Courses

Undergraduate Courses

VC114 Introduction to Lyric Diction (2)
Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and the sounds of all major sung languages through oral and written drill. Open to Voice Performance majors only. Offered every Fall.

VC115 English & Italian Diction (2)
Introduction to the rules of singing English and Italian through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) with oral and written drill.

VC116 French & German Diction (2)
Introduction to the rules of singing French and German through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) with oral and written drill. Pre-requisite: VC115

VC118 Italian Diction (2)
Introduction to the rules for singing Italian through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), with oral and written drill. Open to Voice Performance majors only. Pre-requisite: VC117. Offered every Spring.

VC119 French Diction (2)
Introduction to the rules for singing French through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), with oral and written drill. Open to Voice Performance majors only. Pre-requisite: VC117

VC120 German Diction (2)
Introduction to the rules for singing German through the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), with oral and written drill. Open to Voice Performance majors only. Pre-requisite: VC117.

VC 305 Singing in Italian and French (3)
Master class and private coaching in vocal performance of Italian and French language song, recitative and opera arias. The class will focus on the pronunciation, inflection and nuances of sung Italian and French. Prerequisites: successful completion of Level I and successful completion of both VC118 Italian Diction and VC119 French Diction. Offered every fall.

VC306 Singing in German and English (3)
Master class and private coaching in vocal performance of German and English language song, oratorio and opera arias. The class will focus on the pronunciation, inflection and nuances of sung German and English. Prerequisites: successful completion of Level I and successful completion of VC120 German Diction. Offered every spring.

VC408 Voice Science (3)
Study of the physics and physiology of voice production. Musical and vocal acoustics are explored using the facilities of the Westminster Voice Laboratory. Anatomic and physiologic underpinnings of respiration, phonation, articulation, registration and hearing are explored in depth. Offered every Fall and every other Spring.

VC409 Teaching Voice (3)
This course presents a comparative study of various pedagogical methods and ideals. Students explore exercises, vocalises, and age-appropriate repertoire to address and correct voice anatomy, physiology, and acoustics. Class participants engage in role-playing exercises to develop appropriate listening and teaching skills. Offered every other Spring.

VC433 Song Literature I (2)
A survey of solo literature for voice and accompanying instrument including solo vocal music of the Baroque period and German lieder. Offered every Fall.

VC434 Song Literature II (2)
A survey of solo literature for voice and accompanying instrument including French mélodie, songs by nationalist composers, English and American song. Offered every Spring.

VC457/458 Private Coaching (1 or 2 credits)
Individual coaching sessions for singers on musical style, interpretation, ensemble, languages, and presentation. Registration for VC457 involves weekly hour-length lessons and a fee of $1,000. Registration for VC458 involves weekly half-hour lessons and a fee of $600. Prerequisite: successful completion of Level II. May be repeated for credit.

VC467/468 Private Dramatic/Role Coaching (1 or 2 credits)
Individual dramatic coaching sessions for singers on operatic role study and/or audition preparation. Students will provide their own accompanists as needed. Registration for VC467 involves weekly hour-length lessons and a fee of $1,000. Registration for VC468 involves weekly half-hour lessons and a fee of $600. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: successful completion of Level II.

VC491 The Singing Actor: Opera (3)
This introduction to opera performance entails coaching of selected arias and techniques for preparation of an operatic role through intensive research. A final written project involves a musical and dramatic analysis of an operatic aria. It is suggested that AR216 and/or AR217 be taken prior to or concurrently with this course. Approval of a student’s applied voice instructor is required. Offered every Fall.

Graduate Courses

VC592 Opera Workshop (2)
A skills-based course for performers (both singers and collaborative pianists) that develops an in-depth process for preparing, exploring and performing operatic material. The course culminates in a performance of prepared scenes and ensembles. This course is by audition only. It is recommended that VC491 or VC691 be taken before this course. Prerequisite for undergraduates: successful completion of the Level II voice test or permission of chair. This course may be repeated for credit.

VC593 Opera Theater (2)
This course involves preparation and performance of a role or in the chorus of a fully staged opera production. Open only by audition. May be repeated for credit.

VC621 Oratorio Solo Literature (3)
A performance course surveying solo and ensemble portions of oratorios, masses, passions, and cantatas from the early Baroque period to the present, with emphasis on appropriate performance techniques for stylistic integrity. Offered in rotation with other Voice electives.

VC627 Opera Literature I (3)
Study of the development of opera from 1600 through the Napoleonic era (ca. 1815), with emphasis on performance practices, singing styles, libretti, the role of the orchestra, and the historical, political and sociological milieu in which the operas were written. Offered every other Fall.

VC628 Opera Literature II (3)
Study of the development of opera from the early 19th century to the present, with emphasis on performance practices, singing styles, libretti, the role of the orchestra, and the historical, political and sociological milieu in which the operas were written. Offered every other Spring.

VC633 Seminar in Opera Literature (3)
An intensive study of an area of opera literature. The specific content of this course will change from semester to semester. Emphasis is placed upon in-depth study of the works of a selected composer or of a specific genre of opera. Offered in rotation with other Voice electives.

VC635 Seminar in Song Literature (3)
An intensive study of some area of art song history and literature. The specific content of this course will change from semester to semester. Emphasis is placed upon in-depth study of the selected repertoire. Offered in rotation with other Voice electives.

VC650 Pedagogy Thesis (1)
Under faculty supervision, students design and execute a significant research project exploring an aspect of voice that can be measured and evaluated through the analysis instruments in the Westminster Voice Laboratory. Students with special interests in speech pathology or voice therapy may elect to visit the clinics of medical voice specialists in the area who have an association with Westminster. Students register for this course in every semester or summer term in which assistance is provided by the thesis advisor.

VC657/658 Private Coaching (1 or 2 credits)
Individual coaching sessions for singers on musical style, interpretation, ensemble, languages, and presentation. Registration for VC657 involves weekly hour-length lessons and a fee of $1,000. Registration for VC658 involves weekly half-hour lessons and a fee of $600. Open to graduate Voice Pedagogy and Performance majors.

VC661 German Lieder (3)
This survey of the German Lied begins with its roots in the 17th and 18th centuries and continues into the 20th century. Classes will involve study of Romanticism, including philosophers and poets of the 18th and 19th centuries who were important for German Lieder. The bulk of the class involves in-depth study of the Lieder of the important composers of the genre: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Brahms, Wolf, Strauss, Mahler, Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. Class sessions will involve a balance of lecture, discussion as, and student performance. Offered every Fall and every other Summer.

VC662 French Mélodie (3)
This course is designed as a survey of the song literature of France. Students examine works for voice and piano/instruments by Berlioz, Gounod, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Faure, Duparc, Chausson, Debussy, Ravel, Messaien, Milhaud, Poulenc, and others, analyzing their relationship to larger stylistic, social, and musicological trends. Investigation will include matters of prosody, scansion, and compositional organization, with particular attention given to matters of text setting and poetic treatment. Special emphasis will be placed on important French language poets whose literary works serve as the basis for this material. Poets will include Baudelaire, Verlaine, Hugo, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, LaForgue, Maeterlinck, and others. Poetic history and form will be covered as well as important composer/poet partnerships. Class sessions will involve a balance of lecture and discussion. Works by both well-known and lesser-known composers will be included. Offered every Spring and every other Summer.

VC667/668 Private Dramatic/Role Coaching (1 or 2 credits)
Individual dramatic coaching sessions for singers on operatic role study and/or audition preparation. Students will provide their own accompanists as needed. Registration for VC667 involves weekly hour-length lessons and a fee of $1,000. Registration for VC668 involves weekly half-hour lessons and a fee of $600. May be repeated for credit.

VC705 Graduate Voice Repertoire: Italian and French (1)
This class is a performance seminar focusing on the synthesis of musical line and linguistic inflection. Elements of tonal color, frequency, vowel purity and rhythm will be practiced in each class session as individual students perform selections from the literature. Offered once a year. Repeatable for credit only if space is available AND by permission of the Chair. Offered once per year.

VC706 Graduate Voice Repertoire: German and English (1)
This class is a performance seminar focusing on the synthesis of musical line and linguistic inflection. Elements of tonal color, frequency, vowel purity and rhythm will be practiced in each class session as individual students perform selections from the literature. Offered once a year. Repeatable for credit only if space is available AND by permission of the Chair. Offered once per year.

VC722 Literature for Teaching (3)
A survey of graduated teaching literature for beginning, intermediate and advanced voice students. Literature will be explored that is particularly well-suited to specific vocal issues (e.g. legato, coloratura, staccato, etc.). Prerequisites: VC 723 and VC 724.

VC723 Voice Pedagogy I: Voice Science (3)
Study of voice anatomy and physiology with concentration on respiration, phonation, artculation, hearing and vocal health. Through hands-on experience in the Westminster Voice Laboratory, students explore the physics of sound, the fundamentals of musical acoustics, and acoustical elements that are unique to the human voice. Priority registration is given to M.V.P. majors and M.M. students majoring in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. Other students may enroll on a space-available basis. Offered every semester.

VC724 Voice Pedagogy II: Methods (3)
A comparative study of various pedagogical methods and ideals. A wide range of important historical and contemporary pedagogy treatises is reviewed. Students explore exercises and vocalises for general voice development as well as techniques to address and correct specific vocal problems. Role-playing exercises are used to develop appropriate listening and teaching skills. Class participants begin supervised instruction of a volunteer singing student. Prerequisite: VC723 or permission of instructor. Offered every semester.

VC725 Voice Pedagogy III: Teaching Practicum (3)
Communication skills are explored and students develop a systematic approach to studio voice instruction. Each student is assigned at least two voice students (one adult and one teenager) to be taught both inside and outside of class. Emphasis is placed on becoming familiar with all voice classifications and basic vocal literature. Prerequisite: VC723. Offered every Fall.

VC726 Voice Research (3)
Peer reviewed research in voice is evaluated and research methodologies are explored. The class culminates in an original, quantitative research project using the facilities of Westminster’s renowned voice laboratory.

VC730 The Singing Actor: Opera (3)
Same as VC491, with additional requirements for graduate students. Offered every Spring.

VC731 Opera Auditions: Preparation and Techniques (2)
This class will explore the many facets of preparing an audition for an opera role, apprentice program, or competition. At least three to four arias in contrasting styles and languages should be prepared for work in class. Areas to be addressed include vocal and dramatic presentation, networking, resume building, make-up, and photo advice. In coordination with the Career Services Office, panel discussions with invited guests that will explore specific career-related topics will be scheduled. Prerequisite: permission of the applied instructor. Offered every Fall.

VC753 Special Topics in Vocal Performance Practice (3)
Intensive performance coaching and lectures in the form of master classes where performance practice in selected topics will be taught by current faculty or distinguished alumni and specialists in their fields. Prerequisite: permission of the applied instructor.

VC791 Teaching Internship (2)
Teaching internship with a master teacher(s). The student will teach under faculty observation and supervision, including follow-up private discussion with the observer. In addition, students themselves observe group and private lessons and are given readings, written assignments, and/or projects associated with their own teaching. May be offered on an intensive basis in conjunction with Westminster Summer Session events, such as The High School Solo Vocal Artist and/or Vocal Institute.