Musical Theatre Grade 7

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: 23–26 minutes
Technical Skills Demonstration and Understanding & Reflection: 40 minutes
(Based on a group of 8 candidates)

Assessment at: Grade 7

  • Group Performance: Marks awarded are weighted performance (60%) and technique (40%), for skills demonstrated in acting, singing, and dancing.
  • Technical Skills Demonstration: Marks awarded are weighted technique (60%) and performance (40%), for skills demonstrated in the chosen discipline (either acting or singing or dancing).
  • Understanding and Reflection: Marks are awarded for communicating an understanding of topics related to the Group Performance.

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 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.

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. There is no maximum duration for a Show Exam but candidates will only be examined for the maximum duration per grade. 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 23 minutes and a maximum of 26 minutes in duration.

A Show Exam performance must be a minimum of 23 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.

Acting

Candidates must have a minimum of nine solo spoken lines.

Singing

Candidates must perform a minimum of eight bars of solo singing. Group singing is also required, with evidence of harmony in delivery.

Dancing

Candidates must perform a complex variety of dance steps as a group for a minimum of three minutes. Candidates must also perform a minimum of eight bars as a solo, pair or trio.

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 and allow candidates to specialise in one discipline. The Technical Skills Demonstration focuses on preparation for auditions.

Candidates are expected to perform from memory. Candidates will prepare any one of the Technical Skills below.

Acting

Candidates must perform one monologue lasting between 45 and 60 seconds or one duologue lasting between 60 and 75 seconds.

The chosen material should provide a contrast to the performance piece, differing in theme, mood, style or period. Monologues/duologues must be from a published play, or alternatively, the lyrics from a musical theatre song could be performed as a monologue/duologue. Candidates should state the play or song title, author and character’s name at the start of the monologue/duologue.

Singing

Candidates will be arranged into groups (maximum four candidates) and will be required to sing one prepared song extract lasting between 60 and 75 seconds. Candidates should state the song title, musical title and composer and/or lyricist prior to singing the extract. The song extract selected by the teacher:

  • Must be taken from standard musical theatre repertoire or Rockschool Male/Female Vocals Grade 7 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 7 repertoire visit the RSL Store here.

Dancing

Candidates will be arranged into groups (maximum four candidates) and will be required to demonstrate a prepared technical combination lasting between 60 and 75 seconds. Teachers are required to choreograph an elevation and travel dance combination which includes the following steps:

  • Front and side step leap
  • Single pirouette
  • Travelling turns
  • 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:

  • Theatre styles relevant to the piece
  • Analysis of techniques or processes used in rehearsal to achieve the style and historical period
  • Techniques and terminology relevant to musical theatre, for example breath support, diaphragm, dynamics, rhythm, modulation, objective, subtext

Assessment Criteria

Learning Outcomes (Debut – Grade 8 Candidates)

Learning OutcomesExam SectionPercentage of Final Mark
Learning Outcome 1:
The learner will perform in a group piece of musical theatre
Group Performance60%
Learning Outcome 2:
The learner will demonstrate technical skills relevant to musical theatre
Technical Skills Demonstration30%
Learning Outcome 3:
The learner will understand individual content and context in musical theatre
Understanding and Reflection10%

Grade Descriptors

Performance

Knowledge, skills and understanding.

ActingSingingDancing
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.

UnclassifiedPassMeritDistinction
0 – 910 – 1213 – 1617 – 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.

Technique

Knowledge, skills and understanding.

ActingSingingDancing
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.

UnclassifiedPassMeritDistinction
0 – 910 – 1213 – 1617 – 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.

UnclassifiedPassMeritDistinction
0 – 910 – 1213 – 1617 – 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.

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 Specification

Musical Theatre Syllabus Specifications

Musical Theatre Marking Guidance

Musical Theatre Marking Guidance

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

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

£60.00

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