November 1, 2023

About the Author: Stefan Joubert

Passionate manager of LSI. Discover your voice, regardless of age or talent. Contact now at to start your singing lessons in London or online!

Musical theatre is a captivating world where storytelling is brought to life through the fusion of music, acting, and dance. As an aspiring performer, mastering iconic musical theatre songs can open doors to a world of creative expression and storytelling. In this article, we’ll delve into 10 must-learn musical theatre songs that have left an indelible mark on the stage. Each song offers unique challenges and opportunities for performers to sharpen their skills, connect with audiences, and evoke powerful emotions. Let us now discover 10 musical theatre songs To master!

Defying gravity musical cast on the stage

“Defying Gravity” From Wicked

“Defying Gravity,” a showstopper from the musical Wicked, is an absolute must for any aspiring musical theatre performer to master. This iconic song, performed by Elphaba, the misunderstood and green-skinned protagonist, is a pinnacle of vocal and emotional expression. The song marks a turning point in Elphaba’s life, symbolising her liberation from society’s prejudices and her embrace of her true self.

Mastering “Defying Gravity” is essential because it demands not only extraordinary vocal range and control but also the ability to convey the character’s emotional journey. The performer must transition from vulnerability to empowerment, from self-doubt to self-assuredness, and from conformity to individuality. When executed flawlessly, this song can bring audiences to tears and inspire them with its message of courage and self-acceptance. It’s a challenging yet immensely rewarding piece that showcases a performer’s vocal prowess and acting skills, making it a standout achievement in the world of musical theatre.

Cosette from les miserables

“On My Own” From Les Misérables

The hauntingly beautiful ballad “On My Own” from Les Misérables is a song that every musical theatre enthusiast should strive to master. Sung by the character Eponine, it is a poignant and emotionally charged soliloquy that captures the essence of unrequited love. Eponine’s heartfelt lyrics and soaring melody convey the depth of her feelings for Marius, a love that is destined to remain unfulfilled. This song requires not only exceptional vocal control but also the ability to convey profound emotions, making it a challenging yet immensely rewarding piece.

Becoming proficient in “On My Own” is of utmost importance as it provides a stage for a performer to demonstrate their vocal abilities and acting prowess. To authentically portray Eponine’s character, one must effectively convey the deep longing, heart-wrenching pain, and poignant resignation that she experiences. This song offers a unique opportunity to establish a profound emotional connection with the audience, leaving an enduring impact when performed with genuine authenticity. “On My Own” serves as a powerful testament to the storytelling potential of music in the realm of musical theatre. Attaining excellence in this piece enables a performer not only to captivate hearts but also to evoke genuine empathy from their audience, making it an indispensable addition to one’s repertoire.

Phantom of the opera

“The Music Of The Night” From The Phantom Of The Opera

“The Music of the Night” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s iconic musical, “The Phantom of the Opera,” is a mesmerising and hauntingly beautiful song that has enthralled audiences worldwide. This enchanting ballad, sung by the enigmatic Phantom, is a showcase of vocal prowess, emotional depth, and theatricality. The song’s sweeping melodies and poignant lyrics transport both the performer and the audience into the mysterious world of the Phantom, where desire, passion, and darkness intertwine.

Mastery of “The Music of the Night” presents a unique and compelling opportunity for aspiring musical theatre artists. It challenges the singer to navigate a broad vocal range, encompassing tender, intimate moments and powerful, crescendoing notes. The song’s dramatic intensity invites the performer to delve profoundly into character portrayal, delving into the intricate emotions and desires of the Phantom. By mastering this composition, a performer not only refines their vocal skills but also gains a profound understanding of the art of storytelling through music. This, in turn, enables them to captivate the hearts of their audience, immersing them in the Phantom’s world of enchantment and yearning.

Les mesirables

“I Dreamed A Dream” From Les Misérables

“I Dreamed a Dream” from the renowned musical “Les Misérables” is a poignant and emotionally charged soliloquy that has left an indelible mark on the world of musical theatre. The song, delivered by the character Fantine, is a heart-wrenching reflection on shattered dreams, lost innocence, and the harsh realities of life. Fantine’s raw and evocative lamentation through this piece makes it a powerful vehicle for showcasing a performer’s ability to convey profound emotions and connect with the audience on a deeply emotional level.

Becoming proficient in performing “I Dreamed a Dream” not only showcases a singer’s vocal skills but also highlights their capacity for storytelling. This song requires a delicate balance between vulnerability and strength, as the performer must portray the character’s journey from hope to despair with authenticity and sensitivity. Familiarity with this iconic song is essential for anyone in the world of musical theatre, as it exemplifies the transformative and cathartic power of music in conveying complex human emotions. It serves as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, the art of storytelling through song can touch hearts, inspire empathy, and leave a lasting impact, making it a vital piece to have in one’s repertoire.

Cats the musical casts on stage

“Memory” From Cats

“Memory” from Cats is an iconic musical number that carries profound emotional depth. It serves as the emotional centrepiece of the show, as the character Grizabella reflects on her past and longs for the happiness she once knew. This song demands a performer to tap into their emotional range and deliver a heart-wrenching rendition. The haunting melody and poignant lyrics make “Memory” a standout piece in musical theatre history.

Familiarising oneself with “Memory” is essential for any musical theatre enthusiast because it encapsulates the essence of storytelling through song. It offers an opportunity for performers to delve deep into a character’s emotions and convey them to the audience. Mastering this song not only showcases a singer’s vocal abilities but also their capacity to evoke empathy and connect with the audience on a profound level. “Memory” is a timeless classic that has the power to leave a lasting impact when performed with authenticity and emotion.

Company signage

“Being Alive” From Company

“Being Alive” from the musical Company is a poignant and introspective song that explores the complexities of human relationships and the desire for connection. It is a powerful solo piece that delves into the mind of the protagonist, Bobby, as he contemplates the significance of love, companionship, and the fear of being alone. The song’s lyrics, written by Stephen Sondheim, are deeply introspective and thought-provoking, making it a challenging yet rewarding piece for performers.

Mastering this song allows an artist to explore the depths of a character’s psyche and connect with the audience on a profound level. “Being Alive” serves as a reminder of the universal human need for love and connection, making it a timeless and relevant piece in the world of musical theatre.

The west side story poster

“Somewhere” From West Side Story

“Somewhere” from West Side Story is a timeless classic that resonates with audiences of all generations. This hauntingly beautiful ballad, composed by Leonard Bernstein with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, captures the essence of hope and longing. The song serves as a pivotal moment in the musical, conveying the desire for a better world and a place where love can conquer prejudice and hatred. With its sweeping melody and poignant lyrics, “Somewhere” is a vocal showcase that demands emotional depth and a strong connection to the character’s yearning for a brighter future.

The enduring allure of “Somewhere” is evidenced by its multitude of interpretations by various artists across time, underscoring the song’s timeless appeal and the universal resonance of its message. Whether presented on a grand stage or in an intimate setting, this composition possesses the innate ability to stir deep emotions and ignite inspiration, solidifying its status as an indispensable piece for individuals who harbour a fervent passion for the realm of musical theatre.

Barbra streisand black and white photo

“Don’t Rain On My Parade” From Funny Girl

“Don’t Rain on My Parade” from the classic musical “Funny Girl” is a showstopper that demands attention and exudes confidence. Sung by the indomitable Fanny Brice, this song is a declaration of independence and self-assurance. Mastering it is not just about hitting the high notes but also about capturing the character’s unapologetic spirit. It’s a song that allows performers to channel their inner diva and embrace their individuality. With its dynamic melody and empowering lyrics, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” is a testament to resilience and determination, making it a compelling addition to one’s musical repertoire.

This song encourages artists to tap into their emotions, express their determination, and captivate audiences with a powerful performance. It’s a celebration of defying expectations and pursuing one’s dreams, and mastering it can boost a performer’s confidence and stage presence. Additionally, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” has been covered and celebrated by numerous artists, solidifying its status as a beloved and iconic piece in the world of musical theatre.

Carousel musical casts

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” From Carousel

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” from the musical “Carousel” is an iconic and emotionally resonant song that has transcended its theatrical origins to become an anthem of hope and unity. The lyrics, penned by Oscar Hammerstein II and set to music by Richard Rodgers, convey a powerful message of solace and support. Mastering this song is not just about vocal technique but also about connecting with the profound emotions it evokes. It’s a song that has the capacity to touch the hearts of both performers and audiences, making it a valuable addition to any repertoire.

“You’ll Never Walk Alone” carries a timeless and universal message of solidarity and reassurance, making it especially poignant during challenging times. Whether delivered on a grand stage or in an intimate setting, this song possesses the remarkable ability to inspire and uplift, cultivating a profound sense of togetherness among both performers and listeners. Furthermore, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” has been embraced by numerous artists throughout the years, evolving into a symbol of unwavering resilience and unity. It underscores the enduring and transformative power of music in uniting people and imparting a sense of hope and strength.

Rent showing on theater

“Seasons Of Love” From Rent

“Seasons of Love” from Rent is a musical masterpiece that resonates deeply with audiences across the globe. This iconic song serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of measuring life not in minutes or hours but in love. With its heartwarming melody and thought-provoking lyrics, it encapsulates the essence of the human experience, encouraging listeners to reflect on the meaningful moments that define their lives.

Becoming proficient in “Seasons of Love” is highly advantageous for aspiring musical performers, as it highlights their vocal dexterity and emotional depth. It provides an opportunity to connect with audiences on a profound level, as the song’s universal message of love and unity strikes a chord with people from all walks of life. Moreover, “Seasons of Love” is a versatile piece that can be adapted to various musical styles and arrangements, making it a valuable addition to any performer’s repertoire. This song’s enduring popularity and timeless message make it an essential song for those looking to make a lasting impact in the world of musical theatre…

Mastering these 10 Musical Theatre Songs provides aspiring performers with a versatile and captivating repertoire that not only hones their vocal skills but also allows them to deeply connect with audiences.

Each of these songs presents distinct challenges, from vocal range to emotional depth and character portrayal, making them valuable additions to any performer’s repertoire. Embrace the transformative journey that these classics offer and step into the spotlight, where you can bring powerful storytelling and unforgettable music to life on the stage. Your performance awaits, and with these songs, you’re ready to shine!

Musical theatre

Looking To Get Started With Musical Theatre Lessons in London?

AT LSI we provide world-class musical theatre lessons on a one-to-one and group format in central London. We offer lessons both in the City of London and West End!

Learning to sing musical theatre allows you to express yourself in a way that you may not have experienced before. You can explore your vocal range, discover the depth of emotions you can convey, and develop characters that resonate with you.

Through the songs and performances, you can connect with your audience on a personal level, making them feel what you feel. As you immerse yourself in the world of musical theatre, you’ll find that it challenges you, inspires you, and empowers you to become the best performer you can be. So, if you’ve ever wondered how you can express yourself more deeply and passionately, musical theatre is the perfect avenue for you to explore.

Find out more about our musical theatre singing lessons in London!

Make your musical theatre dreams come true and take the world by storm!

Tags: Singing lessons for adults, Musical theatre singing tips, How to sing in musical theatre style, Musical theatre voice development

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Join London’s most distinguished vocal academy for adults

Exclusive vocal instruction for adults of all ages and abilities (absolute beginners are very welcome!)

Tags: Singing lessons for adults, Musical theatre singing tips, How to sing in musical theatre style, Musical theatre voice development