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Performance Arts Awards

Performance Arts Awards (PAA) are group graded examinations in musical theatre, dance, and acting, ranging from absolute beginner (Premiere) to advanced (Grade 8):

  • Musical Theatre
  • Dance - Street Dance and Jazz Dance
  • Acting - Acting and Screen Acting

Each syllabus provides a framework for the progressive development of a wide range of performing arts styles and technical skills, over a series of grades from beginner to expert level. PAA exams are specifically designed to measure, assess and reward progress whilst encouraging innovation and creativity.

Rockschool Professional Diplomas are also open to PAA specialties and can be taken in three streams - performance, teaching, and creative enterprise.

The syllabuses are free to download and our Examiners will visit your school or studio to assess all your students together. We don't even charge teacher registration fees - you only pay for your exams. Our national AMEB PAA website includes free syllabuses, plenty more information, and feature example videos and loads more.

Visit our PAA website

As with all our AMEB exams, and similar to other dance boards, these syllabuses include both technical skill development and performance dance sections.

There are some really great benefits to PAA exams that make them unique:

  • No teacher registration fees. Ever. just pay for the exam enrolments.
  • The Examiner comes to you.
  • Free syllabuses and downloadable resources.

All content and accompanying tracks are free to download from our dedicated Rockschool PAA website. There are supporting demos for each set technical work from entry to Grade 8 and downloadable music for freestyle sections.

Street Dance
This syllabus encompasses the three essential elements of hip hop - locking, house and breaking - with popping added from grade 4. Candidates will be assessed on their performance, as well as their technical skills, which includes improv from Level 2 upwards. This portion is rounded off with one on one discussions regarding reflection and understanding of the skills presented, and the artistic process.

Jazz Dance
The Jazz Dance syllabus develops students in the original Fosse style of jazz dance. Candidates are assessed on their performance, as well as their technical skills, which includes improv from Level 2 upwards. There's also a discussion portion with the Examiner to delve into their understanding and reflection of the skills presented, and the artistic process.

The Musical Theatre Syllabus differs from our existing Voice exams in that it assesses the “triple threat”: singing, dancing, and acting. Both syllabuses actually work really well in tandem. The AMEB Musical Theatre (singing) syllabus supports vocal development, characterisation and vocal technique in the various styles unique to the genre. PAA covers the contextual staged skills and includes assessment of singing plus acting plus dancing.

This is ideal for school musical productions because the Examiner comes to you. They can attend a dress rehearsal and all your cast could receive a qualification - at any level. If you get in early enough in your rehearsal process, the individual reports can provide additional tips to improve the performances and development of the student.

The format of the performance can be a full production, a revue-style performance, or your own invention. There are terrific resources with collections of suggested works for each grade.

If you're familiar with our suite of Speech and Drama syllabuses, you'll find something different again with PAA Acting! Candidates focus on the presentation of a scene are assessed across a range of communication, interpretative and technical skills. Teachers have enormous flexibility with complete creative freedom to compile scenes from plays or anthologies, adapted excerpts from novels, or even original scenes written by the Candidates themselves. Exams can be taken solo, or in groups of two or three, with all Candidates receiving their own individual report. Both face-to-face and video exams are available.

Screen Acting
Media, technology and the performing arts come together in this syllabus to help you gain practical knowledge for the film and television industries. Understand camera angles, hone your screen acting technique, and bring your characters to life. Candidates can enrol individually or in pairs, with all exams via recording only.

All syllabuses and content are free to download from our dedicated Rockschool PAA website.

These syllabuses are delivered by AMEB through our partnership with RSL Awards (you'll know them as Rockschool). Based in the UK, the Rockschool brand specialises in the contemporary arts and focusses on equpping young people with the skills they need to succeed in the industry. These qualifications are recognised globally with tens of thousands of exams conducted in the UK and over 40 countries around the world.

Please note that reports and certificates will take a little longer to get to you compared with other AMEB timelines. This is due to the moderation process (via the UK) to adhere with the international qualification requirements of these awards.