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Musical Theatre Summer Schools


Picturesinthefirelight
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Obviously there is lots of info on the forum about classical ballet summer schools. In the past dd has concentrated on these as she needed to improve her ballet technique.

 

However now the next two years are safe she is looking ahead as her real love/ambitions lie in musical theatre. Does anyone have any reccomendations for summer schools?

 

She isn't particularly interested in the put on a glitzy show type course although of course performance experience is important. Classwork, technique & excellent teaching preferably from regular teachers not West End stars brought in just for a day are a priority.

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Is Arts Ed run by the school (which she wouldn't really be interested in) or the college (where she would like to apply at age 18?

 

Another thing to consider is for her to be able over the next few years to get a feel for the type of college she'd like to apply to.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
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Performers Easter School is very good - DD did it as a pre-voc & the standard is good - but it could be a bit clique as the pre-vocs attend

 

The Arts Ed one DD did (2 weeks - Bugsy Malone), she enjoyed but everyone was younger and not what I expected - our fault as we should have researched better

 

I imagine LSC's summer school would be excellent

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If she is thinking of applying to MT schools for sixth form it might be worth seeing what courses those schools she is potentially interested in offer. Otherwise I would say consider things like NYMT or YMT-UK. These are very expensive and performance based but are the sort of things which look good on applications/cvs. Or just don't bother with summer schools - they really aren't necessary for MT in the same way as ballet - use the money saved to go to watch some (less well known) shows instead. My MT daughter was asked about shows she had seen at almost every audition interview.

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My non dancer goes to BSS Showbiz at the MAC in Birmingham.  Whilst not part of a vocational school etc, they put on an excellent show in a week for only £119!  Non residential so a trek each day but in terms of performance experience I can't fault it.

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Laine offer a choice of 2 weeks in the summer, and students choose from either MT or dance course. The MT seemed to be mainly singing and acting with some (limited) dance, and the dance was (as you would expect) focussed more on the dance genres with no particular acting or singing. The two courses ran in parallel and a joint show was put on at the end of the week. The course ran Monday to Saturday.

My child did this two years ago and loved every minute. She is currently at vocational school and wanted a change from the ballet focussed summer schools. We chose Laine as it is relatively near and had a good Summer School reputation. We were not disappointed, as she had a fabulous experience. She chose the dance course and did a ballet class every morning, followed by jazz classes, contemporary and some tap. This was what she wanted, and she described each and every class and teacher (regular school teachers, not visitors) as being amazing. She was buzzing every night when she phoned!

The MT obviously had a different emphasis, but again the children appeared to be having a ball, learning lots, and the acting and singing skills on show were astonishingly good. I think they also had a ballet class every day and some jazz. The standard across both groups was extremely high.

 

The show was not the whole emphasis, although they did do work towards it every afternoon, but this was built in to their learning and became part of the course. Each group was further split into 3 groups (on age) to learn their dances/ parts for the show. The choreography for both the ballet and jazz dances were amazing beyond belief.

 

What struck me was how happy all the children seemed and how they seemed to have made good friends quickly. There was an emphasis on teamwork and learning, and my daughter described it as her best experience ever (and she's had some good ones)!

We were very impressed with the AD who came out and spoke to us all on show day. The school clearly has a strong ballet focus, and he told us that he felt every child in every school in England should start with a one hour ballet class every day as the life long benefits of poise, discipline, posture and fitness cannot be underestimated. An interesting concept!

 

There was an optional west end theatre visit one evening with a choice of two performances (chosen several months before). They also met in Epsom for a meal on the last night.

Epsom is a nice little town with some small ish high st stores and nice eating places. It felt safe and my daughter at 13 was comfortable walking around with her friends.

 

Accommodation is with host families, and is a good introduction to how things might be if you choose one of these schools. The school allocated the family, and there was an option to ask to share with a friend who was also on the course. My daughter stayed in a group of 5 and was driven into school every day by the landlady. I think we paid £125 for the week to include meals. Reactions to the host families were mixed and some were more friendly and welcoming than others. There was a range of experiences with freedom, meal content and ways of running things.

 

The show on the Saturday lasted an hour and was like a breath of fresh air. Superb MT and dance performances, great choreography, lovely costumes and very happy children.

 

All in all, I can highly recommend Laines SS. It was well run, fun and she learnt loads. Teaching was amazing, and they got to meet and work with the full time students which was very inspiring and motivating. The show was wonderful and it was good to see such an emphasis on performance. Plus, they really do rate the ballet there. A high standard of technique is really appreciated,

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That's a really comprehensive rundown bestfootfirward. Exactly the sort of info I was looking for.

Picturesinthefirelight our DS is a first year at Laine having been at another vocational school before starting there.

Pm me if you want further info

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Can highly recommend both the MT and the Dance course at Laine's.  My DD has done both, just depends what you want to do.  The teaching is great and the students have the opportunity to shine.  Excellent course and you can go for one or 2 weeks, the choice is open.

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