Musical theatre

FDA – Musical Theatre

Qualification | Foundation Degree (FdA)

Course Leader | TBC

Validated by | University of Chichester

Location | Woking

Course Length | 2 Years, Full-Time (with top-up to Degree in third year)

Start Date | September 2024

 

 

COURSE OVERVIEW

FdA Musical Theatre at Italia Conti is a two-year, full time vocational course for anyone aged 16+ wishing to start their training to become a professional performer in Musical Theatre. Musical Theatre training is truly triple threat and encourages all performers to find versatility and adaptability in their skillset to nourish their future careers with a world of opportunity.

Italia Conti’s FdA Musical Theatre course is designed to nurture and develop innovative and individual musical theatre performers, who embody and apply specialist skills and techniques supported by grounded knowledge of industry practices, contexts, and the emerging requirements that empower graduates for a sustainable career in musical theatre.

The course is validated by University of Chichester. Full government funding is available through Student Finance England for Home students. 16 year old students can also access student finance for this programme.

Students that undertake the FdA at 16, are able to complete three years of training and graduate with a degree at the age of 19, extremely valuable for extraordinarily talented young performers who have already undertaken considerable vocational training.

Students studying on the FdA study a programme of 600 hours per year.

Students can study 300 additional vocational training hours, that are not assessed and do not contribute to the study of the core FdA programme.

The additional hours are not compulsory, but we do advise that students who undertake more intensive training will see additional development in their practical skills.

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COURSE SUMMARY

Studying the FdA Musical Theatre course at Italia Conti will prepare students for musical theatre performance, developing their practice and thinking in an integrated way. Through training in acting, singing and dance, students will have what it takes to become a Musical Theatre artist of the future. Consistency and creativity paired with the critical approach students need to study Musical Theatre will provide them with expertise applicable to a variety of careers in the field.

There are two pathways through the FdA Musical Theatre Course: Musical Theatre Triple Threat and Musical Theatre Dance Performance. At the point of recall audition and offer students are advised of the pathway they are being considered for. Students study the same course, with the same assessment components and projects and performances. However, the curriculum is tailored to suit the skillset of the performer.

On the Dance Performance Pathway students receive more technical dance training to support their dance development in Year 1 and Year 2
On the Triple Threat Pathway students receive an equal training across the three core disciplines in Year 1 and Year 2

Training to be a professional performer in Musical Theatre requires many things:

Dedication and determination
· Skills in Acting, Singing and Dancing
· The ability to think, to research, to analyse and to critique your own work
· Bravery: emotional and physical

Training to be a professional Musical Theatre performer is one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys that students will ever take and we believe that there is nowhere better to take it, than here at Italia Conti.

There is a reason why Italia Conti is one of the most recognised names in performing arts training. For over a century we have helped students to fulfil their potential as performers and to work at the very highest level in every aspect of the performing arts industry. We provide a programme of training that responds to industry needs and current teaching and learning developments.

Italia Conti has a proven track record of nurturing talent at the very highest level; Italia Conti graduates can be seen on stage and screen in the UK and internationally. We have graduates working in the West End and on Broadway in musicals and in plays, in national and international tours, in cabarets and on cruise ships. We have graduates working in Film and in Television. We have produced some of the UK’s top recording artists – solo artists and band members.

 

COURSE STRUCTURE

The course is organised into modules with various modes of assessment.

YEAR 1 (LEVEL 4)

Students focus on the fundamentals of the core disciplines and skill integration to ensure students can begin to employ the required triple threat skills of the separate disciplines in unison. Level 4 focuses upon traditional musical theatre material and stimuli to appreciate historical performance contexts and lyrical and traditional singing, acting and dance styles.

 

The modules covered are concerned with the acquisition of core technical skills in Acting, Singing, Dance and Voice and provide the foundation for their training as a Musical Theatre Performer. These core skills are brought together in the Musical Theatre Performance Practice module where students will learn to apply the skills they have learnt holistically in a musical theatre performance, with equal emphasis placed on all three. Contextual Practice is developed to stimulate reflection and critical thinking and facilitate the application of contextual and historical study to practical work training the emerging thinking performer.

 

In Dance, students study ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and commercial dance styles. In Singing, students study ensemble singing, repertoire studies, musicianship and singing technique. In Acting, students study improvisation and acting skills, scene study, and voice and text. Musical Theatre workshops focus upon ensemble song and dance performance, ensemble character development, featured performances and musical theatre duets.

YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)

Core technical skills classes continue, but become more advanced and more integrated. More sustained and intensive project work is introduced to the curriculum in which the three core disciplines become completely interdependent. Students are required to sustain and develop character over longer and more challenging performance opportunities to begin to hone skills for professional performance practice including the swing project, contemporary British play project and the abridged book musical project.

Contextual Practice is developed to stimulate reflection and critical thinking and facilitate the application of contextual and historical study to practical work training the emerging thinking performer.

 

ADDITIONAL VOCATIONAL HOURS (YEAR 1 & 2)

Additional Vocational Training Hours provide students with weekly 1:1 singing lessons, Acting Through Song, and a weekly guest workshop with an industry guest tutor. Students on the vocational top-up programme will also get the opportunity to perform in Italia Conti’s 1st and 2nd Year Summer Show at the Rhoda McGaw Theatre, Woking. The year-long vocational hours programme offers 300 additional hours of training.

PROGRESSION TO LEVEL 6 – [TOP-UP YEAR]

Students on the FdA Musical Theatre are automatically offered the opportunity to complete their degree training with a third year of study at Italia Conti and will ultimately be awarded a BA (Hons) Musical Theatre qualification. No audition is required, but students must complete and pass the FdA. Students who do not adhere to the Student Code of Conduct may not be invited to transfer into a third year of study.

YEAR 3 (Top-up)

The students’ focus at Level 6 shifts to three main areas: Professional Performance, Professional Preparation and Employability and Professional Technical Skills.

The courses draws together all previous training in preparing for a career as a well-rounded, versatile and highly employable professional Musical Theatre performer.

Students will perform in two fully staged book musicals, and an Industry Showcase. For their independent performance project, students will be required to create a practical piece of Musical Theatre performance responding to a question, theme or stimulus.

Professional Preparation and Employability workshops will hone audition technique in the three core disciplines, to ensure that, when they leave, students have all the skills necessary to embark upon a successful professional career. This also extends to preparation for all wider soft-skills and supporting areas for professional practitioners including sourcing and choosing headshots, joining and populating Spotlight, creating personal showreel performance reels and meeting with leading industry creatives, agents and casting directors to begin networking.

Students will continue training in Acting, Singing and Dance to support them in implementing professional skills and performance in practice. Regular classes ensure that students graduate ‘match fit’ and ready to audition and perform in professional contracts.

The top-up year to a BA Hons Musical Theatre does not require an additional payment, and students will receive 900 contact hours as part of the course.

FEES & FUNDING

FdA UK Tuition Fees| £9250 per academic year, (paid in advanced termly instalments by student finance or private funding)

Vocational Hours | £2800 + VAT per academic year, (paid in termly or monthly instalments directly to Italia Conti by private funding)

Vocational Hours Scholarships | Scholarships for the Vocational Hours Top-up are available and awarded at audition for the programme.

BA Hons Top-up Year | £9250 per academic year, (paid in advanced termly instalments by student finance or private funding)

NB | There is no additional payment for vocational hours available in the top-up year. All students receive 900 hours
Audition Fee | £45 (non-refundable)
Deposit | £275 (The deposit is refundable within 14 calendar days of the payment being received by Italia Conti but will not be refunded thereafter for non-enrolment. It will be held by the School and will be refundable on completion of the course, without interest, less any outstanding sums owed by the student to Italia Conti.)

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

For further information, please see our International Applications​ page.

TERMS & CONDITIONS

Terms and conditions apply upon acceptance to Italia Conti.

FUNDING

The BA (Hons) course offers the following funding options:

Student Finance (FdA only)
Private Funding (Vocational Top-up / FdA)
Scholarships and Bursaries

NB DaDA funding is only available across the sector for Level 6 Trinity Diploma Courses

AUDITION FEE WAIVER

Italia Conti welcomes applications for audition fee waivers for those who are eligible.

See Audition Fee Waiver

DEPOSIT FEE WAIVER

Italia Conti welcomes applications for deposit fee waivers for those who are eligible.

See Deposit Fee Waiver

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

ENTRY TO FdA MUSICAL THEATRE REQUIRES THE FOLLOWING:

16+ by the 31st August in the year of entry​.
Level 2 English and Maths at GCSE Grade 4 or above or recognised equivalent qualifications.

Either:

64 UCAS points or;
admission through recognition of non-standard entry qualifications/experience:
A level: CC
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: MPP
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: MM
Access to HE Diploma: M = 15 credits, P = 30 credits

NB Other performing arts qualifications e.g. UAL, RSL, OCR are also eligible UCAS points and therefore support entry to this course.

IELTS Level 6
Legal right to reside/study in the UK for the full period of the programme.
Successful audition through Italia Conti, details of which can be found below.
Evidence in hard copy of all the above must be provided.

APPLICATION

Application to the FdA Musical Theatre course can be made using our online application form only.

Applicants must complete the form and pay the audition fee (£45) in order to be considered for the course. Upon receiving your application, we will contact you with your audition date.

Audition fees are non-refundable. These fees act as both an administration fee for processing your application as well as a non-refundable deposit for a place on an audition day.

In line with our admissions policy, the Italia Conti reserves the right to alter or withdraw offers at any point. Places on our courses are limited; it is usual for drama schools to make more offers than there are places. Acceptances are dealt with on a first come first serve basis and so early acceptance is advised.

AUDITION REQUIREMENTS

After completing the application process, you will be invited to submit an audition tape where auditionees will be required to demonstrate a variety of skills. Successful applicants will be invited to a recall audition on site. Information about auditions can be found below.

AUDITION CRITERIA

FIRST ROUND – ONLINE AUDITION

First round applicants will receive the result from their audition submission within 3-4 weeks of receipt. This is to ensure that every submission deserves our full time and attention.

ACTING AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare one speech, no longer than one and a half minutes in length, from a Contemporary British Play written after 1990.

Ensure your speech is from a published play; it should not be an extract from a poem, novel, film or television script
Please choose a character close to your own age
Please perform your speech in your native accent
You may choose a speech from any gender
Auditionees should wear comfortable fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation
In a minority of instances panel may require a further tape or live-online audition responding to direction.

SINGING AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare a song, no longer than one and a half minutes in length, that they enjoy singing and can sing well.

Please ensure that song is cut to one and a half minutes in length
Please choose a song that shows your vocal and performance ability and that is suitable for your casting and voice type
You may choose a song performed by a character of any gender
Please avoid songs that require extreme character voices
Please choose a song that demonstrates your skill in acting as well as singing
Auditionees should wear comfortable, fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation
In a minority of instances panel may require a further tape responding to direction from our Head of Music & Singing

Please ensure that the recording is a true reflection of your acoustic singing voice. Do not edit the audio or add any effects to the recording in any way. Please record the audio using the video camera device so you capture an accurate and unaltered recording of how the voice sounds in a room.

DANCE AUDITION

Please record yourself performing the following Kicks and Pirouette combination & Jump combination exercises as taught on the video.

Please click here to view

SOLO DANCE AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare one dance piece in your preferred style, no longer than one minute. This should showcase your strengths and highlight any special skills.

REQUIRED DRESS:

Please wear tight-fitting clothing to allow the panel to see your movement fully.

RECALL AUDITION – LIVE

Recall auditions will take place at our Woking campus.

ACTING AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare an additional speech that is contrasting to their first audition piece. Both pieces will be seen at recall. This second speech could be contemporary (after 1990) or classical. Again, this speech should be no longer than one and a half minutes:

Ensure your speech is from a published play; it should not be an extract from a poem, novel, film or television script
Please choose a character close to your own age
Please perform your speech in your native accent
You may choose a speech from any gender
Auditionees should wear comfortable fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation

SINGING AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare two musical theatre songs, each cut to one and a half minutes in length, that they enjoy singing and can sing well:

One Golden Age Lyrical song (c. pre-1965)

Suggested composers/lyricists can include: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Learner and Leowe, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Frank Loesser, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin.

One Traditional or Contemporary Musical Theatre song (c post-1965)

Suggested composers/lyricists can include; Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alan Menken, Boubil and Schonberg, Jason Robert Brown, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Kander and Ebb, Jule Styne, Cy Coleman, Marvin Hamlisch, Tom Kitt, Laurence O’Keefe, Jerry Bock.

Please ensure that song is cut to one and a half minutes in length
Please choose a song that shows your vocal and performance ability and that is suitable for your casting and voice type
You may choose a song performed by a character of any gender
Please avoid songs that require extreme character voices
Please choose a song that demonstrates your skill in acting as well as singing
Auditionees should wear comfortable, fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation
In a minority of instances, the panel may ask to hear some additional vocal exercises/scales.

DANCE AUDITION

You will be required to participate in three dance classes at your recall; Ballet, Technical Centre Practice and a class where a set piece of Jazz choreography will be taught. Each class will last 30 minutes.

Required dress:
Jazz shoes or trainers that are suitable for dance (i.e. no Converse or similar fashion shoes that are not designed for dance). No loose clothing or jewellery is permitted.

INTERVIEW

During the day you will be invited for a short interview with a member of the Senior Leadership/Course Management team.

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  • “I cannot credit italia conti enough for taking a risk on me by giving me the opportunity to train in their establishment, building me into a successful performer and a better man. The level of versatility I posess is down to the variety of training italia conti put on their students. No words can describe my gratitude for each and every person that had involvement in my development.”

    - Cecil Thomas – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “I couldn’t have asked for a more understanding place to spend these crucial moments. The door is always open for us to come back ‘home’ for advice, or even for a cup of tea!”

    - Susannah White – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “The influx of inspiring people flowing through the building creates an atmosphere for greatness and I am honoured to be a part of that.”

    - Posi Morakinyo – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • It’s fantastic. Showcases, shows, summer shows, carol concerts. It’s very full on but I don’t wake up regretting coming here. It is the best thing ever!

    - Sam Tutty – BA (Hons) Musical Theatre graduate
  • “Having the most supportive faculty (many of which are working professionals), who are always pushing you to be the best version of yourself has made my transition into the industry a seamless one.”

    - Awen Jones – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “The college provides you with a disciplined, yet family atmosphere that trains you to become the best of the best moving forwards into the performing arts industry.”

    - James Kemp – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate