Have you presented a few musical programs with your students in the past, and are considering doing something “a bit more involved?” Consider trying a junior musical! There are several series of shows available:
- Broadway Junior and KIDS Collection from Music Theatre International
- Getting to Know (G2K) Collection from Rodgers & Hammerstein
- Young @ Part Series from Theatrical Rights Worldwide
These shows are created with the younger performer (grades K-9) in mind. These companies have adapted the music so that it is appropriate for developing voices. The shows have kid-friendly scripts, and basically includes everything you need to produce your show – all in one box! Plus, they’re affordable. Read on for the Top 10 Reasons why we feel you should consider a Junior Musical for your group this coming year:
10 – Your students already know the stories.
There are a variety of musicals to choose from, including:
- Disney shows (Aladdin, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, Pinocchio, 101 Dalmatians, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, the Jungle Book, Winnie the Pooh and others)
- Classic Musicals (Annie, The Music Man, Fiddler on the Roof, The King and I, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music and others)
- Contemporary Musicals (Elf the Musical, Into the Woods, Legally Blonde, Madagascar, Seussical, The Addams Family, Spamalot, and others).
….and many more! Visit westmusic.com/juniormusicals to see the complete offerings.
9 – There are shows designed for elementary students or for middle school students.
Most of these productions are approximately 60 minutes long and designed for students in late elementary through middle school. However, MTI’s KIDS Collection shows are only about 30 minutes long, and are created especially for elementary students. NOTE: The contracts for these shows do not allow students older than 9th grade to participate. So make sure you keep that in mind. If you want to include older students, you’ll need to rent the “real” show and go through the larger rental / royalties process.
8 – Shows are expandable to include as many students as you’d like.
Most of these junior musical shows have a core cast. Additionally they include a chorus and/or extras to include as many students as possible. The chorus students need to sing, but often parts are available with just speaking, or no speaking or singing at all. This gives an opportunity for students to just being present in the show. This is sometimes the best way to get a student “hooked!”
7 – The Production Guide walks you through everything you will need for sets, costumes, auditions, rehearsals, and more!
Each of these shows comes with a Production Guide that gives you all the information required to produce the show. This is separate from the Piano/Vocal Score. Even if you’re a first-time show director, this Guide “holds your hand” and make sure you don’t forget anything.
6 – You’ll have a 1-year license to perform the musical as many times as you would like within that window.
You don’t have to decide on your dates when you buy the musical! This gives you the flexibility to pick a show over the summer and start exploring the materials, and then choose a performance date when you’re back in the fall – or whenever it fits for you!
5 – Songs are easy to learn with the Guide Vocal / Performance CD.
You are often allowed to create rehearsal CDs for your students from the enclosed junior musical CD. There are options to order them as an add-on if you don’t have time to do the extra work. Therefore students can take the show with them and practice wherever they are!
4 – Choreography is included.
There is a Choreography DVD included with each junior musical show that will teach the choreography to the students. You don’t have to bring in a separate person to teach the movement (if that’s not your thing)! And the dancing is not complicated! Here are a few excerpts to demonstrate:
3 – There is no pit orchestra.
There is a performance/accompaniment CD that comes in the junior musical pack. You will use this as your accompaniment (unless you just want to use piano – but the recordings are top-notch!).
2 – These shows are affordable.
The KIDS Collection shows run from $395 – $645, Broadway Junior shows are $550 – $795, Getting to Know shows are $500 – $650, and Young@Part shows are $625 – all depending on which show you pick. When you think about what all those resources are worth, and the one-year license, it’s really reasonable!
TRY BEFORE YOU BUY
You can also preview a junior musical show before you buy it. Each show offers a sampler or perusal pack that comes with a CD containing all the songs in the show plus a student script so you can see how it all fits together, and if it will work for your students. These junior musical samplers range from $9.99 – $19.95 depending on the show. These are available from West Music at any time from our Junior Musicals page.
1 – It’s easy to order.
Everything comes in one box! To order a Showkit (Broadway Junior and KIDS), Production Pack (G2K), or Showbox (Young@Part), simply call our 1-800 number (1-800-397-9378) and we’ll take your order. We’ll need to get your email and phone # as well. We send the order to Hal Leonard Corporation (they distribute the products and process the licenses), and they will send you an email with your license agreement. Sign the agreement and email it back to them, and they will ship out your box! It’s a simple process, and Hal Leonard has been a great partner to work with. If you find that you need additional components (more singer books, CDs, or piano/vocal scores, etc..), you can order those as well (for an additional fee). See below to see what comes in each box – depending on the series*:
- Broadway Junior – Showkit includes: 1 Director’s Script, 1 Piano/Vocal Score, 30 Student Scripts, 1 Production Handbook, 2 Performance/Accompaniment CDs, 1 Choreography DVD, 1 Cross-curricular Activities & Enrichment brochure, and 30 Family Matters booklets
- KIDS Collection – Showkit includes: 1 Director’s Script, 1 Piano/Vocal Score, 1 Rehearsal/Accompaniment CD, 1 Choreography DVD, 30 Student Scripts, and 30 Family Matters booklets
- Getting to Know – Production Pack includes: 1 Production Guide (with 1 Perf/Accomp CD, 1 Choreography DVD, and 1 Media Resources Disc), 1 Piano/Vocal Score, and 30 Student Scripts (also includes an Instant Digital Download if you don’t want to wait for the box to arrive)
- Young&Part – Showbox contains: 1 Director’s Script, 2 Piano/Vocal Scores, 1 Guide Vocals CD, 1 Performance Tracks CD, 30 Cast Script/Vocal Books, and 1 Logo Pack CD.
*some shows may have additional components, but this is the minimum each box will contain. See specific show pages for details.
Have we convinced you yet?
If you need more information about junior musicals, visit our website at westmusic.com/juniormusicals, and read more about the individual shows and our FAQ’s from our customers. We’d also be happy to suggest some shows for you to preview – just let us know! If you’re ready to “take the plunge” into the world of musicals, we’re here to help!
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
If you have already performed one of these junior musicals we’d love to hear from you in the comments below. Let us know what your experience was like, and what “tips and tricks” you may have learned that could help others who want to perform the same show. We look forward to hearing from you!
Break a leg!
Andrea Pelloquin is the Education Consultant for Print Materials at West Music. She is a former public school music teacher and has spent the last 15 years in the world of music publishing and retail. She has also maintained a small private flute and piano studio for over 20 years. Ask her about anything related to print resources, musicals, children’s literature, Nuvo instruments, and puppets, among other things. She welcomes suggestions and recommendations from our community of teachers.