Choosing the right solo for an audition or concert can sometimes be tricky. Whether your teen girl is a soprano, mezzo-soprano or alto, Broadway has a multitude of songs for her to choose from that will impress her audience. Her number should showcase her vocal range, as well as acting ability and age-appropriateness. Most importantly, your teenager should feel comfortable singing the songs. Inappropriate music choices in the teenage years can damage the vocal chords before they have fully developed.
"How Lovely to Be a Woman," from Bye Bye Birdie
Bye Bye Birdie is a 1950s musical about rock stars, fan clubs, love and growing up. The song "How Lovely to Be a Woman" was sung by 15-year-old Kim MacAFee. In the lyrics, she is musing about the joys of womanhood, including wearing lipstick and heels, and having boys pay attention to her. "How Lovely to Be a Woman" is written to be sung by a sweet soprano, complete with starry eyes and a dreamy disposition.
"I Feel Pretty," from West Side Story
"I Feel Pretty", from the popular musical West Side Story, is sung by the lead female character, Maria. Maria is in love with Tony, even though their relationship is forbidden by their families and friends. In this piece, she is in a silly mood, singing brightly and dancing with her friends over the feelings she has for Tony. This song is for a soprano with a bright voice. In the musical, it is performed in a Spanish accent. However, if your teenager is using it as an audition piece, encourage her to omit the accent. It could be distracting for the director.
"It Might As Well Be Spring," from State Fair
"It Might As Well Be Spring" is a beautiful Broadway ballad from the musical State Fair. The character who sings the song is Margy Frake, a strong-willed farm girl who has spring fever and is longing for adventure. The meaning behind this song is one that some teenage girls can relate to -- feeling stuck because of plans others have made for her life. The song is to be sung by a mezzo-soprano. "It Might As Well Be Spring" is a popular Rogers and Hammerstein tune, so it is a great solo for your teenager to have in her repertoire.
"I Know Things Now," from Into the Woods
Little Red Riding Hood tells the audience about the dangers of the woods in the song "I Know Things Now," from Into the Woods. This character tune is written for a mezzo-soprano teenage girl with a mischievous attitude. There are many opportunities for physical acting in "I Know Things Now" as well, so work with your teenager on her facial expressions and emotions. Stephen Sondheim is known for his intricate melody lines and underscoring, so this solo is recommended for intermediate vocalists.
"My New Philosophy," from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown
You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown is a musical based on the Peanuts comic strip that originated in the 1950s. "My New Philosophy" is a show-stopping number sung by Sally Brown. After receiving a poor grade on a school project, Sally tells Schroeder her latest philosophies in life, such as "Oh yeah? That's what you think!" and "Why are you telling me?" "My New Philosophy" is full of speaking and singing, so it is the perfect opportunity for your teenager to show spunk and playfulness in a multitude of ways.
"On My Own," from Les Misérables
A popular alto song for teenage girls is "On My Own" from Les Misérables. Eponine is a young girl who is in love with a boy who thinks of her as just a friend. The lyrics are sad and hopeful, so there are many musical spots to bring vocal emotion in. It is very easy to use a belting tone in this song; however, be advised that belting can damage the voice. Instead, encourage your teenager to use strong acting skills to convey the character's desperation in the story.