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%.

 

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