Required for all entering graduate students in the following degree programs:

  • Voice Pedagogy and Performance
  • Piano Accompanying and Coaching
  • Choral Conducting
  • Sacred Music (voice primary)
  • Music Education (voice or conducting primary)

Students will be asked to read and/or sing in English, Italian, French and German. Knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet will be assessed, as well. Evaluation is based solely on pronunciation, and students will not be asked about the meaning of the texts. No music need be brought to the screening, which will last approximately fifteen minutes.

Download Preparation for Diction Screening


  • Singing in French: A Manual of French Diction and French Vocal Repertoire by Thomas Grubb
  • Singer's Italian: A Manual of Diction and Phonetics by Evelina Colorni
  • Gateway to Italian Diction: a Guide for Singers by John Glenn Paton
  • German for Singers: A Textbook of Diction and Phonetics by William Odom
  • A Handbook of Diction for Singers: Italian, German, French by David Adams

For further information about these exams contact:

Margaret Cusack
Chair, Department of Voice and Piano; Professor
Erdman Hall 26

Soprano Margaret Cusack is Professor and Chair of the Piano and Voice Department at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, where she teaches private voice, opera literature, and voice pedagogy. She has been a Regional Governor of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and is currently a member of the Artist Faculty at the Brevard Music Center. Ms. Cusack’s current and former students have sung at the San Francisco Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Washington Opera, Virginia Opera, Opera Theater of St.