Directors' Toolbox

Your Ticket to a Hit School Musical

May 28, 2015

A lot goes into putting on a youth musical; that should come as a surprise to no one. What many teachers do is take the “full” version of a musical and pare it down to a performable piece for elementary or middle school students.

This may mean creating new arrangements for parts, editing out inappropriate parts, and otherwise cutting parts to make the entire show more manageable.  That’s a lot of time on top of directing, teaching the music, and instructing choreography.

DSC_2851With Hal Leonard’s Junior Theater productions, that extra work is taken care of. Broadway Junior, Disney Junior, Disney Kids, and the Getting to Know… series are all designed for elementary and middle school performers, so the director does not need to change anything.  According to renowned teacher and composer Cristi Cary Miller,

“Broadway Junior musicals are about the best way to bring music theater into the busy teacher’s classroom.  The shortened versions offer the students an opportunity to experience the show without being ‘cheated’ of content and meaning.  The vocal ranges and arrangements are easier for younger singers and keep the audience focused on the show.  The layout of the materials makes it extremely easy for teachers at any level of teaching experience to know what to do. I love Broadway Junior musicals!”

DSC_2867Start by ordering the Audio Sampler for an overview of the show, information about buying the kit, and instructions on how to license your performance through Hal Leonard. As soon as you receive your Broadway Junior show kit, you are ready to get started with your show, whether you have past directing experience or not.  The scripts themselves are textbooks for putting on a show.  Students learn about the process, stage directions, and the definitions of words and terms found in the show as they read.  Broadway Junior brings order to the often chaotic process of putting on a school musical, making a smoother and more enjoyable experience for everyone.

DSC_2864“Broadway Jr. provides you with all of the tools you need to put on a show starting from Day 1,” says Lauren Leigh, General Music teacher at Sol Feinstone Elementary in Newtown, Pennsylvania. “Even if someone has never directed a show before, they would be able to be organized and well-prepared for their show.”

“Broadway Junior musicals are about the best way to bring music theater into the busy teacher’s classroom.”

-Cristy Cary Miller

 

“Not having the resources to hire a choreographer, the provided videos offer excellent material that can be taught by any music teacher,” add John and Donna Bell, musical directors at P.S. DuPont Middle School in Wilmington, Delaware. “The videos are also wonderful for teachers who wish to do their own choreography and just need some ideas to get started.  We highly recommend them to any middle school wishing to do a musical production.”

DSC_2852In addition to a long list of existing junior musicals, there are three great new shows out this year: The Lion King, Shrek the Musical and The Sound of Music.  Each would make an excellent show for your elementary or middle school students. If you are looking for the perfect musical for your young thespians, look no further!

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