Musc 142 Class Voice for Beginners
Musc. 142 SYLLABUS FALL 2015
Professor Delia Surratt
Lesson Schedule Monday
Lesson time 930 am-1230
The course includes a 15 minute individual “homework” lesson
COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES
This is a core introductory course in singing open to any student who wants to understand more about how the human body can make harmonious, intense sound in a natural way. This course explores the technical basis of “Belcanto” as it is understood throughout the world using the Italian musical repertory from the Art Song to Italian Pop music.
The course is structured in the following manner:
1)A basic understanding of the human body used as an instrument of sound.
a)the important role of the brain.
b)breathing---the human body, used for singing and speaking, is a wind instrument.
c)the mouth and tongue positions.
2)Compositions to be studied
All music used during the course will be provided by the professor and will be exclusively Italian.
a)Art songs to be studied from the following albums:Parisotti, “Arie Antiche”vol.1,2,3. Ed.Ricordi;
Knud Jeppesen, “La Flora” Arie Antiche vol. 1,2,3. Ed. Hansen.
b)”Operetta in Europa”vol.1,2. Ed. Almanacco.
c)Operatic Arias by Monteverdi, Pergolesi. Paesiello and Alessandro Scarlatti. In addition to the
above compositions,for advanced vocal students operatic arias by Donizetti, Rossini and Verdi will
d)Popular Music—Italian Pop music from the 30’s, 40’s 50’s,60’s,70’s,80’s,and 90’s.
The course also offers a methodic way to study vocal music:
a)The text---Translation, Italian diction for singing and an introduction to the “Vaccai “method of
b)Physical coordination---Feeling how the body can make sound using the chosen pieces of music to
employ the technical notions pointed out during the lessons.
c)Italian music---Part of the full cultural immersion at the Rome Center, the Italian language is perfect
for singing because of its many vowels . The music will be chosen keeping in mind the student’s
personal goals and repertory preferences.
4)Advanced voice students----If the student is advanced in vocal study, the art of coloratura and embellishments will be introduced.
a)Attendance is fundamental. No more than one unexcused absence will be permitted. Each
additional absence will incur a 5% drop in the final grade.
b)Homework: home reviewing of the papers that the professor distributes in class; listening
assignments suggested by the professor which will include attendance at both one performance
of an opera and one vocal recital.
c)Healthy vocal cords---which means that the student has a natural voice that hasn’t been misused
to the point of having nodes on the vocal cords.
The students will be judged by the following criterion : Attendance, homework assigned, and
most important of all, at midterm and for the final exam the students will be asked to perform a song or duet learned during the course in which they will apply the technical notions learned during the course.
The student’s progress will be judged keeping in mind the initial vocal state, since this is for the majority
of the students an introductory course.
PERCENTAGE POINTS IN GRADING
d)35% final exam
FALL SCHEDULE OF CLASS THEMES
August 31 Introduction to the Art of Singing
a)the human body as an instrument of sound.
b)an audition of each student’s basic singing voice.
Sept.7 Breathing---the fundamental basis for sound
a)coordination of this natural function under the guidance of the professor using song.
Sept 14 The important role of the brain
a)checking the breathing with the sound production of each student.
b)the importance of distance perception in making intense sound.
c)the students use these notions singing an art song under the guidance of the professor
Sept.21 How to study vocal music
a)the Vaccai method of word division
b)student singing using the notions explored during the previous lessons
Sept.28 The positions of the mouth and tongue.
a)mouth openings that change with the various areas of the vocal range.
b)the importance of a relaxed tongue
c)student singing exploring these technical notions.
Oct. 5 Rehearsal and midterm exam
Oct 19 Student singing-- reviewing the coordination of the technical notions explored in the
previous lessons using new repertory.(Italian pop songs,operetta, opera arias ecc)
Oct.26 From Oct 26 until Dec.7-----------Student singing reviewing the coordination of the
technical notions explored in the previous lessons under the guidance of the professor
Dec 7 Rehearsal and final exam