The new syllabus is valid from 2019 to 2021 and the old syllabus is still in use for the Spring and Summer sessions of 2019.
We have published new handbooks for Steps and Grades 1–8, containing pieces appropriate for each level, and guidance for the discussion and sight reading components. Songs are accompanied by background information and performance notes, providing a starting point for performers to begin exploring the texts. Candidates still have free choice of repertoire – it is not compulsory to perform a piece from the handbook.
The requirement to introduce each song prior to performance now applies to all grades and the performance specifications and component weightings have also been revised for Grades 2–7.
The discussion topics have been revised for Steps and Grades, placing more of an emphasis on the candidate's personal response to the repertoire at the higher grades. At Grades 3–5 the discussion is now worth 10% of the overall mark, becoming 20% at Grades 6–8.
The repertoire for the handbooks has been carefully selected with the intention of building a gradual ability, not only with vocal technique, but also with an interrogation of the text. We believe musical theatre should be a marriage of drama and music with the performer developing a strong ability to engage the audience in telling a story. Most importantly, the repertoire has been chosen to allow students to explore and develop an overall understanding of musical theatre repertoire.