Music direction for musical theatre is not a topic that has been widely theorized, defined, or researched; there are a handful of resources available to the inclined reader, and a scant few universities that offer a degree in Music Direction for Musical Theatre. Due to this, many music directors, myself included, have had to piece together our educations á la carte, researching each aspect of the job individually. Thus, I have created a practical "how to" guide that can be used to advance you, the reader, through a production as the music director from booking the gig to closing night. In Chapter One, I defined the role and common responsibilities of a music director and accompanist for musical theatre. I acknowledged common methodologies, discussed how a music director should prepare for rehearsals, talked through teaching the material and the importance of communicating with the theatre company, director, choreographer, and fellow band members. Chapter Two provides my personal philosophies on the most important ways to train, and the skill sets and personality traits I believe are the most important. I examined several personal experiences as music director, sub, and accompanist, and discussed what I learned from each, including the importance of sight reading, adaptability, collaboration, the impact of dramatic timing, acting, basic conducting, vamps and safeties, and how overcome common obstacles. As stated, my aim was to research and reflect in order to craft a comprehensive guide that can be referenced in a number of circumstances for both the novice and accomplished music director and/or accompanist. Not every tactic will fit every person, though with a combination of research, honest and transparent anecdotal support, and "With a Little Bit of Luck," I am confident every person can discover some bit of value from this project.
If this is your thesis or dissertation, and want to learn how to access it or for more information about readership statistics, contact us at STARS@ucf.edu
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
School of Performing Arts
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Hayes, Danielle, "Music Direction and Piano Accompaniment in Musical Theatre: A Practical Guide" (2023). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1574.