HomeEducationExamsThe New LCME Musical Theatre Exams: What to Know

The New LCME Musical Theatre Exams: What to Know

The London College of Music Examinations has just released a new musical theatre graded and diploma syllabus. This exciting new approach to examining the art form sets itself apart by encouraging personal involvement and focusing on the power of lyrics to create outstanding performances. Here are the new changes in the LCME musical theatre syllabus:

  1. Candidates are obliged to use the accompanying exam book, a change from the previous Music Theatre grades
  2. An all-new selection of musical pieces that span a wide range of styles and eras
  3. Renews the emphasis on acting
  4. A unique opportunity to explore the intricate nuances of each song and uncover new layers of meaning in the lyrics.

New Requirements for the LCME Musical Theatre Syllabus

A significant change in this syllabus is the requirement for candidates to use the new Musical Theatre Handbooks to source at least one piece, ensuring their comprehensive understanding of the subject matter. It is also worth noting that the previous handbooks can still be used to source alternative repertoire, offering a wide range of options that will cater to every candidate’s strengths and interests.

London College of Music Musical Theatre Old & New Handbooks
LCME’s old musical theatre syllabus and LCME’s updated musical theatre syllabus

Emphasis on acting

Teachers will appreciate the renewed emphasis on fostering candidates’ creativity and exploration, allowing them to guide their students towards a more profound and personal understanding of the repertoire. Additionally, the new syllabus presents a new and diverse repertoire that favours inclusivity by enabling candidates to reflect on their unique experiences and articulate them through a song’s narrative.

Day by Day from Godspell
Each piece included in the LCME Musical Theatre Syllabus is accompanied by an introduction and performance note to help candidates contextualize the piece and articulate their emotions.

What’s included in the new LCME Musical Theatre syllabus

Each graded Musical Theatre Handbook includes a new selection of designated pieces, ranging from Steps 1&2 to Grades 1-8. The earlier Grades 1­-3 focus on enabling the candidate to interpret each lyric and place the narrative in a world they relate to.

LCME Musical Theatre Sample Pages
The new LCME Musical Theatre Syllabus includes “You’ll Be Back” from Hamilton the Musical, and “We Should Have Listened” from Pied Piper.

Grade 4 explores the American Song Book, inviting performers to craft meaningful characters and situations based on songs everyone will recognize. In contrast, Grade 6 features an entirely original repertoire of previously unpublished and specially commissioned pieces. There are no iconic performances to emulate in this grade, letting the performer’s imagination come to the foreground. Finally, Grades 7-8 feature an advanced but diverse selection of songs, so candidates of all ages can showcase the knowledge acquired throughout the syllabus.


London College of Music Exams has for many years been the leading exam board for assessment of performance in musical theatre. As an awarding body, LCM pioneers the development of flexible examination formats, giving candidates in many subjects the ability to be assessed entirely or predominantly in performance. Adjustments for candidates with special needs are available, as well as the choice to submit a Digital Recorded Exam.

In essence, the reworked London College of Music Examinations musical theatre syllabus offers a fresh, engaging learning experience that prioritizes personal understanding, creativity, and the power of lyrics. This progressive approach will help candidates develop into versatile, self-assured performers capable of delivering captivating and memorable performances.


LCME Musical Theatre Handbooks

London College of Music Exams remains the leading exam board for assessment of performance in musical theatre. Their new Musical Theatre Handbooks support the updated syllabus of exams, available for Grades 1 to 8 with two pre-grade assessments. The publications contain 10 to 12 songs from across the musical theatre tradition, together with expert guidance and performance notes.

Interested in reading more about music and education? Check out other blog posts here!

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