This programme at Junior Conservatoire is designed specifically for young people who aspire to train in Musical Theatre at further and higher education. Across a range of specialist classes, workshops, projects, and performance opportunities students on this pathway develop the skills, knowledge, and assurance in their skills to follow their passions to an appropriately high standard as appropriate for application and audition at degree level.
Each week, students will have classes in singing, dancing, acting, and the additional skills they need to excel as performers. Importantly, we support all our Musical Theatre students to learn a musical instrument for use in performance, broadening their options for further study and future employability.
The team teaching this programme are all practicing professionals who bring the most current innovations from the industry to share with the students in the classes. This small, highly talented and experienced teaching team includes specialist choreographers, musical directors, singers, actors, composers, writers, and dancers. Crucially, everyone in the teaching team are expert educators who support each student to understand what the artform asks of them and how to excel in those asks.
The programme has four levels that develop students from a strong foundation established in Level 1 and builds them into well-rounded and highly-skilled performers by the end of Level 4. This is achieved through a nurturing programme of modules deigned to inspire and challenge students towards creating a cohesive practice as required for training at degree level. Take a look at the Programme Structure page for more information on what each level covers in this programme.
Students on this programme come from across Scotland and the North of England and each share a passion and commitment for all forms of Musical Theatre. Not only is Junior Conservatoire a place to develop your skills; it is also an opportunity to grow your network of creative, likeminded peers on a similar journey to you. We regularly work with other artistic disciplines at Junior Conservatoire and share performance trips together.
This is the programme is right for you if you want to:
- Take your passion for Musical Theatre and grow your ability to sing, act, dance, and play an instrument across a full musical theatre repertoire.
- Combine all the performance skills and experience you have into one practice, and be helped to push yourself to the highest level you can reach.
- Strike a balance in your training between creative and physically expressive modules with a secure foundation in knowledge and practical skills to support your exploration of the Musical Theatre industry.
- Prepare yourself for application and audition for BA Acting and Drama degrees at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and other institutions.
- Collaborate with other artists your age across Drama, Dance, Production, and Film in our large performances throughout the year.
Entry to the programme is through audition only, and we aim to support a range of experiences in this process. We accept a limited number of students each year to ensure we give each student significant attention towards their personal development as artists.
The programme runs from August to June each year, and there will be four levels of study available depending on your age, ability, and experience.
Apply for Musical Theatre
- JC Musical Theatre 2024/25 (S1 – S3 from August 2024)
- JC Musical Theatre 2024/25 (S4 – S6 from August 2024)
Applications for 2024/25 will open mid November 2023, the closing date is 1 May 2024.
Join us for our Open Days click here to note your interest and we will be in touch with further information.
Please contact us by email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and we will be happy to help.
The extensive range of vocational studies are combined with associated subjects such as Theatre History, Music Theory and Appreciation, Fitness and Health Studies and Employment Skills.
The programme concentrates on developing the various artistic disciplines as required for the musical theatre performer for all students as the progress through the four levels. Level 1 is for younger performers who show great potential, and Level 4 is for those who have significantly developed skills and are moving towards their applications for degrees. The level that students enter is decided at audition by the panel and Drama Coordinator.
Progression through the programme is decided through continuous observation and successfully meeting the learning outcomes for each module. We work closely with students to support them to excel throughout each module.
The following summary of each level is for indication only. We continually monitor and adjust the curriculum to ensure our programmes are innovative, current, and continue to appropriately stretch our students.
This level has a focus on balancing the skills of the cohort who enter the programme, so that each individual has their areas of growth attended to reach their potential across the full range of disciplines for performers: singing, acting, and dancing.
Students work on their singing skills through ensemble classes, individual singing lessons, vocal anatomy, and music theory classes. They extend their skills through foundational acting classes to introduce voice, character, and using text in performance. In their dance classes they develop their terminology and application for musicality through movement, technical use of body in performance, and their physical strength and fitness. All these lessons culminate a unifying the artforms simultaneously through Acting Through Song and Ensemble Performance classes ahead of the Musical Theatre Showcase pieces at the end of the year.
Students in this level tend to be aged 12-15 years.
In Level 2 students will have their broad and balanced skillsets deepened so they are stretched to excel through all the disciplines in Musical Theatre.
This year, the complexity of the classes is increased, and the fourth discipline is added to the skillset of the cohort: playing instruments. In Acting classes, more nuanced techniques for working with text – especially heightened text like Shakespeare or poetry – are introduced with clear links to how this relates to working with songs. In singing, the number of sessions of Acting Through Song are increased to support students in delivering powerful solo performances. The groups skills in working multiple disciplines simultaneously to a very high standard, such as singing and dancing, are deepened so there is a strong technical foundation to ensure excellence as they progress towards degree training. This year is also supported by a range of modules to support wider knowledge and contextualisation, such as Musical Theatre History, to create reflective and critically engaged performers as they head into their Showcase at the end of th year.
Level 2 students tend to be aged 14-16 years.
The aim for this level is to expand the students’ skillsets, knowledge, awareness, and assumptions about themselves as performers.
The year begins with a focus on building performers’ repertoire books for singing and acting and introducing techniques for and application of actor-musicianship skills which are built on throughout the year. This highly creative year cements the assurance and skills in all students being able to sing, dance, act, and play simultaneously to a high level and supporting them to step boldly into the unknown to take on artistic challenges. This level also lays a foundation for students to look towards their applications for college and university applications, ensuring they have expansive skills to hit the ground running for the next academic year. This includes monologue and songbook preparation, experience in a range of dance styles and techniques, and a generous amount of one-to-one time with our teaching team.
At Level 3, students tend to be aged 15-17 years.
At this level, students will be consolidating their skills for their applications for colleges, universities and drama schools.
We offer a significant level of audition prep that includes masterclasses in interview technique, confidence, and online auditions. This culminates in a mock audition with members the BA Musical Theatre audition panel for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They are supported throughout the year with their auditions and applications.
There is also a strong focus on devising brand new Musical Theatre shows, which allows students to write scripts, songs, and choreograph around ideas they are passionate about. For example, our 2022-2023 cohort developed a new musical about the first group of female students at a British university. The year culminates in a showcase performance of their work, skills, passion, and commitment to the artform in a very well attended event within the Royal Conservatoire.
Students in this level are usually aged 16-18 years.
The Junior Conservatoire of Drama is the national centre of excellence for training young actors and preparing them for further study.
- Study in Scotland’s national conservatoire, one of the world’s top 10 performing arts education institutions
- Perform for public audiences within RCS venues
- Learn technical voice, singing, acting, dance, and a range of supporting skills to prepare you for college and degree courses
- Participate in masterclasses with visiting industry professionals, RCS lecturers with many years of conservatoire-level teaching
- Receive regular feedback reports to ensure you are getting the most out of the programme
- Casting opportunities for professional jobs
- Free tickets to all RCS productions
Students on the Junior Conservatoire Musical Theatre programme will learn from a variety of expert staff throughout the year, who will work with you to develop specialist skills.
Teachers on the programme include:
- Angela Boshoff
- Tom Cooper
- Stephen Arden
- Lydia Davidson
- Ash Henning
- Shonagh Murray
- Dale Parker
- Filip Holacky
Guest teachers on the programme include
- Andy McGregor
- Christina Modestou
- Andy Manning
- Jaïrus Obayomi
Over the last five years, we have had many students go on to study Musical Theatre and Drama at top schools and universities such as:
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- Italia Conti
- Glasgow University
- Queen Margaret University
We will support our students with whatever pathway they choose whether that be further study within the arts, academic study, or work.
Entry to Junior Conservatoire is by audition only, and progression through the programme is decided through continuous observation and successfully meeting the learning outcomes for each module. We work closely with students to support them to excel throughout each module.
We do not ask for any formal entry requirements. We expect all applicants to have some experience of acting or performance, a demonstrable passion for Musical Theatre, and to be able to discuss this with the panel at the audition.
The panel will be looking for applicants who are generous when working with others, boldly creative, and are able to form connections with the characters in their speeches, and the stamina and curiosity to expand their skills in voice, movement, and acting techniques. Simply put, we are looking for students who want to be the best performer they can be.
At the audition, we are looking to identify pathways for you towards your aspirations to develop your abilities in Acting. This may be through Junior Conservatoire, or through Short Courses at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Dates: Musical Theatre auditions will be held between the 10th – 14th May 2024.
We aim for all our auditions to be in person at one of the campuses of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
We have two separate processes for students depending on their age.
If you are going into S1-4 for academic year 2024-2025, we will ask you to:
- Prepare one song for the solo audition.
- Attend a dance session with us at the audition.
- Attend an acting workshop with us at the audition.
If you are going into S5 and above for academic year 2024-2025, we will ask you to:
- Prepare one song for the solo audition.
- Choose one of the monologues from a selection we send to you to perform at the solo audition.
- Attend a dance session with us at the audition.
Below is a summary of each of the different sessions at the audition.
Participants will participate in a 45 minute workshop. This consists of a range of games and creative tasks that use your skills in improvisation, collaboration, and connecting the activities to learning points in the artform.
In this part of the audition, we are looking at your ability to work creatively and generously with others, share and listen to ideas, and articulate how what we are doing together links to Acting.
Participants will participate in a 1 hour workshop. In this session, we will warm you up physically, partake in some corner work exercises, and quickly learn a small section of choreography to perform as a group.
In this part of the audition, we are looking at your ability to take risks in how you move your body creatively and musically, your enjoyment of dance, and identify your core skill levels in posture, technique, and flexibility s that we can ensure you are supported to excel.
- Performance of the song you prepared.
- Performance of the monologue you chose (if going into S5 and above).
- We will then redirect one of these performances to try it in a completely new way to see how you make quick, bold, creative choices.
A few weeks before your audition date, we will send you a selection of about 20 speeches to choose from. Full instructions will be provided with the workbook. Please select one of the speeches we send you and prepare it for performance in the audition when you meet with us. We want you to perform this without the script, and present it as if you were performing it for an audience. We will also ask you why you selected the speech.
As you perform your monologue, we will be looking to see how you use your voice and body as the character to get what they want from the people they are talking to. We will be able to see the choices you’ve made and it will give us an insight into your current skillset and where we can support you further.
As soon as you have applied you can start thinking about what song you want to sing for us. This should be a song from Musical Theatre and it should tell a story. We want to hear you sing with a piano, so please being the sheet music with you in a folder. It should be 2-3 minutes long, and if it’s any longer you will need to cut it. You can show us the cuts when you speak to the Accompanist in your audition. Try to make sure it is in the right key – sometimes we have students rehearse to instrumental videos on YouTube and discover that the sheet music is in a different key. If you’re in any doubt, you can speak to your music teacher at school and they will love to help you.
We want to hear your voice and see how you act through music. Please don’t include dance as this could distract from us hearing your voice to its full potential.
In this section of the day, we are looking to hear your ability to make creative choices to tell stories through song, your technical ability to tunefully follow the melody and tempo of the song, and your to explore your understanding of to use music, lyrics, and performance to bring characters to life.
We will ask to see your song (or your speech, if applicable to you) in a completely different way. This is because we want to see how you work quickly, creatively, and boldly. Sometimes this redirection will make things trickier for you as it might feel a bit unnatural, or sometimes it will help make things easier for you as an actor. We will want to hear your reflection on how the redirection changed things for you.
This is an opportunity for you to discuss what you love about Musical Theatre, your ambitions, and what you think you need to become a better performer. We are just as passionate about performance as you, so feel free to ask us questions too.
Throughout the interview we will be getting a sense of what we think you need to develop, what you already do, how committed to drama you are, and whether you have the stamina, drive, and passion yet to train intensely at Junior Conservatoire each week.
We want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to apply for the Junior Conservatoire Musical Theatre programme and everyone who applies on time will receive an interview.
When to apply
Application for entry to the Junior Conservatoire Musical Theatre programme in August 2024 is currently open.
All applications should be completed online and there is an interview fee of £45. If an applicant is applying for multiple courses they will only need to pay one audition fee. If you need financial support to pay for the interview fee please contact us at email@example.com
All auditions for the Junior Conservatoire Musical Theatre programme will be scheduled between 10-14 May 2024.
If you have any questions about the Junior Conservatoire or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Student induction- 20th August 2022
Term 1- 27 Aug- 16th December 2022 (no sessions from 8-21st October)
Term 2- 7th January- 31st March 2023 (no session 11-17th Feb)
Term 3- 15th April- 16th June 2023
Performance opportunities – TBC
Winter Show (Curioser and Curioser) – 6th, 7th and 8th January 2023
Other potential performances- Bridge Week, Youth Arts Fest, Leavers ceremony
Term Dates (2023/2024)
Student induction- Sunday 20th August 2023
Term 1 starts – Saturday 26th August 2023
Mid term break- 14-27th October 2023
Term 1 finishes- Friday 15th December 2023
Term 2 starts- Saturday 6th January 2024
Mid term break- 10th-16th February 2024
Term 2 finishes- Friday 29th March 2024
Term 3 starts- Saturday 13th April 2024
Term 3 finishes- Friday 14th June 2024
Musical Theatre fees for the year are £3100