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Music Direction for Music Theatre [MUTH 331]

MUTH 331/3.0 Music Direction for Music Theatre

Instructor: Darrell Christie

Do you want to know more about Music Directing? Are you interested in playing for musicals, leading vocal rehearsals, conducting from the pit? This course is for you. Instrumentalist, vocalist, or conductor – all are welcome as we explore the world of Music Direction.

Students will work directly on the DAN School of Music & Dramas new commissioned work – The Lancashire Lass Applying skills learnt throughout the course, students will play an active role in music direction of this new piece.

We are pleased also to be arranging for the DAN School’s Music Theatre Artist-in-Residence, and composer of The Lancashire Lass, Leslie Arden, to join us for a guest lecture.

Learn about varying styles in music theatre from modern musicals to opera, jukebox musicals to ballet. Develop specific skills in music direction and music performance to match different genres of music theatre.

Topics considered will include conducting practice in music theatre, scoring, arranging and orchestration, rehearsal preparation and teaching techniques.

Students will also examine how technology is changing musical direction, including the use of digital tools including MainStage, Logic and ProTools.

Through a collaborative approach essential in music theatre, students will work alongside music, drama and music theatre students and faculty contributing musically to in-house and public musical productions with a focus on music direction and musical accompaniment of music theatre.

Through this approach, students will participate firsthand in the process of music direction and the creation of music for music theatre.


This course will provide each “team”, composed of one singer and one pianist, with performance experience within a Masterclass format. An even number of students, with a maximum of 20 participants, will prepare selected lieder, music theatre and opera aria repertoire in duo form. Each team will choose works for performance in the class collaboratively. Vocal and pianistic aspects of interpretation and execution of each performance will be discussed and evaluated by both instructors in class, with additional input from the class participants. Listening assignments and one critical essay/ term will be included within the course.

RECOMENDED TEXTS: MOORE, GERALD “Am I Too Loud?” and “The Unashamed Accompanist”

Learning Hours: 36c72p  


Pianists: Preferably accompanying course for pianists, or permission from instructor

Singers: second year or above applied voice lessons

End of year performance by duos: TBA