Voice Courses

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 about the development of the jazz blues vocalist, analyze major artists, and perform using techniques and styles from 1890 to the present. Take a look at some of the courses you can take during your Berklee education.

Circle Song Choir

ENVC-P132

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

The voice can be used as a paint brush to create visual textures that elicit a visual and emotional experience for the listener. This performance and recording ensemble is designed to help each participant explore the art of composed and improvised vocal expression, including instrumental singing and vocal improvisation. Students will learn how to use their entire body as a performance instrument; explore the art of vocal and body percussion; and discover a renewed sense of freedom to discover his or her own style of vocal expression and improvisation.

American Negro Spirituals

ENVC-P212

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: All
Prerequisites: Written approval of course instructor
Department: VOICE

This course will focus on the learning and performing of SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) traditional American Negro Spirituals in the style of such groups as the Fisk Jubilee Singers. The emphasis will be on theatrically performing the stories of American Negro Spirituals evolving from the African American experience. Song arrangements and compositions will include John W. Work, Moses Hogan, H.T. Burleigh, and other African American composers.

Historic Vocal Ensemble

ENVC-P221

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: By audition
Department: VOICE

Vocal ensemble experience that will cover the song materials and styles of vocal groups from the Boswell Sisters through the Manhattan Transfer. This course will include listening assignments, oral and written transcriptions, and a performance.

The New Group

ENVC-P335

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: Written approval of course instructor
Department: VOICE

This course will focus on new a capella vocals in various styles: rock, R&B, gospel, and pop with vocal percussion. The group is designed to be a performing group—including movement and overall presentation. Material content will include student arrangements and some transcriptions. There will be work on dance steps, stage presence, and mic technique, as well as vocal delivery as required by the instructors. A final performance will be required.

Vocal Sight-Reading Techniques 1

ILVC-111

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Voice principals
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: ET-111
Department: VOICE

Introductory lab for singers to further develop listening skills, reading notation, concepts of rhythm, intervals, chord changes, time-feels, and grooves applied to singing lyrics and pitches simultaneously; sight-reading will include lead sheets, sheet music, and specific vocal arrangements.

Musical Independence Skills for Singers

ILVC-115

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

Introductory lab for singers focusing on skills necessary for repertoire development. These include finding the right key for a song, transposition, development of lead sheets, and basic self-accompanying skills necessary to learn songs independently. The goal of the course is to develop self-sufficiency for vocalists in learning new material.

Vocal Pop/Rock/Country Styles Lab

ILVC-121

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Voice principals
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

Introductory pop/rock/country performance lab for voice principals 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.

Vocal Jazz/Blues Styles Lab

ILVC-122

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: Voice principals
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

Introductory jazz/blues performance lab for voice principals 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.

Vocal R&B Styles Lab

ILVC-123

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

Introductory R&B performance lab for voice principals 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.

Beginning Improvisation for the Singer

ILVC-141

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: None
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

A lab for vocalists focusing on basic skills in improvisation in a variety of styles. Melodic and rhythmic phrasing, embellishments, using tone colors, and hearing basic blues patterns in vocal styles including pop, rock, R&B, and jazz.

Acting Skills for the Vocalist

ILVC-151

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring
Required of: None
Electable by: Voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

This lab is designed to increase body awareness and develop the stage presence and performance skills of vocalists through the use of acting techniques. Improvisational acting methods will be utilized in song performances.

Elements of Vocal Technique for Non-Voice Principals

ILVC-210

1 credit(s)
Course Chair: Anne Peckham
Semesters Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Required of: MTHE majors
Electable by: Non-voice principals
Prerequisites: None
Department: VOICE

A lab for non-voice principals designed to address the basic elements of singing: breath management, intonation, tone quality, and phrasing. Students will participate in periodic self-assessment, including videotaping of in-class performance.

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