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Vocal Music Course Descriptions

Westminster's Voice Program: Vocal Music Course Descriptions


MUSC 165/365 LE - Westminster Opera Studio | 1 Credit

Westminster Opera Studio is an official performance ensemble, eligible for upper- and lower-division LE credit. The course, offered both fall and spring semester, will take students through the entire process of learning a role for an opera, musical or operetta, from casting and preparation to rehearsal and performance. The course culminates in a fully staged performance of an opera or operetta in the Courage Theatre, or a program of excerpted scenes in the Vieve Gore Concert Hall. We will do daily improvisation, movement and acting exercises, analyze performances, discuss what is expected of professional singers in terms of pre-rehearsal preparation, learn singer-specific rehearsal and performance techniques, and collaborate in the production the final performance. Students should have had prior vocal study before registering for this course.

MUSC 300B - English & Italian Diction for Singers | 2 Credits

This is a fundamental course designed to acquaint the student singer with the International Phonetic Alphabet, the correct pronunciation of English and Italian consonants and vowels, and the diction rules for singing classical music in these two languages. Students will learn to understand, read, write and use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA); gain a clear understanding of the rules for pronouncing English for classical singing, including the ability to transcribe English texts into IPA; gain a clear understanding of the rules for pronouncing Italian and liturgical Latin for classical singing, including the ability to transcribe Italian and Latin texts into IPA and translate texts for true comprehension.

MUSC 300C - French & German Diction for Singers | 2 Credits

This course builds on the skills gained in MUSC 300B, using knowledge of IPA to acquaint the student singer with the correct pronunciation of French and German consonants and vowels, and the diction rules for singing classical music in these two languages. Students will learn to understand, read, write and use the International Phonetic Alphabet in these two languages, which is a crucial skill set for any singer who strives for a professional singing career or who is interested in pursuing vocal performance in graduate school.

MUSC 300D - Vocal Pedagogy | 2 Credits

If you think you might ever teach private voice lessons, this class is for you. The class will begin with a thorough study of the physiological, acoustical and scientific aspects of vocal production. We will establish a standard ideal for bel canto (beautiful singing), and discuss what that means in practical terms. Each student will be assigned his or her own beginning voice student, provide at least four 30-minute private lessons to that student, then teach at least one observed lesson in class, with specific feedback and instruction. We will discuss what makes a good teacher, how to discern vocal issues and potential solutions to those issues. We will also talk about assigning repertoire and other aspects of professional pedagogy. This is a hands-on course that could help start private vocal teaching career.

MUSC 300N - Art Song Literature | 2 Credits

This course will survey the amazing and varied repertoire of art song music, from 18th century Italian songs, to the great German Romantic composers of the 19th century, to the French Symbolists at the turn of the 20th century, as well as American and British composers of the 20th and 21st centuries. Students will have the chance to study and/or perform art songs as part of the course. Work in this class will be invaluable as students select repertoire for juries, competitions, recitals, and then later on when helping their own students do the same.

MUSC 300H - Opera Literature Survey | 2 Credits

This course will survey the world of opera, from the 17th century baroque masterpieces of Monteverdi to the brilliant Classical-period operas of Mozart, to the grand operas of the Romantic era to the minimalist contemporary operas of John Adams. The course will require students to immerse themselves in the art form, watching operas on video, attending live operas in Salt Lake City and studying composers and libretti. Coursework will include daily quizzes, listening assignments and writing assignments. An excellent course for anyone interested in pursuing opera as a performer, composer, musicologist or for those just interested in learning about the rich history of opera in Western culture.