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2010/1 Module Catalogue
 Module Code: MUTM001 Module Title: MUSICAL SKILLS
Module Provider: Guildford School of Acting Short Name: MUTM001
Level: M Module Co-ordinator: WADDINGTON MJ Mr (GSA)
Number of credits: 30 Number of ECTS credits: 15
Module Availability

Autumn and Spring Terms

Assessment Pattern

Unit(s) of Assessment

Weighting Towards Module Mark (%)  


 Dance: continuous classroom assessment and feedback



Singing:  individual tutorial feedback








Dance: Technical Examinations in Jazz, Ballet and Tap

Singing: Technical Singing Examination





Qualifying Condition(s) 

A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module



Module Overview

The Musical Skills module is a core component of the MA Musical Theatre and seeks to   develop and refine technique in the separate practices of Singing and Dance.

The Singing and Music element consists of the initial building blocks necessary to sustain an eventual career and will equip the student with the necessary tools in order to perform a song convincingly, safely and with emerging confidence.  The module will include classes in vocal anatomy, weekly individual singing tutorials and weekly group singing classes.  Progress and subsequent assessment strategies will examine technical control, use of voice qualities and communication and performance in a number of genres and styles.

The Dance element includes core classes in Tap, Jazz and Ballet as well as other styles such as Social Dance, Contemporary or Musical Theatre styles.

It aims to improve posture and placing and to develop the requisite strength and flexibility necessary to sustain a career in musical theatre. Jazz classes will concentrate on development of technique, presentation, style and vocabulary. 

Both elements of this module aim to develop and extend existing knowledge and ability and to develop a secure and consistent fundamental technique. It will focus not only on the physical requirements of the individual disciplines, but also on the understanding and application of terminology and the ability to incorporate a sense of performance.  







Students will be expected to attend warm-up sessions and to bring hand-held recording devices and prepared and organised sheet music into classes. Detailed and extensive preparation will be necessary for tutorials.  Students will be required to dress appropriately for physical classes.
Module Aims

 Singing and Music:

• to be able to recognise the basics of musical notation, including note values and rests, keys and their key signatures and Italian terms and to gain confidence in sight-reading music
• to gain a comprehensive knowledge of different vocal and musical styles which exist within the history of Musical Theatre writing
• demonstrate a competent understanding of the anatomical mechanisms of the singing voice, including breath control, support & resonance.
• apply all of the above to an ever-growing knowledge of repertoire based on a gradual progression through the History of Musical Theatre, from the Classics (20’s & 30’s) to the present day.


• To enable an advanced understanding of essential dance styles and techniques
• To further the development of stylistic consistency and ease of performance appropriate to Musical Theatre practice, within the context of present and emerging industry requirements.
• To establish the theatrical concepts of dance within the Musical Theatre traditions and to ensure its practice as an extension of dramatic expression
• To enable the students to take responsibility for the preparation of their own bodies.
• To build upon existing knowledge and to extend and develop individual progress

Learning Outcomes

Singing and Music: Ability to:

• siren, evenly and clearly, over a minimum of two octaves.
• demonstrate confidently a supported, even sound through a minimum range of 1.5 octave suitable to the individual voice.
• produce a healthy, sustainable sound.
• understand & use  speech &  tilt  voice qualities and twang resonance.
• apply technical exercises to the building of a song, relating to muscle memory.
• show clear articulation of words and understanding of phrasing
• produce different colours (voice qualities), appropriately.
• articulate text clearly without losing tonal control.
• hold  own  musical line with others singing in harmony

Dance: Ability to:
• demonstrate a competent vocabulary of movement/dance steps and execute given choreography with a sense of performance and style;
• convey period, character, mood and energy through the medium of accurately executed dance;
• a comprehensive understanding of physical musical theatre styles
• improvise and devise dance in a physically embodied way
• understand and be able to apply safe, autonomous methods of working physically;

Module Content

Weekly classes in group singing and singing tutorials.  Weekly classes in ballet, jazz, tap and modular classes in social dance, contemporary, musical theatre styles and/or core strengthening.  Integration classes in the sung and spoken voice enabling an advanced understanding of musical theatre techniques.  Practical classes and workshops that apply all of the above to an ever-growing knowledge of repertoire based on a gradual progression through the History of Musical Theatre, from the Classics (20’s & 30’s) to the present day.

Methods of Teaching/Learning

Individual Tutorials 
Group classes and workshops 
Individual exercises within group seminars

Selected Texts/Journals

Required Reading:
Bunch, Meribeth, Dynamics of the Singing Voice, (New York: Springer, 2001)
Chapman, Janice L. Singing and Teaching Singing - A Holistic Approach to Classical Voice.(Plural Publishing, 2005)
Husler Frederick & Yvonne Rodd-Marling:  Singing:The Physical Nature of the Vocal Organ. (London: Hutchinson, 1976)
Kayes, Gillyanne, Singing and the Actor, (Theatre Arts: Routledge,2004)
Lecoq, Jaques, The Moving Body, trans David Bradby (New York:  Routledge, 2001)

Recommended Reading:
Bachner, Louis, Dynamic Singing: A new approach to free voice production. (London: Dobson, 1947)
Bawtree, Michael, The New Singing Theatre: A Charter for the Music Theatre  Movement (Bristol, 1990)
Brown, Drew L. Discover Your Voice: How to Develop Healthy Voice Habits.(Singular Press, 1996)
Cook, Orlanda. Singing with Your Own Voice. (London: Nick Hern Books Ltd, 2004)
Copeland, R, and Cohen What Is Dance? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983)
Fernandes, C;   Pina Bausch and the Wippertal Tanz Theatre.  The Aesthetics of Repetition and Transformation (New York: Peter Lang, 2001)
Fraleigh, S, Dance and the Lived Body, (Pittsberg 1987)
Garfield Davies, D.,. Care of the Professional Voice. (Routledge,2004)
Gibson, JJ, The Senses considered as a Perceptual System (Boston:Houghton Mifflin 1996)
Grant, Mark N. The Rise and Fall of the Broadway Musical (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004)
Hall, E, The Silent Language (New York Doubleday 1982)
Harrison, Peter T. The Human Nature of the Singing Voice. (Dunedin Academic Press, 2006)
Hodgson, John, Rudolph Laban: An Introduction to his Work and Influence (Plymouth : Northcote , 1990)
Kagen, Sergius.  On Studying Singing. (New York: Dover Publications, 1950)
King, Mary: Singing In English - Medium/Low Voice:The Boosey Voice Coach (Boosey and Hawkes, 2009
King,Mary & Legge,Anthony, The Singer's Handbook (Faber:London, 2007)
Maran, Arnold, The Voice Doctor: The Story of Singing. (London: The Book Guild, 2005)
Marshall, Lorna The Body Speaks (London: Methuen 2002)
Newlove, J, Laban for Actors and Dancers (Nick Hern Books 1993)
Preston-Dunlop, V, Look at Dances, (Verve 2000)
Redfern, B. Dance, Art and Aesthetics (London: Dance Books, 1983)
Sanchez-Colberg, A and Preston-Dunlop, A, Dance and the Perfomative (Verve 2002)
Stearns, M. Jazz Dance (New York: Da Capo Press, 1994)
Steyn, M, Broadway Babies Say Goodnight, (Faber and Faber 1997)

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