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:
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.
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 16 minutes and a maximum of 18 minutes in duration.
A Show Exam performance must be a minimum of 16 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.
Candidates must have a minimum of five solo spoken lines.
Candidates must perform a minimum of four bars of solo or duo singing. Group singing is also required.
Candidates must perform a variety of dance steps as a group for a minimum of two minutes.
The performance requirements detailed above for all three disciplines can be achieved and presented all at once or split up throughout the performance. For example, the required number of bars of solo or duo singing can be achieved during one song or split between a number of songs throughout the performance.
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
The Technical Skills Demonstration gives candidates the opportunity to further demonstrate their technical ability in any one of the disciplines. These assessments encourage a deeper understanding and proficiency of the technical skills required as a musical theatre performer. As candidates progress through the grades, the technical skills assessment focuses on preparation for auditions. Candidates are expected to perform from memory.
Candidates will prepare any one of the Technical Skills below. All candidates will demonstrate the same skill.
Candidates will be arranged into pairs or threes and will be required to perform a given scenario lasting between 45 and 60 seconds. The characters and scenarios will be chosen and given by the examiner. The examiner will also provide each candidate with a character status to be considered during the technical skills demonstration. The examiner may stop the performance if the maximum time limit is exceeded.
Candidates and teachers must familiarise themselves with each scenario and make the necessary preparations.
Candidates will be arranged into groups (maximum six candidates) and will be required to sing one prepared song extract lasting between 45 and 60 seconds. The song extract selected by the teacher:
- Must be taken from standard musical theatre repertoire or Rockschool Male/Female Vocals Grade 4 repertoire
- Must be age appropriate for the suggested level of the grade taken
- May be performed in any key, with a backing track, a live accompaniment or a cappella
- Should allow candidates to showcase their skills and abilities
- Must not be the same as previously heard in the performance
- Must not contain long introductions or instrumentals Please note the full song is not required. The examiner may stop the demonstration if the maximum time limit is exceeded.
Please note: that these are examples only. Teachers have full flexibility to choose their own extract, ensuring the relevant criteria are met.
For the Rockschool Vocals Grade 4 repertoire visit the RSL Store here.
Candidates will be arranged into groups (maximum six candidates) and will be required to demonstrate a prepared technical combination lasting between 45 and 60 seconds. Teachers are required to choreograph an elevation and travel dance combination which includes the following steps:
- Front and side kicks
- Front step leap
- All demonstrated on both sides
The music for the combination is of free choice. Alternatively, candidates can perform the combination to a clapped rhythm (provided by the teacher) for the same duration as above.
Content should allow each candidate to showcase their skills and abilities clearly.
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 remain in the same groups as their Technical Skills Demonstration.
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:
- Historical context of piece
- Background to playwright/composer
- Challenges of performance
- Similarities and differences between characters in the piece
Learning Outcomes (Debut – Grade 8 Candidates)
|Learning Outcomes||Exam Section||Percentage of Final Mark|
|Learning Outcome 1:|
The learner will perform in a group piece of musical theatre
|Learning Outcome 2:|
The learner will demonstrate technical skills relevant to musical theatre
|Technical Skills Demonstration||30%|
|Learning Outcome 3:|
The learner will understand individual content and context in musical theatre
|Understanding and Reflection||10%|
Knowledge, skills and understanding.
|An understanding of the text is expected at all grades, and accurate word memory from Debut. As grades progress, requirements include interpretation, an understanding of character, emotions, subtext, period, style and a sense of spontaneity.||An understanding of the meaning and mood of the song is expected at all grades. As grades progress requirements include an awareness of character, intention, dynamic variation, communication to the audience and stylistic understanding.||An understanding of the mood of the music is expected at all grades. As grades progress requirements include characterisation, musical interpretation, communication to the audience and stylistic understanding.|
|0 – 9||10 – 12||13 – 16||17 – 20|
|The assessment criteria for performance at the relevant grade and discipline was not demonstrated to an acceptable standard for the majority of the time, or throughout. There was limited or no evidence of interpretative awareness.||The assessment criteria for performance at the relevant grade and discipline was demonstrated to an acceptable, or mostly acceptable, standard. Generally sound interpretative awareness evident. A satisfactory presentation of work.||The assessment criteria for performance at the relevant grade and discipline was demonstrated to a proficient,|
or mostly proficient, standard. Assured interpretative awareness evident most of the time. A secure presentation of work.
|The assessment criteria for performance at the relevant grade and discipline was demonstrated to a consistently high standard throughout, or almost throughout. Strong interpretative awareness evident. A sustained and convincing presentation of work.|
Knowledge, skills and understanding.
|Use of facial expression and voice, appropriate to the meaning and mood of the text is expected at all grades. As grades progress requirements include vocal modulation, projection, phrasing, physical characterisation, movement and gesture.||Audibility is expected at all grades. As grades progress requirements include timing, pitch, rhythmic awareness, articulation, phrasing, intonation, breath control and resonance.||Coordination and timing is expected at all grades. As grades progress requirements include rhythmic and spatial awareness, control, alignment, core stability, balance and dynamic variation.|
|0 – 9||10 – 12||13 – 16||17 – 20|
|The assessment criteria for technique at the relevant grade and discipline was not demonstrated to a satisfactory standard throughout, or most of the time. There was limited or no evidence of technical accuracy.||The assessment criteria for technique at the relevant grade and discipline was demonstrated to a satisfactory, or mostly satisfactory, standard. A technically acceptable presentation of work.||The assessment criteria for technique at the relevant grade and discipline was demonstrated to a proficient, or mostly proficient, standard. A technically secure presentation of work.||The assessment criteria for technique at the relevant
grade and discipline was demonstrated to a consistently high standard throughout, or almost throughout. A technically strong presentation of work.
Understanding and Reflection
Knowledge, skills and understanding.
Through answers to the questions, a general understanding of the Group Performance piece is expected at all grades. As the grades progress requirements include an understanding of characters, context, rehearsal processes, stylistic features of the performance and critique of candidate’s own performance.
|0 – 9||10 – 12||13 – 16||17 – 20|
|The assessment criteria for Understanding and Reflection at the relevant grade was not demonstrated for the majority of the time, or throughout. Limited, or no answers to questions evident.||The assessment criteria for Understanding and Reflection at the relevant grade was demonstrated to a satisfactory standard. Generally acceptable answers to questions.||The assessment criteria for Understanding and Reflection at the relevant grade was demonstrated to a proficient standard. Generally secure answers to questions.||The assessment criteria for Understanding and Reflection at the relevant grade was demonstrated to a high standard throughout. Consistently insightful answers to questions.|
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Musical Theatre Specification
Musical Theatre Marking Guidance
Musical Theatre Suggested Repertoire
Musical Theatre Supporting Audio
Musical Theatre Minimum Requirements Resource