Loyola University Chicago

John Felice Rome Center

MUSC 142 Class Voice for Beginners

Fall 2016

                                                               SYLLABUS  VOICE  FALL  2016   




Musc. 142  SYLLABUS    FALL, 2016         

Professor  Delia Surratt

Lesson Schedule   Monday

Lesson time  930 am-1.00pm

Extra  individual 15 min  “homework “lesson  to be announced.



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       

           be studied.

         d)Popular Music—Italian Pop music from the 30’s, 40’s 50’s,60’s,70’s,80’s,and 90’s.



3)Study  Method

  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

             word division.

         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.




         c)20%midterm exam

         d)35% final exam



Sept. 5             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.12           Breathing---the fundamental basis for sound

                                   a)coordination of this natural function under the guidance of the professor  using song.

Sept.19          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.26           How to study vocal music

                                  a)the Vaccai method of word division

                                  b)student singing using the notions explored during the previous lessons


 Oct.3            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.17                 Review of the technical notions  with the Italian art songs chosen.                                                                                                                                                                     

Oct.24                  Rehearsal  and midterm exam

Oct. 31                Student singing-- reviewing  the coordination of the technical notions explored in the

                              previous lessons using new repertory.(Italian pop songs,operetta, opera arias ecc)

Nov.7                   From Nov .7 until Dec.5------Student singing  reviewing the coordination of the

                              technical  notions  explored in the previous lessons under  the guidance of the professor

Dec.12                 Rehearsal and final exam