Performance Preparation Academy is a warm and lively community of performers, industry practitioners and facilitators.
We champion a safe and supportive working environment, promoting a strong ensemble ethic shared by our staff and students.
Our students enjoy long lasting personal and professional relationships formed whilst closely exploring a wide range of learning experiences, rehearsal-based projects and public performances.
We are dedicated to individual development, and a team of passionate teachers deliver a rigorous and innovative training programme, designed to prepare graduates for the Musical Theatre industry as a triple threat performer.
Reflection on professional practice is an empowering aspect of the student experience, and in the third year there is the option of a reflective journal or a practical research project.
In addition, there is the possibility of access to the PPA Agency, which has enviable industry links and may promote graduates into the world of Musical Theatre with access to agents, casting directors and potential employers. Where possible, we encourage students to develop industry links via public performances, auditions, work-based learning opportunities, and the Showcase in London’s West End.
BA (Hons) Performance in Musical Theatre is validated by De Montfort University. To apply for this course you will need to have 96 UCAS points (New Tariff) and be over the age of 18 years old by 01/09/2018.
University Code: D26
Musical Theatre Course Code: W312
BA (Hons) Performance in Musical Theatre
Are you serious about a career in Musical Theatre? Do you have the determination to throw yourself into the demanding and intensive range of learning experiences? Impress us with your grit and integrity, and together we will develop the tools in acting, singing and dancing required for a successful and varied career. Equal emphasis is shown in all three disciplines to prepare you for entrance into the industry as a triple threat performer.
This programme will provide you with constant opportunities to learn by doing, developing your creativity in a variety of scenarios, such as presentation, devised work and rehearsal based projects. Your work will also be underpinned by a detailed level of research which will enhance your understanding of a wide range of contexts. You will develop as a “thinking performer” through opportunities to reflect on your process and environment, including dissertation and writing workshops, increasing your longevity and desirability within the profession.
In addition, the PPA Agency has enviable industry links and will promote you into the world of Musical Theatre with access to agents, casting directors and potential employers, via exciting public performances, auditions and work-based learning opportunities, and your Showcase in London’s West End. As with our 3 Year Professional Diploma in Musical Theatre course, you will have access to an outstanding team of successful industry mentors to help you to develop your networking skills whilst still in training.
SINGING IN MUSICAL THEATRE
You will be provided with the security of a detailed Singing and performance course, through which you will develop versatility through in-depth study into a wide range of genres. This will equip you with an enviable skill-set leading to the broadest possible choice of job options.
The Singing and Performance classes are designed to develop the technical and interpretive skills required for a successful career in Musical Theatre.
You will explore the practical application of theoretical concepts to singing through a variety of practitioners, models and Voice science. This will empower you to make sense of different approaches and to draw connections between the disciplines of Singing, Voice, Acting and Dance.
The programme will build your confidence and self-belief, through creating a safe creative environment.
You will have classes in Technical Singing, Acting Through Song, Ensemble Singing, Song Rep and personal one to one Tutorials in first and second year. You will work with a vocal coach on all your third year productions.
- Outstanding interpretive ability and expressive use and mix of voice qualities, including articulation, underpinned by strong, clear acting choices.
- Outstanding grasp of stagecraft responsibilities.
- Positive response to musical direction, by being in a physical and emotional state of creative readiness.
- Execute a range of solo and ensemble performer responsibilities, demonstrating discipline and commitment to the process.
- Practically demonstrate the ability to both emotionally and intellectually connect with the voice and deliver a confident, dynamic and nuanced performance.
- Demonstrate the effective analysis and application of the fundamental techniques of good vocal production, musical terminology, stagecraft and sight reading.
- Experience and critically evaluate a wide range of industry relevant scenarios and developed strategies for successful performance within them
- Exhibit the correct attitude and generosity required as a productive ensemble member, and show the ability to work independently to respond creatively to set tasks.
DANCE IN MUSICAL THEATRE
Dance in Musical Theatre
Throughout your three years of training you will develop a secure technical ability in all aspects of dance required in the Musical Theatre Industry. You will explore diverse approaches to dance covering a challenging range of styles and will develop your dance vocabulary and technical understanding to underpin a comprehensive range of performance skills.
Your training will help you to explore a dynamic and effective use of your body in order to express the physical dimensions required in creating a character.
Your confidence will build as you become more in tune with your body and personal skill set, working both individually and as part of an ensemble.
You will have classes in Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Stretch, Body Con, Contemporary, Tumbling and Commercial Jazz.
A broad and specific understanding of the use of different techniques for different genres of music theatre dance
A controlled use of anatomical alignment and placement
An ability to execute movement sequences which build strength, balance, co-ordination, flexibility and control with accurate, safe and technical fluency
An understanding of music in order to perform expressively and sensitively
An ability to take direction and recall complex combinations accurately
An ability to use and adapt techniques to maximise effect
An understanding of how to protect and maintain physical health through the use of effective warm-up and cool-down exercises
An ability to work accurately and effectively in dance ensembles
A knowledge and understanding of technical vocabularies
An ability to use your bodies without strain in the physical embodiment of different characters
ACTING AND VOICE
You will be introduced to an ethos which will underpin your training and learning experiences at PPA. This will help you to develop the mindset and range of skills of an outstanding performer, both in work and life.
You will be navigated towards self-discovery and greater confidence through a variety of exercises and perspectives from a range of global performance practice and practitioners,
Through improvisation and creative play, you will work supportively as part of an ensemble, developing the imagination as a muscle.
You will also receive seminars in monologue and casting research, in preparation for professional auditions in the mediums of stage, screen and commercials.
Students must be prepared to work professionally with tutors who will adapt the specific module content and focus each year to ensure students engage with current industry requirements.
In Voice, you will gain and understanding about how the voice works, intellectually and physically.
In Voice and Text, you will explore bringing the written word to life, through text ranging from your own word to prose and poetry.
In Speech and Accent you will acquire an understanding of your own specific speech habits and, through this understanding, explore other dialects and accents to use in your work at PPA and as a professional actor.
Learn how to tell stories, bravely and truthfully.
Develop a voice and a body, which allows you to assume a physicality that is different to your own and which is sustainable and safe to do for a long run.
Learn how to be free on stage, to be released and in the moment.
Learn how to approach text and accent, to unlock it, to find the meaning within it and to share it with an audience.
Learn how to research, to explore, and to share in a way that is exciting and fun.
THE CRITICAL PERFORMER
In your first year, you will develop your understanding of approaches to analysing performance and also learn to your own create research informed practical work. Staff will introduce you to different theatre theories and critical perspectives, enabling you to apply these in different formats (written, oral, practical) supporting you to become a strong communicator in different mediums. You will start to analyse live performance more deeply and consider how different critical lenses affect the way we both create and interpret a performance. You also investigate the work of different practitioners and practically apply their methods in the staging of your assessed work.
In your second year, you will explore performance styles which have pedagogic and/or political aims to consider how performance is ‘applied’ within different social contexts. You will also have further opportunities to build on your ability to develop core research skills and find creative ways to communicate your findings both individually and as part of a collective. These opportunities will enable you to develop into a creative practitioner that produces solid, original, and informed practical work.
Finally, at Level 6 you have the opportunity to design and deliver an advanced research project, demonstrating your skills in research, analysis and critical thinking in an appropriate professional format. You will be able to choose between two pathways on this research project: a written dissertation pathway or a performative research presentation pathway. The classes, supervision sessions, and independent study you do on this module should help you prepare to step into your chosen industry with a greater knowledge of current issues and professional practices. As you prepare to become a ‘solopreneur’, your research project should allow you to gain experience and confidence in working like an independent industry professional.
During your training you will develop key industry skills including:
- Excellent time management and organisational skills to manage your deadlines and research tasks
- The ability to communicate ideas verbally, in writing and practically
- Professional etiquette so you work collaboratively and professionally with peers
- How to research and apply specific theatre methods to the creation of a piece of original work
- How to present performance work for a specific audience or client group
- How to reflect on and evaluate a performance via different mediums
- The ability to apply different research methods
- The ability to operate with an ethical code of conduct
COMBINED SKILLS AND PUBLIC PERFORMANCE
You will explore the combined skills of acting, dancing and singing as part of a company of performers, reflecting on your learning experience as a performer in Musical Theatre.
In Song and Dance classes you will develop your performance skills through a wide range of games and exercises, emphasising the ethos of working as part of an ensemble. This supports your experience throughout your training at PPA and your professional life.
In these classes you will develop your ability to sing and dance simultaneously. You will improve your technique and stamina through exploring different styles of Musical Theatre.
Throughout your training you will participate in project performances, which will reinforce professional working practices within a rehearsal environment.
You will have the opportunity to expand your learning in an experiential environment, creating and developing both principal and ensemble characters throughout rehearsals, alongside development of key
stagecraft proficiencies. Work will concentrate on bringing together the three major skillsets of musical theatre.
In your final year, you will become a company of performers. Consolidating your training, this will develop your professional etiquette in the workplace, realising industry expectation and providing opportunities to perform to an audience.
- Song and Dance Projects
- Book Musical Project
- Swing Project
- Ensemble Project
- Public Performance, both in house studio productions and in local theatres (Recent and upcoming examples: A Chorus Line, Made in Dagenham, Zorro, Zorba, The Pajama Game, Spamalot, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Chess and Urinetown)
- West End Industry Showcase
At PPA we also offer you the unique opportunity to compliment, expand and inform this learning by supporting you with Acting and Performer Professional Practical Award classes. These may differ depending on whether you are an AfSaS or PiMT student, and classes may include: Singing, Practical Voice, Stage Combat, Body Conditioning and various physical disciplines. These are in addition to and timetabled around your core modules but are not included in your BA Hons Award*
How am I assessed for the PPAwards?
You will be constantly assessed by all your teachers throughout your training at PPA. These may take the form of a series of short term projects, all of which have distinct learning outcomes, enhance your current level of knowledge, whatever level you currently have, and will demonstrate to you and those around you, in a tangible way, your progression in the subject. Your tutor will advise you of your areas for improvement and of your attainment in an informal way throughout the year, project to project.
Musical theatre graduates and experienced practitioners are increasingly expected to read scores competently, and be capable of preparing material from new musicals in preparation for auditions. It’s expected, and financially necessary, for most performers that this work can be undertaken independently, with only the written musical note for reference. Having a working knowledge of musical terminology and the ability to sight read has never been more important for those wishing to have a serious and long term career in Musical Theatre.
You will cover Music Theory, composition, arrangement, harmony and basic keyboard skills, together with exciting opportunities for playing in college bands and orchestras for those already proficient in the study of a complimentary instrument. We also embrace projects that explore the ‘actor musician’ area of the industry. No matter what level of musicianship the student enjoys at the commencement of their musical theatre courses at PPA, from complete beginners to Grade 8 plus, it is our intention that we increase the student’s knowledge and proficiency in dealing with scores, and also provide opportunities to practically develop musical creativity and confidence through a series of inspiring and industry relevant projects throughout the course of study.