Syllabic pitch and rhythmic exercises for the voice and application to a variety of styles. Analysis of various recording artists, including Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Al Jarreau, Mark Murphy, and others. Assigned student projects.
An introductory survey course that will offer students a historic overview of the architects and pioneers of soul singing. Students will study performance and vocal techniques, as well as be assigned listening examples required to successfully sing and perform rhythmic phrasing and nuances indicative of soul, blues, R&B, gospel, and hip-hop. In addition, students will perform some music of great artists, such as Ray Charles, Minnie Ripperton, Fats Domino, Jean Carne, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, LaVern Baker, Peabo Bryson, Wilson Pickett, Mavis Staples, Donny Hathaway, Gladys Knight, Sylvester, Glen Jones, Shirley Caesar, Mahalia Jackson, the Clarke Sisters, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Tata Vega, Jeffrey Osborne, George Benson, Natalie Cole, Karen Wheeler, Lauryn Hill, Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, and a host of others.
A performance class for voice principals concentrating on vocal jazz performance with rhythm section. In-class performances are videotaped and evaluated for stage presence, microphone technique, music arrangements (including song introductions and endings), song selection and appropriate style, and vocal delivery and interpretation. Emphasis will focus on live club and concert performance, and interaction between the vocalist and rhythm section, the vocalist and audience, and the song program.
An advanced-level course for vocalists designed to improve improvisation skills through application of ear training and harmonic concepts including intervals, scales, and chord patterns. Students will study standard vocabulary of prescribed melodic patterns and rhythmic grooves played by instrumentalists, transcribe a variety of solos, and write original solo assignments. Note: Two sections are offered. Section 001 is primarily for jazz vocalists; section 002 is primarily for pop, rock, and R&B vocalists.
A systematic integration of vocal/body awareness and presentation skills applied to vocal performance. Through relaxation, breathing techniques, and body alignment students will learn to identify and balance vocal registers and improve vocal resonance and flexibility. Instruction includes a session on Alexander Technique and weekly performances with a rhythm section with an emphasis on lyrical interpretation.
This course focuses on understanding and performing theater for young people. During the semester, students will read and analyze a classic work of children’s literature, explore how it is suitable for adaptation to theater, and then choose a 40 minute adaptation to perform for local schools and after school programs. Students will also be required to analyze and learn songs from musicals for family audiences, such as Seussical, The Wizard of Oz, Children’s Letters to God, and Annie. During the semester, students will perform songs from youth musicals as well as present written analysis of those musicals. The course will require a tremendous commitment, including preparation outside of class time. This class is by audition only.
This course is a journey for the student in self-discovery, self-revelation, and self-expression combining musical elements to tell an autobiographical story. Students write an autobiographical one-person show based on their life experiences, including writing and performing original music. Course components include daily journal writing, script writing based on traditional dramatic play structure, plot and character development, and storytelling. The final project will be a fifteen-minute, self-produced one-person performance on stage for an audience.
An exploration of the classical art song with a different emphasis each semester (German lieder, French chanson, Italian art song and songs of the British Isles and America). Designed to introduce students to the rich and varied classical art song repertoire as well as increase proficiency in singing in other languages, to introduce the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), its rules and applications, and to strengthen the performance of art songs.
Level three (out of four levels) of the Voice Department's recommended structured learning path for improvisation. Rhythmic, melodic and harmonic considerations of vocal improvisation will be reviewed including syllable articulation pentatonic patterns, phrasing, and motivic development as applied to R&B and pop music. Midterm and final exams require student to demonstrate R&B phrasing in improvisation and recognize recorded music examples of improvisation in the R&B/pop idioms.
For songwriters who wish to better perform their own original material. Must self-accompany. Singers will work to develop their vocal skills while utilizing creative songwriting techniques that will help them personally connect with their original material. This process will spark a narrative for personal songwriting and vocal development. There will be weekly assignments including daily vocal workouts and daily journaling. As song styles are discussed and demonstrated in class, students will be assigned various musical song-forms over which to compose their personal narrative. There is an expectation of basic song-form knowledge, vocal skills, self-accompaniment and harmonic knowledge. Students will perform short assignments and their final full songs in class for support and critique.
This course is a natural progression of PSVC-P440, Vocal Perspectives on Songwriting 1. An important underlying theme of this course is the knowledge that the singer can be the center and generator of the song. Students will be encouraged to develop catalogues comprised of personal, autobiographical songs created throughout the course. Journaling, active listening, field trips, and highly specific exercises will be employed to generate songwriting and song ideas. Songs will be performed in class. Students must self-accompany in this class, and the semester will culminate in a class performance.
In this course for non-percussion principals students focus on the development of basic techniques and sound production using the North African tar frame drum. The mathematical rhythm system from South India is explored to create phrases in 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 with an emphasis on independence, ankle bells, and spoken drum vocables. Rhythms and concepts will also be rendered using harmonic time.