Musical Theatre Singing Technical Skills Demonstration: Free Choice Pieces

If singing is chosen for the Technical Skills Demonstration component of a PAA Musical Theatre exam, the following benchmarked repertoire is suitable for use:

Male / Female vocals grade book repertoire (2014 syllabus) is interchangeable at the same grade.

Vocals grade book repertoire may be transposed to suit vocal range. For the 2021 syllabus, transposable MIDI files are provided for this purpose. For the 2014 syllabus, backing tracks in the transposed key are required and to be sourced by the teacher or candidate. Please go to the RSL online shop for Rockschool Vocals repertoire...

Alternatively, teachers / candidates may select a Free Choice Piece. This is a song which is not listed in the above. Free Choice Pieces should be selected carefully to ensure that they provide suitable opportunities for candidates to demonstrate the relevant assessment criteria. If a chosen free choice piece does not meet these requirements this may impact the level of achievement possible within the examination.

RSL have provided a Repertoire Guidance & Example Song Extracts document to support teachers when choosing PAA Singing Technical Skills repertoire at each grade. The songs listed may be used, or referred to as an indication of an appropriate level.

Download the Repertoire Guidance and Example Song Extracts

In all cases, the chosen song:

If a backing track is used, it must be provided by the candidate / school.

Backing tracks for RSL vocals syllabus pieces do not include the solo part on the track. Where a backing track for a Free Choice Piece includes the solo part, this will usually be interpreted as reducing the level of demand, which will be reflected in the marking (see below).

If a Free Choice Piece is judged by the examiner to reduce the level of demand / outcomes required for the grade, this will be treated as a ‘partial submission’ which will impact on the level of achievement possible within the examination and will be reflected in the marks and comments.

NB. The following cases will always be interpreted as reducing the level of demand:

Prior Approval

It is not a prerequisite for Free Choice Pieces used for the Singing Technical Skills Demonstration to be approved by RSL, as the examiner will make a judgement about the suitability of the piece in the exam. However, if you are unsure about the eligibility of your piece(s) you can seek approval.

Please e-mail us at info@rslawards.com with details of the proposed piece(s) and grade. A full reply will be given no later than 4 weeks after payment of the approval fee (£10) which will be facilitated via an online link that we will e-mail to you.

Please bring a copy of the approval confirmation with you to show the examiner, or for a recorded digital exam submission please upload a copy of the approval confirmation with your video.

Where prior approval is not obtained, examiners will make a judgement about the suitability of a Non-accredited Free Choice Piece or Adapted Repertoire at the time of the exam, and if in their judgement it does not meet the requirements for the grade, this will be reflected in the marking.

For any free choice pieces sung in a language other than English, a translation of the lyrics into English must be provided.

Note that this guidance refers to the Technical Skills Demonstration component of a PAA Musical Theatre exam, and not the Group Performance. Any backing track used for the singing component of the Group Performance should not include any embedded vocals (solo or choral).