Musical Theatre Debut

PAA Musical Theatre has been specifically created to give teachers the creative freedom to build a bespoke curriculum around their own teaching styles and existing programme.

Estimated Examination Time:

Performance: 8–10 minutes
Technical Skills Demonstration and Understanding & Reflection: 20 minutes
(Based on a group of 8 candidates)

Assessment at: Debut

  • Expression
  • Communication
  • Technique

Performance

The performance consists of a group piece of musical theatre, performed from memory, in which candidates perform a range of acting, singing and dancing throughout. Performances can include candidates from Premiere to Grade 8 and must have a minimum of two candidates.

There are two Performance format options:

Group Exam

This is typically a class of candidates at a similar grade level. Candidates must perform for the specified duration per grade. If the Group Exam consists of candidates at different grades, the performance must meet the minimum duration for the highest grade in the group. A Group Exam can be extracts from musicals or original work. Examiners may ask candidates to repeat sections of the performance if clarification is needed. If there are more than eight candidates in the group the performance must be repeated.

OR

Show Exam

This is typically a large group/whole school of more than 25 candidates. Candidates must perform for the minimum duration required at the grade for which they are entered. A Show Exam can be a full production of a musical, a variety show consisting of extracts from musicals or original work. Examiners may ask candidates to repeat sections of the performance if clarification is needed.

A Group Exam performance must be a minimum of eight minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes in duration.

A Show Exam performance must be a minimum of eight minutes in duration. A Show Exam performance has no maximum duration.

Candidates are expected to perform a group piece of musical theatre from memory. The performance should allow each candidate the opportunity to engage in all three disciplines. One member of staff must be present during the examination. Prompting is no longer permitted. Staff must not lead, teach or take part in the performance.

Acting

Candidates must have a minimum of one solo spoken line. Narration is acceptable.

Singing

Candidates must perform as a group for a minimum of a verse and a chorus.

Dancing

Candidates must perform a collection of basic dance steps as a group for a minimum of a verse and chorus.

Please contact RSL for assistance with selecting a Performance format option most appropriate to your centre.

Notes for Groups Exams and Show Exams:

  • All candidates must wear their allocated candidate number on the front and back of their clothing throughout the performance
  • Candidates must perform a range of acting, singing and dancing throughout
  • A member of staff must be present for the performance component of the examination
  • Both performance forats can include students who are not exam candidates as long as the minimum number of exam candidates has been met
  • A member of staff must operate the music playback equipment
  • The school’s uniform is sufficient, however, costume and props are permitted
  • An audience is permitted

Technical Skills Demonstration

Debut candidates are introduced to the Technical Skills Demonstration element of the PAA exams through storytelling and improvisation.

Candidates will be arranged into groups (maximum eight candidates). Each group will be given a character from the following list:

  • Lion
  • Witch
  • Monkey
  • Clown

Candidates will be provided with the opportunity to develop their character through improvised movement and characterisation. Candidates will be asked to portray the assigned character to the set music provided by RSL. Candidates should aim to show creativity and characterisation throughout the music.

Download the set PAA Debut Technical Skills Music here.

A member of staff must be present to support the organisation of the students and operation of the music during the technical skills assessment.

Understanding & Reflection

The examination is concluded with an Understanding and Reflection discussion facilitated by the examiner. Candidates will be asked to share ideas on the given topic based on the performance seen in the examination. As students progress through the grades, the questions become more complex, and include a discussion about the rehearsal process and the importance of the technical skills required for each discipline.

The understanding and reflection discussion must take place after the Performance and Technical Skills Demonstration.

Candidates must be arranged into groups by the teacher in advance of the examination day.

An audience is not permitted for the Understanding and Reflection component of the examination.

Please note: a member of staff does not need to be present for the Understanding and Reflection component of the examination.

Candidates will take part in a discussion with the examiner. The examiner will ask questions based on the performance seen in the examination.

Topics will be:

  • The candidate's favourite part of the performance
  • Character relationships

Assessment Criteria

Learning OutcomeAssessment Criteria
Learning Outcome 1:
The learner will perform in a
group piece of musical theatre
Demonstrate simple acting, singing and dancing, to include:

Expression

Communication

Technique
Learning Outcome 2:
The learner will demonstrate
technical skills relevant to
musical theatre as appropriate to
the syllabus requirements
Communicate a character using simple facial expression and movement
Learning Outcome 3:
The learner will understand
individual content in musical
theatre
Give a basic description on a given topic relevant to the performance, to include:

The candidate's favourite part of the performance

Character relationships

Grade Descriptors

LEARNING OUTCOME 1 (The Performance)
The learner will perform in a group piece of musical theatre
Attainment band:
Unclassified
(Mark range: 0–27)
Pass
(Mark range: 28–30)
Merit
(Mark range: 31–48)
Distinction
(Mark range: 49–60)
Inability to demonstrate acting,
singing and dancing at a basic
level. An insecure ability to
demonstrate the following:

Expression

Communication

Technique
Evidence of acting, singing and
dancing at a basic level.
To include the following some of
the time:

Expression

Communication

Technique
Evidence of acting, singing and
dancing at a basic level.
To include the following for
the majority of the time:

Expression

Communication

Technique
Evidence of acting, singing and
dancing at a basic level.
To include the following
throughout:

Expression

Communication

Technique
LEARNING OUTCOME 2 (The Technical Skills)
The learner will demonstrate technical skills relevant to musical theatre as appropriate to the syllabus requirements
Attainment band:
Unclassified
(Mark range: 0–14)
Pass
(Mark range: 15–19)
Merit
(Mark range: 20–25)
Distinction
(Mark range: 26–30)
Insecure evidence of basic
technical skills. An inability to
demonstrate the following:

Characterisation

Dynamic values

Timing
Insecure evidence of basic
technical skills. An inability to
demonstrate the following:

Characterisation

Dynamic values

Timing
Evidence of technical skills at a
basic level. To include the following
for the majority of the time:

Characterisation

Dynamic values

Timing
Evidence of technical skills at
a basic level. To include the
following throughout:

Characterisation

Dynamic values

Timing
LEARNING OUTCOME 3 (Understanding and Reflection)
The learner will understand individual content in musical theatre as appropriate to the syllabus requirements
Attainment band:
Unclassified
(Mark range: 0–4)
Pass
(Mark range: 5–6)
Merit
(Mark range: 7–8)
Distinction
(Mark range: 9–10)
Inability to demonstrate awareness of the following at a basic level:

The candidate's favourite part of the performance

Character relationships
Demonstrate a basic awareness of the following some of the time:

The candidate's favourite part of the performance

Character relationships
Demonstrate a basic awareness of the following for the majority of the time:

The candidate's favourite part of the performance

Character relationships
Demonstrate a basic awareness of the following throughout:

The candidate's favourite part of the performance

Character relationships

Additional information

The Value of RSL Qualifications

RSL advocates an open-access approach to qualifications, providing a range of syllabi, designed to accommodate a wide variety of candidates of different ages, experience and levels of achievement. RSL qualifications are listed on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England and Northern Ireland by the Office of Qualifications and Examination Regulation (Ofqual). RSL is committed to maintaining and improving its reputation for excellence by providing high-quality education and training through its syllabi, examinations and resources.

Safeguarding including Health & Safety

RSL takes the Safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults extremely seriously and has put in place as many preventative measures as possible within its assessment structure and processes. An outline of these is provided here.

A staff member must be on hand to support the organisation of candidates and to chaperone candidates on the day of the examination.

UCAS

For students applying for work or University, many potential employers see Graded Performance Exams in a very positive way. Recognised qualifications demonstrate an ability to dedicate commitment to extra-curricular activities, providing evidence of versatility which many students find beneficial within UCAS (Universities & Colleges Admissions Service) applications and for University entrance interviews.

Our qualifications carry allocated points on the UCAS tariff. For full details relating to the allocation of points for our qualifications can be found here.

Aims and Broad Objectives

The aim of the Musical Theatre qualification is to provide a flexible, progressive mastery approach to the knowledge, skills and understanding required for Musical Theatre.

The purpose of RSL’s graded qualifications is to motivate and encourage candidates of all ages and levels through a system of progressive mastery and to develop and enhance
skills, knowledge and understanding in a safe and consistent way. The qualifications are beneficial for learners wishing to progress at their own pace through smaller steps of achievement.

These qualifications are suitable for learners in the Under 16, 16+, 16–18, and 19+ age groups.

Progression

Graded qualifications provide a flexible progression route for learners. They are a positive means of determining progress and enable learners to learn the necessary techniques to gain entry to FE and HE courses. Graded qualifications operate according to a well established methodology of ‘progressive mastery’. They tend to be more rigorous than other types of exams, and for that reason industry professionals are confident that candidates achieving the highest level of graded qualifications will have the skills necessary to work in other areas of the business.

Qualification Structure

A graded qualification consists of a range of both practical and knowledge based tasks which are based on detailed requirements outlined in the relevant syllabus. Therefore, requirements for each grade will be set out in detail in the Unit Specifications and the Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria for each unit will require knowledge, skills
and understanding of these syllabus requirements to be demonstrated at the grade entered.

Entry Requirements

There are no entry requirements for these qualifications. However, learners should be aware that the content at the higher grades will require a level of knowledge and understanding covered in previous qualifications.

Syllabus

Musical Theatre Suggested Repertoire

Musical Theatre Suggested Repertoire

Musical Theatre Supporting Audio

Musical Theatre Supporting Audio (Debut)

Musical Theatre Minimum Requirements Resource

Minimum Requirements Resource – Musical Theatre

Download the syllabus specification Musical Theatre Specification

Musical Theatre Syllabus Specifications

Dates & Fees

PAA examinations are open all year round and can be scheduled to fit with your existing programme.

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Entry deadline

All applications must be received at least 6 weeks prior to the exam date

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Exam Fee

£22.00

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