This handbook is a set of practical guidelines compiled by the voice faculty concerning solo voice study. It is designed as a helpful reference and a means of clarifying many of the day-to-day happenings in the voice area. It does not attempt to be comprehensive. Questions pertaining to degree requirements should be addressed to the appropriate source.
VOICE AREA BULLETIN BOARD
The Voice Area Bulletin Board is located across from room 110 Music Building I. Students are encouraged to check the Bulletin Board regularly for reminder notices of events, Voice Forum and Voice Jury sign-ups, and other announcements. A physical copy of the Voice Area Handbook is also posted there.
SCHEDULING VOICE LESSONS
Students should contact their assigned teacher either prior to or within the first days of each semester to schedule regular lessons times. Some teachers will post available lesson times and expect students to sign up (after having confirmed availability with accompanists); others will ask for a copy of schedules (from you and your accompanist) and will assign lesson times.
It is your responsibility to find an accompanist who can be available for your lessons, juries, competitions, and performances. Ideally, they should be able to play for you in Voice Forum, as well. Accompanists will typically be needed for the second half-hour of lessons each week, beginning after the first few weeks of initial study. Your accompanist should also be prepared to rehearse with you each week. (Staff accompanists from the School of Theatre may be available to play for musical theatre students.) One resource for finding accompanists is your teacher who may make recommendations. (Singers must remember that accompanists are equal partners in music making. Ensemble preparation is not to be neglected; this includes being prompt to rehearsals and lessons, and providing music to accompanists in a timely manner.)
Voice students in the BM, BMA, and BME degree programs must be enrolled in a vocal ensemble each semester. Those in the BA and Minor degree programs must be in an ensemble for four semesters.
The voice faculty strongly recommends that all voice students enroll for diction (MUSIC 387) during their freshman year. This course supports the study of voice literature sung in Italian and in English, both of which are required every semester of jury track voice study (see UNDERGRADUATE VOICE JURY POLICY).
Each student is assigned to an adviser, and is strongly encouraged to meet with the adviser at least once per semester. Advisers have copies of degree audit forms for distribution to their advisees and receive reports about academic difficulties. They can be valuable sources of help in discussing degree progress, giving advice concerning academic problems, or selecting courses for subsequent semesters.
In the standard course of study it is typical for students to study singing with one primary studio teacher (enhanced by complementary instruction in lyric diction, voice literature, aural skills, voice pedagogy, ensembles, and guest master classes). In certain degree programs, particularly the MFA in Voice Pedagogy for Musical Theatre, students may have more than one studio teacher to fulfill curricular guidelines.
Beyond this, there may be a desire and good reason for students to seek additional voice training – lessons with another faculty member to focus on an area of specialty, for example, or with an outside voice teacher for similar specific work – but in every case the student should make the arrangement known to the primary studio teacher. This collaborative philosophy is in the best interest of the students and promotes an atmosphere of trust and shared values within the area. Failure to be proactive in this regard may result in a loss of jury-track privileges.
DECLARING A MAJOR/MID-PROGRAM EVALUATION
From the School of Music Undergraduate Handbook:
Students may apply for entrance to the BM and BMA programs at the end of their fourth semester. During the first two years of study, students’ progress in theory, basic musicianship, music literature, and performance track applied courses is monitored. Students must achieve a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.0 to be admitted to the degree program.
To facilitate program reviews for voice students tracking the BM or the BMA, a mid-program evaluation will take place (also discussed in PROCEDURE FOR ALL UNDERGRADUATE VOICE JURIES - p. 6).
To be admitted to the performance track (BM/BMA), students are required to present a Sophomore Showcase, demonstrating competency and emerging ability in both vocal technique as well as performance. The showcase will typically take place on one of the final two Bach's Lunch performances of the 4th semester of study for the student being evaluated. Each student's showcase will be approximately 15 minutes in length and will feature the required repertoire for a 4th-semester jury (6 pieces, arias and art songs in English, Italian, and at least one other language). However, care should be taken that the repertoire is programmatically interesting as a performance even as it demonstrates required repertoire. The showcase will be in lieu of a 4th-semester jury.
In addition to the Sophomore Showcase, students will be required to submit a performance resumé, a statement of goals, and a cumulative repertoire list. These documents must be submitted to the applied teacher two weeks prior to the end of the semester in which the Sophomore Showcase is presented.
ADDITIONAL STUDY IN ALL DEGREE PROGRAMS
Students often wish to continue studying voice after completing their required applied sequence (4 semesters for BA, MM, MFA, and voice minor; 7 semesters for BME; 8 semesters for BM, BMA, and BFA). To request additional semesters (on a space-available basis, to a maximum of 10 undergraduate or 6 graduate), provide a written request to the voice faculty by the end of the last required semester. Include your reasons for continuing study, proposed graduation date, and a copy of your degree audit.
LEAVE OF ABSENCE
It is expected that students admitted to the jury track will progress in accordance with their degree program. Students who leave the jury track for any reason other than an official leave of absence must re-audition. Contact Irene Kohute (Music Admissions) concerning the re-audition.
BREADTH AND DEPTH OF LITERATURE
The voice faculty understands the importance of exposing students to a wide range of styles of solo vocal literature. The necessity for depth is addressed in the studio literature assigned to the student for performance purposes. Breadth is addressed in the vocal literature classes, in the singing of literature in diction and pedagogy classes, the requirement to attend a certain number of Voice Forum sessions and the requirement to attend a certain number of performances that emphasize solo voice. Specific information pertaining to applied literature and concert attendance requirements can be found elsewhere in this handbook.
Additional concert and Common Hour attendance requirements established by the School of Music also support exposure to a broad range of repertoire.