Learning and Teaching summary to all courses at MPA
The majority of the teaching and learning at MPA is studio-based. Technique and performance in dance, singing and acting is taught in regular daily sessions in order to sustain the ‘training’ element of the practical work. Physical and voice maintenance sessions accompany this work, laying a strong foundation for this professional approach necessary to sustain an industry career.
Performance studies are taught in each year of study; work becomes increasingly sophisticated and challenging as the student progresses and repertoire from major shows, both past and current, are learnt and executed, to allow students to become confident and proficient in a wide variety of performance work. Major directors, choreographers and producers from the professional world are involved in staging performance works at MPA and thus students are constantly linked to the profession and its chief protagonists. This is supported by a contextual understanding so that students not only know the ‘what’ of their performance work but also understand the ‘why’. Creativity is encouraged through student-led work, where students are mainly responsible for realising their own pieces for in-house and public performances.
Supporting Professional Studies include reflective practice, production techniques, self-management and specific subjects in preparation for professional work such as audition techniques; working with theatrical agencies; administrating income tax and membership of professional job search agencies like Spotlight and Dancers’ Pro. An understanding of arts practice in general, with exploration of philosophical views from performers and creators, is also included to enhance the depth of expression and interpretation in performance. This teaching is lecture and seminar-based and includes an amount of private study and autonomous learning.
Professionalism lies at the heart of Millennium Performing Arts. Our staff and management team nurture a creative, inspirational teaching and learning experience for every student.
Students, employers and the profession, recognise the value of our professional training. UK and EU applicants know that they will receive a world-class training at MPA. We offer our students the opportunity to develop their talents in versatility, creativity and performance. We provide encouragement for students to critically evaluate their own work and the work of others. Students are required to demonstrate the ability to compete equally and immediately upon graduation, in the profession.
We will offer our students a dedicated, in-depth and intensive training experience that replicates the high quality required by the profession. This provides MPA with a strong, professional approach, with a dedicated, disciplined work ethic reinforced by teaching staff and guest tutors, who are at the forefront of their field and who can bring their innovative, inspired approach to our studies. This also offers an opportunity for students to learn from current, working-professionals, in realistic ways, guided by excellent choreographers/directors in a work-like industry-led curriculum.
Today, our graduates need to be able to articulate their understanding of the variety of disciplines within dance, singing and acting in relation to other art forms and work confidently both independently and collaboratively in a range of different contexts. The challenging world of professional theatre benefits from our graduates’ knowledge and understanding of body movement and vocal skill in a disciplined, competitive environment.
We encourage our students to make beneficial contacts and useful connections at all levels. As an active highly regarded, Performing Arts training provider, with staff current and active in the professional industry, we are part of an elite group of London based training providers. Based in London, with access to professional theatre, creative culture and industry-leading companies; our students can learn and contribute to our industry.
Our approach to professional training highlights the importance we place upon supporting students’ learning. We deliver our training by offering an inclusive, welcoming atmosphere of positive training methods. We operate an open access policy, welcoming applications from talented individuals with the potential to succeed in the profession. Our “Millennium Way” reinforces our aim to provide study which meets the standards and requirements of all students who wish to pursue a career in Musical Theatre and Dance.
Assessment Strategy applicable to all courses at MPA:
Assessment is an integral part of the learning process and must be fair and transparent. It must encourage learning, by engaging students appropriately in the assessment process and by offering them feedback that enables them to improve their work further.
Assessment of practical work is undertaken both formatively and summatively. Technique subjects of the first and second year programme have formative assessment points in November. Summative assessment takes place at the end of years one and two to ensure adequate achievement allowing for progression to the next level of study. Each unit of study, on the fully validated courses, is awarded credits when successfully completed by the students and the credits per year allocated to Technical Studies reflect its importance and students must gain these credits in order to pass the year of study. In year three there is a summative assessment only, half way through the year, to allow for the intensive performance work, auditions and professional placements, which are a feature of the study programme at this level and follow during the second half of the year. The Unit is assessed in genre based tasks, which are weighted according to their significance to the achievement of the Unit. In years two and three a 10% weighting is given to study in a self-elected particular genre and this additional study gives the student the opportunity to build on strength and aptitude in a particular genre.
Performance work is assessed through on-going assessment of rehearsal processes and final assessment of both solo and group performances at designated points throughout the study. Again, assessment tasks are weighted within the credits allocated to the Unit. There is also a contextual study component in this Unit.
A professional studies portfolio is assessed at the end of years one and two and evidence of lectures, assessment tasks, reflective journal and autonomous learning activities is included. A final project in the 3rd year is designed to give the student the opportunity to research, develop and evaluate a ‘signature’ performance piece demonstrating individual strengths and artistic identity.