Create and Produce: Music Theatre Workshop

I. Course description:

A course which focuses on the creation, preparation, production & staging of an original musical drama within a three-week timeframe.

II. Instructor’s educational preparation and current employment


  • Bachelor of Science in Education, University of Missouri-Columbia (1995)
  • Bachelor of Music in Performance, University of Missouri-Columbia (1995)
  • Graduate coursework completed through Northwest Missouri State University, the University of Missouri-Columbia and the University of Missouri-St. Louis
  • Currently employed by the Ladue School District, St. Louis County, Missouri
  • CONTACT INFORMATION:  Chad Prewett, Ladue Middle School, 9701 Conway Road, St. Louis, MO 63124
III. Rationale for inclusion in a program for gifted students

This course provides enrichment and extension opportunities in the study of musical composition, theory, theatrical production, creative writing and staging which are not typically available in Missouri high school performing arts programs.

IV. Major topics covered
  • Components of the creative process
  • Compositional structure and form
  • Set-up, configuration, operation and troubleshooting of MIDI sequencing software and digital audio recording software
  • Basic and advanced techniques for tracking, editing and mixing musical scores using MIDI sequencing and digital audio recording software
  • Structure and pattern within chord progressions
  • Strategies related to lyric writing for musical theater
  • Team-building and systems for organized artistic collaboration
  • Improvisational acting
  • Story creation, editing, and scriptwriting
  • Basic theatrical rehearsal & production terminology & procedure
V. Pre-requisite knowledge

Some prior music theory knowledge, musical theater experience and/or piano keyboarding skills are helpful for the course, but not necessary.

VI. Learning objectives
  • To allow students the opportunity to explore and experience the elements of the creative process.
  • To expand and extend student knowledge and experiences in the areas of musical composition and theory.
  • To allow students meaningful and advanced experiences with integrated projects combining musical creation with related endeavors in visual arts, dramatics and movement.
  • To expose students to cutting-edge technology in the world of music and audio production.
  • To encourage the application of non-linear thinking to creative thought.
  • To enhance skills in self-expression and creativity.
  • To develop skills in both artistic collaboration and artistic leadership.
  • To build upon existing creative writing skills.
  • To equip students with skills necessary to express creative thoughts through composition with the aid of contemporary technology.
VII. Primary source material

No primary source is in use; materials, strategies and plans are drawn from an eclectic array of workshops, texts and personal experiences.


FreeStyle MIDI sequencing software (published by Mark of the Unicorn, Inc.—

ProTools LE hard disk recording software (published by Digidesign, Inc.—

VIII. Supplementary source material

Curriculum guides from the Experience Music Project online (

IX. Computing and the Internet (if applicable)

Much of the course is computer-based. Uses of Internet music and legal issues surrounding Internet music are covered; the Internet is not formally used by students during the course.