Song Study


Even if you dance beautifully and have strong acting skills, in musical theatre, in most cases, the skill that will make you stand out is your ability to sing a song honestly, with a strong objective and other, with a clearly devised and actable situation and sing it well. If you can do that and make us believe the song is being created by you in the moment, it's even better. Of course, it doesn't guarantee you will get cast all the time, but it will go a long way toward getting you in the "Yes pile" more often. Your dancing and acting skills matter a great deal, but being able to sing a song with these attributes is the secret that will help you more than anything. 

-Neal Richardson

Welcome to Second Year Song Study

Here you will find many of the resources for class including schedule, documents, readings and other things. Bookmark this page.


1. Song Response Form. This will due on the dates listed below.

Also, please have a look at good example of the Song Response           Form here.

2. The Actor’s Homework. I’ve made a few changes for the worksheet and it can be found here. This will always be due, typed, on the day we do the All-sing.

3. “Qualities of a Great Musical Theatre Performance” is the standard by which I will assess your work. You will also do self-assessment using this.

  1. 4.A readings page is here for assigned class reading.

  1. 5.A group blog has been created for you to post videos and make comments.

  1. 6.Videos will be posted to this YouTube account. All videos are password protected and we will create that password in class. Please keep it private.

Schedule (subject to change)

1/14 No Class (Semester Auditions)

1/21 No Class (Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday)

1/28 Syllabus, expectations and sing your Standard Ballad from Fall12. Read “Giving and Getting Feedback” on the Readings page for 2/4

2/4 Standard Ballad work and record. Discuss “I Remember” video. Standard Uptempo approval date.

2/11 Perform Standard Uptempo. Modern Rock Uptempo approval date. Standard Ballad self-assessment due.

2/18 Standard Uptempo again and record. Read Sheri’s Six Special Rules of Rock on the readings page for 2/25.

2/25 Modern Rock Uptempo. Read Monologuing the Lyric on the readings page sometime before 3/18.

3/4 Modern Rock Uptempo again and record. Sondheim approval date. Standard Uptempo self-assessment due.

Spring Break

3/18 Perform Sondheim. Discuss Monologuing the Lyric.

3/25 Sondheim again and record. Post-millennium approval date. Modern Rock Uptempo self-assessment due.

4/1 Post-millennium. Discussion about the Post-millennium style.

4/8 Post-millennium again and record.

4/15 Review earlier songs. Sondheim self-assessment due.

4/22 Paper discussing your detailed process for preparing a song due. Other work this day is TBA. (no self-assessment required for Post-millennium.)

4/29 Showings Preparation

Neal’s Choice Songs

(You will sing these songs in the context of the shows they are from. As such, you are expected to do the text analysis and character preparation. Please see Excavating the Song for materials.)

Eden Painting Her Portrait (Jane Eyre)

Michael Williams At the Fountain (The Sweet Smell of Success)

Michael Dewar I Think I Like Her (Summer of '42)