The Musical Theater Major: Bringing Speech, Movement, and Music Togethers

The Elements of Musical Theater

Musical theater is the crossroads of the spoken word, expressive movement, and a musical artistry focused on setting the scene. The characteristics of people involved with musical theater all serve a common goal of helping to bridge the gap between these disciplines.

Aspiring performers who want to lend their energy and skills to the stage have many outlets. Dance ensembles with live bands rely on the players to keep the meter and beat, while productions of theatrical classics like Oklahoma! need singers to lead the story. Every aspect of musical theater has some number of passionate performers and producers behind it.

Producing musical theater requires a multifaceted and creative individual with an understanding of two worlds. Producers and directors are the architects of immersive stories towed along with expressive music.

American Theatre and Stage Magazine are leading publications that use writers with musical and theatrical backgrounds. Writers of musical theater - script writers, theater critics, or journalists - have an entire world of performances and shows new and old to reveal to wider audiences.

What You Need to Know About Musical Theater

Experience is everything. Musical theater majors should consider opportunities to perform as their bread and butter when applying to music school.


Performers in theatrical music productions should have a healthy relationship with being on tape. Much of musical theater is blending movement and music, and the best way to showcase those skills is with an effective visual portfolio.

The Nerve

Many students suffer from performance anxiety - which is something that will sadly keep many people from pursuing musical theater. Performance anxiety is a real thing, but there are ways to overcome it - Inside Music Schools can help with mock auditions supported with constructive criticism.


What kind of musical theater a student wants to pursue should inform their path. Show tunes are an enduring fascination with theatrical types, and there is a whole world of new musical theater productions that need creative minds to bring them to life.

How Can IMS Help?

Finding the right school for you

A student-centered approach to the music school admissions process.

Through a rigorous exploration of the student’s interests, career goals, and enrichment goals, we develop a comprehensive preparatory program of mock auditions, portfolio development, and admissions interview strategies informed by over 40 years in the business.

Consulting students on the admissions process also requires a keen understanding their motivations for pursuing music.

Students who know how to put their passion forward in music school applications will more successfully pursue those passions. Inside Music Schools is built on a deep experience of how admissions staff and faculty read into those passions when deciding who to admit.

At the end of this process, we develop a comprehensive list of schools the student should apply to based on several factors:

  • Interest - What inspires the student to play?
  • Skill Level - Our recommendations aim to be constructive environments, not ones that sets the student up to fail.
  • Career Prospects - What does the student want to do with their performance major? Some schools are better for teaching, while others are better for musical theater and jazz performance.

With our comprehensive list of schools in hand, and the guidance of consultant Steve Lipman, students have a better chance of getting into the school that’s right for them.

What are some schools for musical theater?

What is the best musical theater school?

The real question you should be asking is “What is the best musical school for me?”

Juilliard is perhaps the most famous school for musical theater majors, and with good reason. Some of the world’s most iconic performers, directors, and producers came from there.

Yet the spectrum of opportunities allows for people of most all desires to incorporate musical theater into their life. Whether a student desires to perform, produce, or simply enrich their lives with musical theater, the list of colleges and universities that enable this is expansive.


Let’s Talk

The first step on any student’s musical journey is asking questions. After our first conversation, you’ll see the value in embarking on this often complicated process with the right guide on your side.