (2 minutes) (10%)
  6. Read at sight a short passage of Shakespeare (10%)
  7. Discuss with the examiner(s) your drama experience and future plans (10%)

75% is the mark required to pass the Diploma of Associate in Acting Performance examination.

Public Speaking and Presentation Examinations 2017-21

Syllabus 2017-21

Public speaking and presentation relates to the communication of information or ideas to a group or audience in such a way as to maintain their interest. Speaking to a group, in the context of a job interview, a presentation on a topic or issue, a sales pitch, or a formal speech or debate is increasingly common. Through our syllabus, we wish to encourage candidates to feel comfortable and confident in these situations. The purpose of these examinations is to encourage clear, fluent and expressive speaking on a variety of topics and in a variety of imagined settings.

The standard of presentation and communication skills expected from students taking examinations in Public Speaking and Presentation Skills is considerably higher than that expected in Communication Skills examinations.

Presentations should be well-structured and should be delivered with a full range of communication and vocal skills.

We do NOT expect candidates to read or to have memorised their presentations. If notes or aides mémoire are used, they should be used in such a way as to not cause distraction from the speaker.

Please refer to the section ‘How Irish Board Examiners Assess Candidates’  for detailed guidelines on the criteria used by the Irish Board during the examinations.

To book online click here. Examination fees are available herePlease note that the minimum fee requirement for an examination centre is €400. 


Grade One – Suggested ages: 10 – 12

  1. Give a prepared talk about yourself (one minute)
  2. Tell a tale from folklore in your own words (two minutes)

Grade Two – Suggested ages: 11 – 13

  1. Give a prepared talk about a hobby or sport (one minute)
  2. Bring a book into the examination and describe the story to the examiner OR describe the story of a film you have seen to the examiner (two minutes)

Grade Three – Suggested ages: 12 – 14

  1. Give a prepared talk about an event, visit or holiday (one minute)
  2. Bring a small object or collection into the examination and talk about it to the examiner (two minutes)

Grade Four – Suggested ages: 13 – 15

  1. Give a prepared talk on any aspect of Ireland (two minutes)
  2. Tell an Irish legend in your own words (three minutes)

Grade Five – Suggested ages: 14 – 16

  1. Give a prepared talk on any topic of your choice (two minutes)
  2. Give a prepared eye-witness account of a famous historical event, as if you witnessed it (three minutes)
  3. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation) followed by a short discussion with the examiner on the topic and/or on speaking in public

Grade Six – Suggested ages: 15 – 17

  1. Give a presentation on yourself and your key achievements to date (two minutes)
  2. Present your view on a topic of current public interest (three minutes)
  3. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation) followed by a short discussion with the examiner on the topic and/or on speaking in public

For further Transition Year Examination Options, see Communications Skills syllabus,

Grade Seven – Suggested ages: 16 – 18

  1. Give a presentation, as if to a prospective employer, outlining your most positive achievements, characteristics and attributes (two minutes)
  2. Present your view on a moral/ ethical issue (three minutes)
  3. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation) followed by a short discussion with the examiner on the topic and/or on speaking in public
  4. Theory: Be able to discuss with the examiner the use of emphasis, gesture and visual aids in public speaking

Public Speaking Proficiency Examination – Suggested ages: 17 – 20

  1. Imagine yourself at a job interview for a position of your choice. Give a three-minute presentation to the three-person interview panel on why you want the position and on the experience and personal qualities/attributes you have that make you the ideal candidate for the job Give a presentation, as if to a prospective employer, outlining your most positive achievements, characteristics and attributes
  2. Give a prepared talk on any aspect of Ireland, as if to a group of 20 (three minutes)
  3. Introduce an eminent keynote speaker to a large audience at an international conference (one minute)
  4. Make a presentation on a topic of your choice, using appropriate visual aids (seven minutes, including setting up and striking the visual aids)
  5. Give a one minute unprepared talk on one of a selection of topics provided by the examiner in the examination room (one minute will be provided for preparation)
  6. Theory:

a  Identify and discuss with the examiner the different techniques used during the presentations

b  Understand and be able to discuss your use of vocal modulation (pitch, rate and pace, tone and tone colour, inflections, emphasis, power and intensity, and pause)

A high standard of presentation is required for this examination. Candidates will be assessed on their communication skills, vocal technique and use of visual aids.

70% is required to pass the examination. Candidates receiving 70% or more will receive an Irish Board of Speech and Drama Proficiency certificate. Candidates who obtain 85% or more will also receive an Irish Board of Speech and Drama medal.

Musical Theatre Exams (Groups) 2017-21

Musical Theatre Examinations (Groups) 2017-21

The Guidelines for Musical Theatre Examinations form an integral part of this syllabus and should be read in conjunction with it

 

Entry Forms are available from the Irish Board’s office or may be downloaded. Examination fees are available here.


 

Kindergarten – Suggested ages: 3-5

Announce and sing an Action Song or Nursery Rhyme with suitable movement and/or dance (maximum time: 4 minutes)

Preliminary One – Suggested ages: 6-7

Announce and sing an Action Song or Nursery Rhyme with suitable movement and/or dance (maximum time: 5 minutes)

Preliminary Two – Suggested ages: 6-8

Announce and sing an Action Song or Nursery Rhyme with suitable movement and/or dance (maximum time: 5 minutes)


 

Junior One – Suggested ages: 7-9

Announce and perform a song or selection from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with choreographed movement/dance (maximum time: 7 minutes)

Junior Two – Suggested ages: 8-10

Announce and perform a song or selection from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with choreographed movement/dance (maximum time: 7 minutes)

Junior Three – Suggested ages: 9-11

Announce and perform a song or selection from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with choreographed movement/dance, the song/selection to be preceded by a short (maximum one minute) piece of dialogue either from the production, or devised by the group, to be performed with appropriate characterisation and movement (maximum time: 8 minutes)

Junior Four – Suggested ages: 10-13

  1. Announce and perform a song or selection from a musical theatre production, musical film, musical animated film or a musical TV series, with choreographed movement/dance, the song/selection to be preceded by a short (maximum one-minute) piece of dialogue either from the production, or devised by the group, to be performed with appropriate characterisation and movement (maximum time: 8 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance (maximum time: 2 minutes)

 

Intermediate One – Suggested ages: 12-14

  1. Announce and perform two contrasting songs from musical theatre productions, musical films, musical animated films or musical TV series (contrast may be in style, era, mood, tempo or genre) with appropriate choreographed movement/dance (maximum time: 8 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance (maximum time: 2 minutes)

Intermediate Two – Suggested ages: 13-15

  1. Announce and sing two contrasting songs from musical theatre productions and/or musical films, one written prior to 1960 and the other written in or after 1960, with appropriate choreographed movement/dance (maximum time: 8 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance (maximum time: 2 minutes)

Intermediate Three – Suggested ages: 14-16

  1. Announce and perform two contrasting songs from musical theatre productions and/or musical films, with appropriate movement/dance. Each song must be chosen from a different era/genre (see Guidelines) (maximum time: 8 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance (maximum time: 2 minutes)

Intermediate Four – Suggested ages: 15-17

  1. Announce and perform two contrasting songs from musical theatre productions and/or musical films, with appropriate movement/dance. Each song must be chosen from a different era/genre (see Guidelines). One of the songs must be preceded by a short (maximum two-minute) piece of dialogue either from the production, or devised by the group, to be performed with appropriate characterisation and movement (maximum time: 10 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance, to music from a musical theatre production or musical theatre film of your choice

Senior One – Suggested ages: 16-18

  1. Announce, introduce and perform a thematically linked musical theatre programme comprising three items from musical theatre productions and/or musical films. The programme must include singing, speaking/acting and choreographed movement/dance and contain some element of contrast (in mood, style, era or genre) (maximum time: 10 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance, to music from a musical theatre production or musical theatre film of your choice

Senior Two (Final) – Suggested ages: 16-19

  1. Announce, introduce and perform a thematically linked musical theatre programme comprising three items from musical theatre productions and/or musical films. The programme must include singing, speaking/acting and choreographed movement/dance and contain some element of contrast (in mood, style, era or genre) (maximum time: 10 minutes)
  2. Announce and perform a short choreographed dance, to music from a musical theatre production or musical theatre film of your choice
  3. Announce and perform a two-minute prepared group improvisation based on the theme of your musical theatre programme