Course Abstract Details

MUSIC-141, Class Voice

Credits: 2

Course Description

MUSIC-141, Class Voice, is designed to increase the student's awareness of and ability to communicate observations about his/her own voice and those of others. This course is intended to teach basic principles of correct vocal technique including correct breathing, fundamentals of tone production, and diction. Repertoire includes an introduction to folksong, art song, and musical theater. Two hours laboratory each week. Two credits. Two billable hours. Offered Spring and Fall terms.

Course Objectives and Grading Information

COURSE OBJECTIVES This course has six interrelated objectives: 

1. Introduction to correct vocal technique; 

2. Introduction to techniques to improve pitch accuracy; 

3. Examine how to express lines musically; 

4. Introduction to new music literature in the areas of folksong, art song, and musical theater; 

5. Participate in cultural events and activities on campus and in the surrounding community; 

6. Critically analyze professional vocal performances in writing; 

7. Orally analyze peer vocal performances.   


1. Class participation Participation is based on attendance, promptness, and participation in the in-class coachings nad solo performances. Excused Absences- may require documentation.  Emergency (ex. Documented illness, death in family)  Religious holiday (ex. The observances of which require restricting daily activity)  Participating in official College functions (ex. Field trips)  Special reasons approved by instructor.   

2. Concert Response Papers Each student will attend two concerts throughout the course of the semester and write a critique of each performance. Any type of concert is acceptable as long as it features a solo vocal performance. Since this particular course focuses on techniques of western classical singing, it is required that one of the two performances be either a solo voice recital or opera performance.  Papers should be double-spaced, 12-point font.  Papers should include who, what, when and where the performance took place.  Papers should include a thorough critique of the following: vocal quality, style, stage presence, diction, aspects of technique we have discussed in class (breath, posture, tone, etc), personal opinion of the performance as a whole, and any suggestions or changes that need to be made to improve upon the performance.  Please attach the program or ticket stub to the back of the paper.   

3. Peer Critique Students will select a peer as the focus of two written critiques, one to be completed following the first set of in-class coachings and one following the final set of coachings at the end of the semester. The critique should include a description of the student's voice and overall presentation, a reaction to the selection, observations about the issues addressed in the coaching, observations about how the student responded to exercises and suggestions, and anything else the student wishes to include. The second self-critique must include a comparison of the first and second performances, making special note of any specific improvements in the student's voice or presentation of his/her piece. The critiques are due one week following the date of the coaching.   Self Critique Audio recordings will be made available to students following their mid-term and final in-class performances. After each performance, students will review their videos and respond in writing to explain what they see and hear. In these self critiques, students should address the POSITIVES of the performance in addition to opportunities for improvement. This would be a good chance to put goals into writing for the next performance as well as to highlight areas of the performance where the benefits of practice and the work done in-class coachings can be seen. Students should include a comparison of the two performances in the final self-critique.   

4. Solo Performances and Preparation Each student is required to do two solo performances and two coachings prior to the performance. The student must be musically prepared prior to the coaching, having used the rehearsal CD to learn the correct notes and rhythms. Grading will be based on the student's willingness to make necessary changes, and on the accuracy of the music itself.   

5. Midterm and Final exam   GRADING PROCEDURES: Your final grade for this course will be based on a combination of class attendance and participation, written assignments, the preparation and completion of in-class performances and a final exam.   The Breakdown: 20% Class participation 20% Concert response papers (2 @ 10% each) 15% 2 self critiques, 2 peer critiques 10% First in-class solo performance and preparation 10% Final in-class solo performance and preparation 25% Written MIDTERM and FINAL exam

Learning Goals

The abbreviations in parentheses represent Learning Goals which have been identified for this course and program of study:

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