10 Best musical theater songs to learn (2022)

As you embark on your beginner singing lessons, it can be helpful to set yourself some goals of what you’d like to achieve as part of your studies. Musical theatre is one of our most popular styles among our students and it comes as no surprise since there are so many beautiful songs written in the genre and they offer a real challenge for your vocals. In no particular order, we have listed 10 of the best musical theatre songs to learn. Whether you are just starting out and looking for some inspiration or you’ve been singing for a while and are looking for a challenge, you will find a song for you on this list!

1.Memory – Cats

Based on a poem by T.S. Elliot, this heart wrenching show tune was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber with lyrics by Trevor Nunn, and it is by far one of the most popular songs in the musical ‘Cats’. The song is written for Grizabella, a character who was once a glamour cat and has now become an outcast. She sings ‘Memory’ to plead for forgiveness and acceptance from the other Jellicle Cats. Jemima, also known as Sillabub, is a young cat in the musical who is sympathetic of Grizabella and joins in through the song to urge her on. This is a beautifully written piece to aspire to and it’s fantastic to work on your key changes, dynamics and expanding your range.

2. Defying Gravity – Wicked

Probably one of the most popular show tunes of all time, ‘Defying Gravity’ is certainly a song that will give you a run for your money. This uplifting, emotive tune is a true pleasure to listen to and it really grasps your attention as it builds up to a stunning, powerful climax. In the musical, Elphaba Thropp, Wicked Witch of the West, performs the song as a way to own her outcast status and find power through it, which is quite different to ‘Memory’, where the protagonist pleads for acceptance. This is, without a doubt, a tough song to sing and one that requires a lot of skill and dexterity, however, it’s a great goal to set for yourself to motivate you through your lessons.

(Video) Top 10 Songs From Theatre Musicals

3. I Dreamed a Dream – Les Miserables

Another hugely popular musical theatre song, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ explores a very wide dynamic range and it’s fantastic for working on your softer, lower register as well as your vibrato and head voice. In the original, it is sung by Fantine, a character who is upset about ending up on the streets after getting fired from her factory job and reminisces on her happier days. In some adaptations, the song is also used to accentuate the fact that Fantine is forced to turn to prostitution after losing her job. As well as being covered by numerous artists in film adaptations and on stage, ‘I Dreamed a Dream’ is also translated in 21 languages, emphasising just how many people have enjoyed this beautiful piece all around the world.

4. You’re the One That I Want – Grease

Although it wasn’t in the original musical and it was later added in the film adaptation, ‘You’re the One That I Want’ from ‘Grease’ is a bouncy, upbeat song that is perfect for a duet. Originally sung by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, it has achieved a huge commercial success, selling an estimated 15 million copies. It has more of a pop feel compared to other songs on this list, therefore, it is perfect to learn if you’re transitioning from a pop background into musical theatre style.

5. A Million Dreams – Greatest Showman

(Video) Top 10 Hardest Modern Broadway Songs to Sing

We simply had to include this song, especially since it has achieved so much commercial success as the soundtrack for the film, ‘The Greatest Showman’. It has been covered by other famous artists like Pink, Susan Boyle and Michael Ball. Although ‘A Million Dreams’ has been popularised by a film rather than a theatre production, it has all the show tune qualities that will help you work on your craft and, due to its popularity, it’s also a very fun song to sing that will be recognised by audiences of all ages.

6. All That Jazz – Chicago

Perfect for adult singers who love a bit of jazz, this sultry song would work very well for someone who is comfortable in a lower register and might not want to venture into the bigger show tunes like ‘I Dreamed A Dream’ or ‘Defying Gravity’. Still, this song offers plenty of character and theatrics to play with and it is one that you can really have fun with while performing.

7. You’ll Never Walk Alone – Carousel

A very popular show tune from the 1945 musical ‘Carousel’, this song has touched the hearts of many around the world. It is sung in football clubs and it was also dedicated to key workers and those in quarantine during the pandemic. In the original musical, it was sung by protagonist Julie Jordan’s cousin, Nettie Fowler, to comfort her following the death of her husband. This is an uplifting and heart-warming ballad that can also be a really good challenge for your vocals.

(Video) Top 10 BEST Songs to Audition With

8. Don’t Cry for Me Argentina – Evita

Beautifully written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, ‘Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ was initially intended for a concept album, which was later developed into the musical, ‘Evita’. This song was inspired by Eva Peron, who was the First Lady of Argentina and was involved in a number of charitable and feminist activities. This song is emotive, exploring a wide dynamic range, building from softer verses to a truly impactful chorus. A really great song for anyone to aspire to!

9. Favorite Things – The Sound of Music

A great song for beginners, this upbeat and cheerful show tune is from the popular musical ‘The Sound of Music’. Recently reworked by Ariana Grande in her song ‘7 Rings’, this is a comforting classic that will be loved by anyone who hears you practice!

10. All I Ask of You – The Phantom of the Opera

(Video) Musicals - The Hits Of Broadway & West End Theatres (Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Hamilton, etc.)

Ending our list with another number by Andrew Lloyd Webber, ‘All I Ask of You’ is a stunning duet that was originally recorded by Sarah Brightman and Cliff Richard, although the male protagonist was played by Steve Barton. The movie adaptation of the musical ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ was widely successful and gave the original soundtracks a more current makeover.

Do you want to learn any of these songs? We can help!

We have talented singing teachers in London who can help make your musical theatre aspirations come true! We offer voice lessons for beginner adults in a comfortable, motivating environment that will let you overcome any anxieties you have about singing and unveil your unique vocal talent. Our singing lessons in London for beginners can be adapted to all and any of the most popular styles, so get in touch with us today for more information and to book your first lesson. You have nothing to lose and a beautiful vocal to gain!

Want to learn musical theatre? find out more what we offer (both in London and internationally via Zoom) with our musical theatre singing courses

Tags: How to sing in musical theatre style, Musical theatre songs, Musical theatre voice development, Musical theatre singing tips

(Video) lofi hip hop radio - beats to relax/study to


What are the easiest Broadway songs to sing? ›

First 50 Broadway Songs You Should Sing
  • Anything Goes (from ANYTHING GOES)
  • As Long As He Needs Me (from the Columbia Pictures - Romulus Motion Picture Production of Lionel Bart's)
  • Beauty And The Beast (from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST)

What is the most famous song from a musical? ›

Your Top 20 Greatest Songs From a Musical Revealed!
  1. 'One Day More' - Les Misérables.
  2. 'Bring Him Home' - Les Misérables. ...
  3. 'Defying Gravity' - Wicked. ...
  4. 'This Is Me' - The Greatest Showman. ...
  5. 'Over The Rainbow' - The Wizard Of Oz. ...
  6. 'Singin' In The Rain' - Singin' In The Rain. ...
  7. 'Circle Of Life' - The Lion King. ...

What are good songs to audition for a musical with? ›

Meet our voice teachers and see if we serve your area.
  • Know What Songs Show Off Your Voice. Before your child selects a song, they first need to know their range. ...
  • #1 – “Think of Me” for sopranos. ...
  • #2 – “There Are Worse Things I Could Do” for Altos. ...
  • #3 – “Maria” for Tenors. ...
  • #4 – “Edelweiss” for Bass.

How do you pick a musical theatre song? ›

Sing along and see whether the song lies well in your voice and whether you match the required technical demands at THIS stage. Choose songs you can sing NOW. Choose songs which suit your casting and which have lyrics which mean something to you. Choose songs you WANT to sing again and again as you love them.

Can you do musical Theatre if you can't sing? ›

If you've ever wondered if you should audition for a musical when you can't sing, the answer is, unequivocally: Yes! Musicals need all types of people: dancers, actors, singers, and people to fill the stage in big crowd numbers.

What musical Theatre song should I sing? ›

50 great Broadway classics all high voice singers should have under their belts, including: Anything Goes • Cabaret • Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man • Don't Cry for Me Argentina • For Good • I Could Have Danced All Night • I Dreamed a Dream • I Feel Pretty • The Man I Love • Memory • My Favorite Things • Part of Your World ...

What is the most viewed musical of all time? ›

Highest-grossing musical theatre productions
RankMusicalOriginal production
Debut year
1The Lion King1997
3The Phantom of the Opera1988
22 more rows

What is the biggest hit on Broadway? ›

The Lion King is the highest-grossing Broadway show of all time. Since its opening on Nov. 13, 1997, The Lion King has earned $1,539,318,552 and counting.

What is the longest musical theatre song? ›

Can you name the Broadway musical when given its longest song?
SongSong Length
Winner Takes It All4:09
Chip on my Shoulder8:50
Down Once More/Track Down this Murderer11:55
Dancing Through Life7:37
12 more rows
22 Jun 2016

What should you not sing at an audition? ›

10 Songs NOT to audition with
  • #1: 'Tomorrow' from Annie. ...
  • #2: 'Where Is Love? ...
  • #3: 'On My Own' from Les Miserables. ...
  • #4: 'I Dreamed A Dream' from Les Miserables. ...
  • #5: 'Bring Him Home' from Les Miserables. ...
  • #6: 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' from The Wizard Of Oz. ...
  • #7: Pretty much anything by Andrew Lloyd Webber.
12 Dec 2011

How do you nail a musical audition? ›

How to Nail a Broadway Audition & Get the Part - YouTube

What is 32 measures of a song? ›

A 32 bar cut is common term used by casting agents, directors, musicians and actors which refers to 32 bars or measures of music requested at a musical theater audition or any audition in which the actor or musician may be asked to sing or perform.

Is Aladdin a baritone or tenor? ›

Film example: In Disney's Aladdin, Aladdin is a baritone. Interestingly enough, Brad Kane, who provided the singing voice for Aladdin, also played Arpad in the 1992 revival of She Loves Me.

How long should an audition song be? ›

Singing auditions usually last no more than 10 minutes. When you practice, you should prepare about 2 minutes worth of the music, but plan to cut it around a minute and a half. You do not want to go much over that, and sometimes the judges will cut you off if you lose track of your time.

Can a girl sing a guy song for an audition? ›

Can a Guy Sing a Girls Song at an Audition? - YouTube

How do I get into musical theatre with no experience? ›

Go to musical theatre camp.

The most prestigious ones are by audition only, but there are plenty of good ones you can attend with no previous experience. Try to find one that includes acting, singing, dancing, and some sort of performance at the end.

How do you prepare for a musical theatre audition? ›

Tips for Auditioning
  1. Be prepared. If you are asked to present a song or monologue, prepare your piece well. ...
  2. Be kind to everyone and smile. ...
  3. Be on time for your appointment. ...
  4. Use your waiting time wisely. ...
  5. Dress appropriately. ...
  6. Introduce yourself. ...
  7. Don't watch the directors. ...
  8. Mistakes happen.

What song should I sing for my middle school audition? ›

Some good choices would be: Anything Disney - "Part of That World", "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Beauty and the Beast", "Just Can't Wait to Be King", etc. "Castle on a Cloud" is also always a safe choice.

What is my vocal range? ›

Finding your vocal range

Vocal range refers to how high and low a performer can comfortably sing. You will need to add both the lowest and the highest note on your CV. To find your current vocal range, all you'll need to do is: Get your hands on a piano.

What should I sing for a choir audition? ›

You'll want to select a simple audition song (or two) that shows you off. Many choral groups will specify acceptable genres, but you can never go wrong with a short art song or classic musical theater piece. Suggested composers include Brahms, Faure, Quilter, and Rodgers, and Hammerstein.

What is the best musical ever made? ›

What are the best stage musicals of all time?
  • My Fair Lady (1956)
  • The Sound of Music (1959)
  • Jesus Christ Superstar (1971)
  • Chicago (1975)
  • Sweeney Todd – The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (1979)
  • Les Miserables (1985)
  • Phantom of the Opera (1986)
  • Rent (1996)
10 Sept 2021

What is the #1 show on the list of popular Broadway shows? ›

1. The Lion King. The throne of Broadway musicals belongs to Simba, those who buy tickets for The Lion King will be in front of the adaptation of the famous Disney animated film and on numerous occasions has been recognized as the best musical of all.

What is the best musical in 2021? ›

The best movie musicals of 2021, ranked (including Peter Dinklage's 'Cyrano')
  • 'Annette'
  • 'In the Heights' ...
  • 'Cyrano' ...
  • 'Diana: The Musical' ...
  • 'Everybody's Talking About Jamie' ...
  • 'Dear Evan Hansen' Available to buy or rent. ...
  • 'Come From Away' Now streaming on Apple TV+ ...
  • 'Cinderella' Now streaming on Amazon Prime. ...
28 Sept 2021

What were the 5 most successful shows in the history of Broadway theatre? ›

Grosses and performances totals for currently running productions are all as of April 1, 2018.
  • The Lion King, $1,463,250,222. ...
  • Wicked, $1,190,774,930. ...
  • The Phantom of the Opera, $1,150,057,053. ...
  • Mamma Mia!, ...
  • Chicago (1996 revival), $613,892,561. ...
  • Jersey Boys, $558,416,084. ...
  • The Book of Mormon, $546,598,332.

What does 44 mean in music? ›

So, what does 4/4 mean in music? In the 4/4 time signature, the numbers tell you that each measure will contain four quarter note beats. So each time you tap the beat, you're tapping the equivalent of one-quarter note.

How much do Broadway actors make? ›

The salaries of Broadway Actors in the US range from $26,063 to $708,331 , with a median salary of $127,367 . The middle 57% of Broadway Actors makes between $127,369 and $320,944, with the top 86% making $708,331.

What is the hardest musical to sing? ›

  • Defying Gravity, Wicked.
  • And I Am Telling You (I'm Not Going), Dreamgirls.
  • The Phantom of the Opera.
  • (Not) Getting Married Today, Company.
  • Pity the Child, Chess.
  • Electricity, Billy Elliot.
  • Glitter and Be Gay, Candide.
  • Gethsemane, Jesus Christ Superstar.
22 May 2020

What is the fastest musical song? ›

"Thousand" was listed in Guinness World Records for having the fastest tempo in beats-per-minute (BPM) of any released single, peaking at approximately 1,015 BPM.

Is it hard to burn to sing? ›

Not so with “Burn.” Control is what makes this one so tough. The quiet parts of this song tend to trip singers up as much as the loud ones because of how much precision they take. If you're most comfortable as a belter, sometimes dialing it back can cause a lot of vocal tension.

What is the hardest song to sing for a female? ›

The 20 Hardest Songs to Sing for Females
  • 1. “ Chandelier” by Sia.
  • 2. “ If I Ain't Got You” by Alicia Keys.
  • 3. “ I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston.
  • 4. “ Vision Of Love” by Mariah Carey.
  • 5. “ Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson.
  • 6. “ Stone Cold” by Demi Lovato.
  • 7. “ Alone” by Heart.
  • 8. “
14 Jun 2022

What is the hardest pop song to sing? ›

Here's our list of 10 hardest karaoke songs to sing
  • 8) MONEY by Pink Floyd. ...
  • 7) IMAGINE by Ariana Grande. ...
  • 6) LOVIN' YOU by Minnie Riperton. ...
  • 5) WITHOUT ME by Eminem. ...
  • 4) STONE COLD by Demi Lovato. ...
  • 3) BODY AND SOUL by John Green. ...
  • 2) B.Y.O.B by System of a Down. ...
  • 1) BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY by Queen.
26 Aug 2020

What song has the largest vocal range? ›

Montserrat Caballé hits this note in Strauss' opera Salome. But it's Mariah Carey who takes the prize for the largest vocal range of all. She can reach a low F2 and hit an unbelievable G7, a note that dolphins would envy, and that only some dogs can hear.

What is the best color to wear to an audition? ›

Stick with colors that look good on you

Bright white will “burn” the camera, and black also isn't a great color on camera (plus it ages you). Stick to colors that look good with your skin tones and hair! Jewel tones look great on camera. Blue is the color that gets cast most often.

Why is my voice so shaky when I sing? ›

A wobble is usually a support problem (not enough lower body resistance of the upper and lower abdominals and the lower lumbar muscles to hold back the breath pressure), followed by carrying too much weight too high in the voice (singing with too much “thick vocal cord mass”), lack of focus in the tone, and lack of ...

How should I dress for a musical Theatre audition? ›

What to Wear to an Audition
  1. Be comfortable. ...
  2. Lean towards what you're auditioning for. ...
  3. Don't wear all black. ...
  4. Use colour and style to help yourself stand out in a crowd. ...
  5. If it's a dance call, wear something that shows the lines of your body. ...
  6. Take your dance shoes with you. ...
22 Feb 2017

How do I prepare my voice for an audition? ›

How Singers Should Prepare for Auditions - YouTube

How do I prepare for my first audition? ›

Here are seven tips to help you prepare for the big day without getting in your own way.
  1. Dress the part. Whatever the part you're seeking, you should come dressed for the role. ...
  2. Arrive early. ...
  3. Have questions ready. ...
  4. Practice on camera beforehand. ...
  5. Beware of trying too hard. ...
  6. Don't memorize.
29 Jul 2019

How many minutes is 64 bars? ›

64 Bars is a moody song by Peezy with a tempo of 95 BPM. It can also be used double-time at 190 BPM. The track runs 3 minutes and 17 seconds long with a E key and a minor mode.

How many seconds is 8 bars? ›

The "15 Second" or "8 Bar" Rule

A common misconception among musicians is that we can legally use a piece of copyrighted material as long as we only use a small portion of it. The idea is that if you use just 8 bars of a composition or sample less than 15 seconds of a recording, you'll be protected.

How many beats is 16 bars? ›

After the intro, rap songs usually go into the verse. Most of the time verses are 16 bars. Which mean 16 counts of 4.

Does Jafar sing in Aladdin Jr? ›

It was to be sung by Jafar when he used Genie to turn into a sultan and a sorcerer, and then takes over Agrabah. The Aladdin Jr. musical restores it, but at a different moment: in this version, he sings it when he's about to finally get the lamp.

Does Sultan sing in Aladdin? ›

Sultan, the warm-hearted ruler who dotes on his daugther, is committed to upholding the ancient laws of Agrabah. With only a single lyric to sing, focus on casting an actor who can play this father figure convincingly.

Does a Jafar sing in the Aladdin musical? ›

Diamond in the Rough is a song of Disney's Broadway musical version of Aladdin. It was sung by the titular character, Jafar and Iago.

What should I drink to have a good voice? ›

What are the best drinks for your singing voice? The best drinks for your singing voice are water (especially room-temperature water, perhaps with a squeeze or two of lemon) and tea, but be careful about consuming too much caffeine, which can dehydrate you. You can find wonderful herbal teas designed for singers.

How can I make my voice soft and clear? ›

Relax your voice using vocal exercises
  1. humming.
  2. lip buzzing.
  3. tongue trills.
  4. loosening your jaw by opening your mouth wide, then gently closing it.
  5. yawning.
  6. deep breathing.
  7. gently massaging your throat to loosen tense muscles.
20 Apr 2020

What foods are good for vocal cords? ›

Best Foods
  • Water. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. ...
  • Toast and Unsalted Crackers. You can keep your voice naturally hydrated by eating toasted bread and unsalted crackers. ...
  • Cantaloupe. Cantaloupes and other melons are about 90% water. ...
  • Warm Herbal Tea. ...
  • Milk. ...
  • Ice Cream. ...
  • Bacon. ...
  • Citrus.
16 Dec 2020

What is a good song for a kid to sing for an audition? ›

Some good choices would be: Anything Disney - "Part of That World", "When You Wish Upon A Star", "Beauty and the Beast", "Just Can't Wait to Be King", etc. "Castle on a Cloud" is also always a safe choice.

What songs to sing if you can't sing? ›

Take a shot of liquid courage (aka soju) and get on the mic.
  • Undone (The Sweater Song) - Weezer.
  • As Long As You Love Me - Backstreet Boys.
  • Livin' On A Prayer - Bon Jovi.
  • Ring Of Fire - Johnny Cash.
  • Friends In Low Places - Garth Brooks.
12 Apr 2017

What's a good song for beginners? ›

1. Ain't No Sunshine by Bill Withers. This is a great song to start with because it is a repetitive tune without a true “chorus” and the verses all sound the same. The repetition makes for easy recognition of pitch and the range is also very limited, making this simple.

What are the easiest songs to sing female? ›

40 Easy Karaoke Songs for Females
  • Taylor Swift – Shake it Off.
  • Britney Spears 'Oops… I Did It Again'
  • Britney Spears 'Baby One More Time'
  • Bill Withers 'Ain't No Sunshine'
  • ABBA 'Dancing Queen'
  • Lady Gaga 'Born This Way'
  • Spice Girls 'Wannabe'
  • Dolly Parton 'Jolene'
6 Mar 2022

How do you nail a musical audition? ›

How to Nail a Broadway Audition & Get the Part - YouTube

How many seconds is 16 bars of music? ›

A 16-bar cut should be around 30–45 seconds (one minute is maximum) and a 32-bar cut should be around 1:15–1:30 (two minutes is maximum). The most important thing is that the cut feel right and make good musical sense.


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