Music to our ears: New Musical Theatre Syllabus for AMEB

The Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB) has been Australia’s leading provider of examinations for music, speech and drama for over 100 years. With 40 syllabus options already available for graded examinations ranging from musicianship and piano to tuba, band, and singing for leisure, AMEB will launch an entirely new syllabus, with the help of Australian stage and screen star Lisa McCune, on Tuesday 10 November at Arts Centre Melbourne.

Lisa McCune as Anna Leonowens in The King and I. Image by Belinda Strodder
Lisa McCune as Anna Leonowens in The King and I. Image by Belinda Strodder

AMEB’s Musical Theatre Syllabus

It’s no surprise that AMEB’s brand new program of study is a specifically designed Musical Theatre syllabus. Musical Theatre in Australia is enjoying something of a renaissance at the moment, with over 20 professional commercial musicals scheduled to tour the country within the next two years.

Public demand and personal passion have been the driving forces behind the preparation of this new syllabus and will be will be music to the ears of Australia’s next crop of star performers and their teachers.

To help guide the syllabus writing process, AMEB engaged a committee of musical theatre experts from around the country, including teachers at primary, secondary and tertiary levels; performers; and academics.

A series of music publications will also be released in conjunction with the syllabus, designed to support musical theatre education from beginner to diploma levels. The graded publications showcase the best musical theatre repertoire internationally and, as it should, each graded level features Australian musical theatre compositions.

Custom-composed vocalises in typical musical theatre styles and short dedicated exercises will supplement the material for study, further encouraging the accrual of a variety of vocal techniques, with an emphasis on vocal safety and an appropriate rate of development.

AMEB envisage the new syllabus will serve a range of Australian students and teachers, including those wishing to perform in amateur and school musicals, compete in eisteddfods, attend youth music academies and those preparing to be professional performers.

Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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