“I chose MPAA because i thought that they were an inclusive caring company who would have my best interests at heart, and i was completely right.
They have helped me improve my confidence in performance further than i though possible and have contributed to the progression of my three disciplines with loving care in my first term. They have guided me to lead a healthy lifestyle and drastically changed my time management for the better. Being a part of MPAA makes me want to be a better version of myself everyday and helps me keep focus on my future ambitions with many classes lead by industry professionals.”
Aaron Marshall – MPAA Student
1. Inclusive Environment
A caring, creative home for top talent to train with top faculty
Most students struggle to build their confidence during their training.
So we decided to get the best faculty in the industry in one place, and create an inclusive environment where every student feels comfortable to experiment and grow their self-belief as well as their talent. So when you graduate with us, you have mastered your craft and mastered your mindset.
“You Do You. At MPAA, who you are, how you work, your individual needs and YOU as a person genuinely matter to us. Training is all about developing and improving you rather than changing you. We pride ourselves on the care that goes into each and every one of our students, the office door is always open and the faculty are not only incredible teachers, but a huge support whenever you may need it. Individuality is key, we teach you how to be the best versions of yourselves, rather than trying to fit into a mould of what you think a successful performer is. No one else can do you, as well as you can, always remember that. The environment at MPAA is a supportive network of young individuals, all of our students really do care for each other and learn from each other every single day.”
2. Peer Power
Less Competition, More Collaboration
A top school full of ambitious students will inevitably have an element of healthy competition. But at the heart of MPAA, we believe that ‘working together is the only way it works’. We carefully select students who have something special, who clearly show us that they love working in diverse teams and see it as an opportunity to learn from each other. Everyone is unique – and that is inspiring! Research has shown that “diversity is an important catalyst for creativity”1 and this important step in our admissions process fuels the collaborative environment at MPAA. When you choose to train with us, you are choosing a school that feels warm, welcoming, surrounded by supportive and talented classmates, forming bonds for life.
3. Individual Attention
Where Industry Standards & Your Standards meet
All drama schools will aim to teach you the technical skills that you require to meet the industry standards. Some schools succeed, some do not.
Why do some schools fail? It depends, there are many valid reasons for this, but one we often hear is that the student was not talented enough.
It stands to reason that if you are accepted into the programme, you are deemed talented enough. All students need individual attention and benefit from frequent individual feedback sessions from faculty.
At MPAA, we are proud to have the one of smallest class sizes to faculty ratio in the country. Learning is more efficient, students reach the industry standards faster, giving faculty much more time to focus on your individual skills. This personalised approach is more relevant for your career and more rewarding for the faculty. This is the level of care that it takes to make you shine at auditions, get the right roles for you and give audiences the show they came for.
Sharing life lessons that last a lifetime.
More individual attention means you spend more time sharing ideas with faculty and this has never been more valuable than it is today. The basic training, the foundations of performing arts, does not change from year to year. (In ten years time, a ‘kick, ball, change’ will still be a ‘kick, ball, change’. It will. We promise.)
However, the performing arts world changes all the time.
Believe in you
To be truly industry ready, you need so much more than content and contacts. You need a strong mindset, resilience and grit. Our faculty share stories of how they faced injuries, financial issues, nasty fine print in contracts and found a solution. You will learn how to look after yourself mentally and physically, how to take responsibility for your choices. These life lessons are timeless and transferable to any career pathway following your degree. We see education as instilling our core values and sharing our wisdom that gives you eternal strength during times of change and uncertainty.
Our faculty is built up of hugely experienced professionals coming from a broad range of backgrounds. Visit our faculty page to check out our full faculty in detail. They are the reason MPAA is the place to be, with all of our students counting themselves lucky every day to be taught by them.
5. Accredited and Internationally Recognized Qualifications
The core musical theatre classes consist of; Voice, Ensemble Singing, 1:1 Singing lessons, History of Musical Theatre, Acting, Improv, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Commercial, Contemporary, Choreography, Body Con, Double Work and Musical Theatre.
In addition to our BA(Hons) Musical Theatre Degree (led by Kevin Fountain), the majority of students enrol on to our Part-Time ISTD Dance Teacher Training course. This means that you graduate with two qualifications which opens more career paths and gives you an advantage over graduates in other schools.
It’s always important to add as many strings to your bow as you can and adding this teaching qualification to your skillset is invaluable, giving you so many more options once you graduate and the ability to teach alongside performing.
We also offer two different courses, ISTD Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) and Street Jazz Associate. MPAA was one of the first Approved Dance Centres recognised by the ISTD for their teacher training. All tutors are highly specialised in their field with the majority being fellows and examiners of the ISTD. Both courses are offered to full and part-time students. Since these qualifications were introduced by the ISTD over 10 years ago, we have successfully trained teachers who are now tutoring the work of the ISTD worldwide.
MPAA is delighted to be pioneering this new teaching qualification offered by the ISTD. This is a one year course, which takes place in the third year of training. The course covers the study of core Street Dance styles – Popping, Locking and Breaking. This course is run by Holly Penny who is a core member of the ISTD’s Street Dance Teaching team.
The Diploma in Dance Education (DDE) Level 4 in Imperial Classical Ballet, Modern Theatre & Tap. This includes all the units generic and genre-specific. This qualification is accredited by Ofqual. DDE takes place over three years and is led by our Head of Dance and Teacher Training, Vivienne Saxton
We can’t change the world, but we can help you navigate it
External events, like Brexit for example, are entirely outside your control and can affect your career – but not necessarily in a negative way. So whilst on one hand “music, performing and visual arts have lost 26% of jobs – 80,000 – due to the Covid-19 pandemic”2, on the other hand technology advances have seen many artists gaining and monetizing a strong following on social media.
By joining MPAA, you are joining a family, an innovative team, keen to exchange insights on how to turn every challenge into an opportunity. We are humbled to have the best faculty in the world teach our students. Each member of the teaching team is still active in the industry today and all have performed on stage and some still do so now. So you will get real advice from impressive teachers that know what challenges you face in today’s market.
Discuss your ideas with faculty, and design a career plan using data to drive your decisions rather than desire alone.
7. More experience on stage, more experts off stage
MPAA not only creates opportunities for you to perform to the public in your final year of training in which you will do three public performances and an industry showcase.
At MPAA you will have performance opportunities both in your 1st and 2nd year of training ensuring you are putting the skills learnt into practise. These can include a Cabaret Performance, a Dance based show and a full-scale Musical with orchestra as well as many internal projects. This is one of the many reasons to choose MPAA as the place for you.
Industry Led Learning
Our CEO and Artistic Director, Ben Darmanin is a theatre producer and consultant whose career on and off stage spans more than 25 years. His contributions to the industry are numerous and he is nothing short of an inspiration for everyone who is lucky enough to meet him and work with him. He is currently splitting his time between NYC and the UK,. Being so heavily involved in the industry himself, the high levels of Industry Led Learning really start with him.
As well as all of this, as a part of our commitment to Industry Led Learning, we regularly invite industry professionals to give talks and hold Masterclasses. Students have had the opportunity to visit film sets at Warner Brothers Studios, meet creatives from the West End and Broadway, listen to their stories and ask questions. These sessions are open to current and former students alike so it’s a good time to network with alumni and share insights.
Training throughout the three years will also include Industry Workshops taken by leading West End and Broadway performers. All Internal and External projects involve working alongside industry professionals in all areas, from Directors and MD’s to Choreographers and set designers. Working in this environment is constantly inspiring for the next generation of performers.
So, Why MPAA?
A message from our founder
“After highlighting simply some of the stand out points and advantages to training at MPAA, I hope we’ve answered the question of ‘Why MPAA?’ Still, I encourage you to visit several schools and take your time to pick the one that feels right and makes sense. I look forward to meeting you at our next open days. We truly are unique in what we offer and the level of training our students receive is the best of the best. We feel so grateful when a young performer chooses us to help them develop and bloom into an industry ready performer. We never take that trust for granted. If you want to spend time smiling, laughing, working hard and feeling rewarded, MPAA is the home for you!“