Did you pick the short straw? Are you organising the next end of term musical? If so, you are going to need these top tips to ensure it’s a successful school play! You’ve probably been trawling websites and catalogues lying around the staff room but it all seems a little daunting – what songs to sing, is the script suitable, have we got some strong actors and singers this year? You’ve got a busy time ahead so, to help you with your plans, here are a few tips:
How to pick the right musical?
- Always consider the group of children you have in school. Do you have some confident singers who might be able to sing a solo?
- Do you want to incorporate dancing in your production? Have you got some star dancers who will be happy to jitterbug or bee-bop on stage? If choreography sounds a bit scary you can get some great ideas from our videos which are available for titles such as:
- Consider the cast. How many children will be taking part? You can check the cast lists online on any of our product pages.
- How long do you want the musical to be? Also consider the singing ability of the children, the number of songs, and rehearsal time available.
- Understanding the full picture and what the story is about will help children to place their character in context and learn their lines more easily. Why not try using a class story-telling session to introduce the storyline of the show?
- Play the songs in other lessons or when tidying-up – this is a great way to absorb the music ‘intravenously’ before you start your rehearsals properly.
- You may have a child who sings beautifully but is just a bit shy - use solo parts to build confidence.
- Think about the children who are auditioning for parts. Would you be better to hold auditions in private so that the more self-conscious children can feel more confident? It’s the best way to uncover hidden talent!
- Not every child wants to be the star of the show or may feel they are just ‘too cool’ to dress up and perform. Offer them the chance to be part of the production crew: dress them in black and give them (with guidance) the responsibility for sound, lighting, props and scene changes.
- Simplicity is key. Many of our school musicals come with costume and staging ideas to make things easier for you:
- But don’t let this hold you back if you are feeling creative! Why not use an art class to get the kids involved?
- Maximise rehearsal time whenever you can, using our Words on Screen™ software. Most of our musicals are available with Words on Screen™.
- As an alternative, we also have Rehearsal CDs available for all our musicals, which means you can provide the children with the songs and backing tracks to listen to and rehearse at home.
- Make sure the backing tracks are loud enough to be heard in a full hall, not just an empty one!
- Focus on your parents/audience and what they want to see – clear speaking and good singing will always deliver.
- Don’t leave your audience wondering what’s going on!
- Don’t worry if something doesn’t quite go to plan, those little mishaps are all part of the charm of putting on a musical at school!
Here's our top 5 musicals to get you started...
- Treachery At Traitors’ Quay - The one for older children. A top-secret spy World War 2 musical - Ssshhhhh!
- Dragon Days - A real scorcher of a musical.
- Cinderella & Rockerfella - a Panto-tastic musical suitable for leavers.
- The Bee Musical - Perfect for 5 – 9 year olds. It’s the bees knees!
- Hats Off! - An all-weather musical, perfect for ages 3 – 7.