Applied Vocal Music (Voice Lessons)
The primary objective of applied voice study (voice lessons) is to provide students with the tools needed to develop a healthy way of singing for every manner of vocal expression, from solo singing to music theatre to choral ensembles and beyond.
At Carleton College any student is welcome to take voice lessons. We view the study of voice as an important component of a comprehensive liberal arts education. Thus, there are no pre-requisites for applied voice study.
However, students who are interested in registering for applied vocal music for the first time should schedule a hearing with the Voice Studios Coordinator for a skills assessment and to determine the best teacher assignment. Hearings are scheduled during New Student Week, the first week of classes, and the academic advising and registration periods. Specific dates are posted in the Music Hall and on the Choral and Vocal Music website at https://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/music/choir/.
Music Department Information and Guidelines for Applied Music Study in online at http://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/musc/students/applied/ where related documents can be downloaded.
MUSC 151 and 251 fulfill the Literacy/Artistic Analysis (LA) requirement. MUSC 151J and 251J fulfill the Arts Practice (ARP) and the Literacy/Artistic Analysis (LA) requirements.
All students registering for applied voice for the first time at Carleton must begin with MUSC 151 or 151J (both require a minimum of one hour of practice daily), regardless of prior background and proficiency. Students progress to MUSC 251 or 251J (both require a minimum of two hours of practice daily) by permission of the instructor.
All students register for voice lessons in the same manner as for other courses. The assigned instructor, the voice studios coordinator or the department administrative assistant may sign Add/Drop Cards.
Guidelines for Juries in Applied Voice
The experience of creating or re-creating music through musical performance is central to understanding the discipline of music. To this end, juried voice lessons are structured so as to allow any student at any level of experience to engage in this type of study. Inherent in this approach is the assumption that an increase in proficiency and skill should be both measurable and continuous. End-of-term voice juries seek to assess and evaluate the progress of individual students, to enable students to present concrete evidence of their improved musical understanding, to maintain standards of skill levels and performance, and to assess the efficacy of applied voice in the curriculum.
MUSC 151J is the starting point for all students engaging in applied voice to fulfill the Arts Practice (ARP) requirement, regardless of the prior experience of the individual student.
To reach and maintain study in MUSC 251 and 251J, the student must demonstrate a basic understanding of the technique associated with vocal performance. In addition, the student must be able to perform selections from the introductory repertory with fluency while maintaining proper intonation, articulation, phrasing, style, tone, tempo, and stage deportment. The student should also exhibit the capacity for memorization, where appropriate.
Juries in applied voice are eight-to-ten minutes in duration (see date below). The evaluators may ask students to perform scales, arpeggios, vocal exercises and prepared repertoire. (This process is common in music institutions throughout the world.)
Students should review with their instructor the repertoire to be performed. The jury team will not concentrate on whether the scales, arpeggios, exercises and repertoire are easy or difficult. They will focus on whether the student demonstrates a command over the performance.
The jury team will consist of at least two voice faculty members, one of which will be the student’s instructor.
Voice juries will be held:
Fall term: Saturday, November 10, 2012
Winter term: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Spring term: Saturday, June 1, 2013
When necessary, alternate times will be scheduled by the voice studios coordinator in consultation with the instructor and the student. In cases of emergency, following Academic Regulations and Procedures, the Dean of Students office will determine the earliest and latest possible dates for a make up.
Unexcused absences from a voice jury will not be made up and will be reflected in the final grade.
Jury critique sheets will be given to the instructor for review with each student.
The College’s comprehensive fee, described online at https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/registrar/catalog/current/expenses/, does not include the cost of private instruction. Fees for Applied Music courses are described under the heading of Special Fees online at https://apps.carleton.edu/campus/registrar/catalog/current/expenses/. (Download the Request For Assistance with Music Lessons Form from the Related Documents box at http://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/musc/students/applied/.)
The full-term fee will be charged if you are enrolled after the Drop/Add period. Fees are not refundable for late drops except when a late drop is made for medical reasons or in similar emergency situations. In such cases, the student must consult with the Music Department.
In order to facilitate lesson scheduling, students who register for applied voice lessons should submit, as soon as they have completed registration, their complete class schedule (download the Music Schedule Form from the Related Documents box at http://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/musc/students/applied/) to either their teacher (if a returning student), to the voice studios coordinator (Lawrence Burnett – Music Hall 209) or in the designated box below the large bulletin board in the Music Hall lobby. The assigned instructor will notify students about a lesson time by e-mail and will post her/his teaching schedule at the respective teaching studio (Music Hall 203, 209, 210 and 211) at the start of each term.
Students will have nine weekly lessons per term. Attendance at every lesson is an extremely important component of applied voice study. If a student has, for any reason, three or more absences in a term, that student is strongly advised to drop the course before the last day of classes, as it is not possible to guarantee any make-up lessons.
Excused Absences are the result of circumstances beyond the control of the student (e.g. illness or family emergency) and off-campus trips related to requirements in other courses. Except in cases of emergency, the student should notify the instructor at least one week in advance of his/her lesson. All reasonable effort will be made to make up as many excused absences as possible by the end of the exam period.
Unexcused Absences have a direct impact on the final grade for the term. Absences for personal reasons such as completing an assignment for another course, a scheduled appointment, an off-campus trip not related to requirements for other courses, etc., are considered to be circumstances within the control of the student and are not excused. In some cases, where there is sufficient advanced notice given, the anticipated missed lesson can be exchanged with another student's lesson time (as arranged by the student).
Instructor Absences will be made up before or after the missed lesson. The instructor will make a good faith effort to schedule makeup lessons with the affected student(s) as soon as possible, and certainly by the end of the exam period.
A variety of activities are offered in conjunction with voice lessons:
Voice Performance Classes take place in the Concert Hall (in the Music & Drama Center) on Monday afternoons from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. and on Thursday afternoons from 1:15 to 2:15 p.m., beginning the second week of each term unless otherwise announced. The purpose is to enhance the learning process in a group setting that specifically addresses issues of performance skills, including student solo performances and group exercises that deal with a wide range of concerns for the solo singer.
Every registered student is required to attend one of the classes each week; Attendance is taken at every session. Absence is permitted only in the instance when the student’s class schedule does not allow participation in either Voice Performance Class. NOTE: Students who are unable to attend Voice Performance Class for this reason should not hesitate to register for lessons; the absence from Voice Performance Class is made up through alternate assignments designed by the instructor.
Voice Performance Class Recitals and Voice Studios Showcase Recitals are presented toward the end of each term as a culmination of studio and Voice Performance Class learning and experiences. Though students in their first term(s) of study (those enrolled in MUSC 151) are never coerced into public performing situations, all students who are comfortable with the idea of performing and have sung during Voice Performance Classes are encouraged to share their work with their peers in Voice Performance Class Recitals and the Voice Studios Showcase Recital.
Solo Recitals are available to registered applied music students who have demonstrated a high level of preparation in her/his repertoire and who have the permission of their instructor. These department-sponsored recitals are scheduled through the Performance Activities Coordinator’s office. Students should contact the voice studios coordinator for advice about scheduling junior and senior recitals. The general guidelines and reservation form are online at https://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/musc/students/student_reserve/.
Students may register for MUSC 299 (Recital) by exhibiting performance skills that show substantial command of both technique and artistry. More defining characteristics include musical independence and creativity, specifically the skill of "making the performance one's own."
When scheduling a solo recital, do the following:
- Make a list of dates your special guests (relatives and others) are able to come to Northfield.
- Compare that list to concerts and recitals (and other campus activities/events) on the department and college web calendars. Be aware that not all concerts, recital and other events have been posted at this time.
- Decide on a prioritized list of dates.
- Contact your preferred accompanist about her/his fee and availability for rehearsals in the hall and the recital.
- Contact your instructor about her/his availability to attend rehearsals in the hall and the recital.
- Contact Gao Hong to reserve the Concert Hall for your rehearsals and the recital.
- Complete the reservation form available online at https://apps.carleton.edu/curricular/musc/students/student_reserve/.
- In addition, you may consider registering for MUSC 299 the term of your recital, if you'd like your transcript to show that you presented a recital. (See the course description and steps and procedures online.)
Master Classes and Workshops are offered as part of the annual Concert Series. All students are encouraged to attend and some may be selected by the voice faculty to perform.
Dress Code for Performances
The voice instructors regard recitals, master classes and juries as formal events, a window through which we (and the public attending recitals and master classes) view the work of the students. As such, students performing in these events are expected to dress with a degree of sophistication and decorum. Men and women should wear attire that can, at the least, be considered "dressed up." Appropriate attire will be discussed in voice performance classes and in lessons.
Sarah Lockwood is the staff accompanist. She is a valuable resource for any student learning new repertoire and polishing songs for performance. The Accompanist Guidelines and information about arranging session times are announced on VocalPoint each term.
Student accompanists are available through the Department. Submit a request to your instructor, who, in turn, will consult with the Student Accompanist Supervisor.
Accompanists for solo recitals and other activities are at the expense of the student, be it the staff accompanist or someone in the community.
Studio grades result from the contractual agreement between the instructor and the student at the beginning of each term. The S/Cr/NC form should be filled out if you prefer that to a letter grade for MUSC 151J and MUSC 251J. MUSC 151 and 251 are automatic S/Cr/NC.