The courses at Berklee are continually reviewed and evaluated so that they are up-to-date and consistently reflect today's musical needs. In classes such as Survey of Vocal Styles, you will learn the history of voice, analyze its present-day challenges, and participate in an in-depth study of styles and techniques. Take a look at some of the courses you can experience during your Berklee education.
Vocal Improvisation Ensemble 2: R&B
An intermediate ensemble for vocalists focusing on improvisation skills in the R&B idiom. Melodic and rhythmic phrasing embellishments using tone colors and hearing basic blues patterns.
Great American Songbook Ensemble
This course will familiarize voice students with jazz standard songs and composers of the Great American Songbook, including George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Rodgers and Hart, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Irving Berlin, Harold Arlen, and many more who impacted America's music. Students will learn to sing and perform songs in the jazz style with rhythm section. In addition, students will learn about a specific song era, historical content, and the composer by making song introductions regarding the composer and song.
Rehearsal Techniques for Vocalists
An ensemble designed to prepare singers for performance with accompanying instrumentalists. Students will conduct open rehearsals of their own basic arrangements of pop, rock, jazz, and R&B tunes. Emphasizes communication skills, effective rehearsal procedures, and the independent and collective role of each rhythm section member. Intended to increase the singer's aptitude for participation in college ensemble offerings.
Self-Accompanying Singer Ensemble
An ensemble for singers who accompany themselves and wish to develop vocal performing skills. Topics will include basic singing techniques, tone quality, diction, projection, stylistic vocal delivery, approaches stage presence, and effective utilization of microphones and PA systems.
Musical Theater Workshop
This musical theater performance class is a non-auditioned performance ensemble with musical theater repertoire. The curriculum includes the study of stage craft, musical theater repertoire and genres, and the study of specific musical theater composers. This course prepares students for future work in musical theater and introduces students to musical theater repertoire and performance techniques.
Vocal Jazz Choir A
This choir consists of 4-12 singers divided into SATB (soprano, alto, tenor bass) parts and performs standard jazz choir repertoire with full rhythm section accompaniment (piano, bass, drums). Each meeting is devoted to rehearsing parts, focusing on blend, dynamics, intonation, articulation, expression, interpretation, and stage presence. Iconic groups that would be emulated include The Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Syncopation, and Vox One. Vocal arrangements recorded, performed, and published by these groups (and others) will be used in addition to the works of contemporary arrangers including Michele Weir, April Arabian, Greg Jasperse, Darmon Meader, Paris Rutherford, Ward Swingle, and Ned Rosenblatt.
Advanced Vocal Performance Ensemble Mixed Styles 1
A continuation of vocal performance study with emphasis on song interpretation, elements of style, microphone technique, stage presence, and rehearsing with a rhythm section.
Musical Theater Ensemble
An ensemble designed to provide singers with an understanding of repertoire styles and basic stagecraft. An end-of-semester musical/dramatic presentation will be scheduled.
Advanced Performance Skills for the Background Singer
A continuation of ILVC-281, Performance Skills for Live Background Vocalists, concentration will be on more difficult and advanced vocal arrangements in live performance venues. Topics integrated into assigned materials will address intonation, blend, rhythmic phrasing, singing riffs and embellishments, entrances and cutoffs, voicings, blend, articulation, written arrangements as well as rote or head arrangements, stage presence including movement while singing, microphone setting, and microphone technique. Written transcriptions and arrangements or lead sheets of specific arrangements may be assigned.
Advanced Pop/Rock/Country Vocal Ensembles With Background Vocals
Advanced pop/rock/country performance vocal,ensemble designed to prepare students for solo performance in ensembles and other performing venues within a specific song style. Vocalists will learn how to count off tempos of songs, microphone technique, song style and groove, communication with the accompanist, and lead sheet preparation.
Advanced Jazz/Blues Vocal Ensemble
Advanced jazz/blues vocal performance ensemble designed to prepare students for solo performance in ensembles and other performing venues within a specific song style. Vocalists will learn how to count off tempos of songs with different grooves and meters and work on arrangements, while developing improvisation skills, microphone technique, stage presence, and communication with the rhythm section. Repertoire will include standards, bebop, fusion, songs without words, and post-1960 jazz compositions.
Advanced R&B Vocal Ensemble
Advanced R&B vocal performance ensemble designed to prepare students for solo performance in ensembles and other performing venues within a specific song style. Vocalists will learn how to count off tempos of songs, microphone technique, song style and groove, communication with the accompanist, and lead sheet preparation.