Studio Syllabus

Below is my current studio syllabus.


VOI 211 through 414, VOI 201 - 303

Instructor:  Mark Crayton

Room 912

Spring 2014

Studio Syllabus

Welcome to my studio! I hope studying voice will be a fun and rewarding experience for you. My goal is to help you reach your goals. Your lessons will be devoted to developing your singing technique through proper use of breath, consistency of tone throughout your range, projection, facility, tone quality and intonation, improvisational skills, diction, and vocal literature. Through the study of literature you will develop musicianship, dramatic expression, stylistic interpretation, and personal awareness skills.

This syllabus is intended to clarify what I expect of you and what you can expect from me, as well as explain what is required (as explained in the Student Handbook) from you as we progress.

I. What you can expect from me:

  • Lessons that start on time to the best of my ability.
  • My full attention, personalized to your needs.
  • Make-ups for any cancellations I make. Due to the size of my studio and the commitments I have at RU as well as my outside conducting and singing, I cannot promise make-ups for lessons that you cancel.  It is your responsibility to arrange a make-up with me. I cannot keep track of all your schedules.
  • A qualified substitute teacher(s) during my absences.

II. What I expect of you:

  • You must cancel your lesson 24 hours in advance when ill or, in an extreme emergency, the morning of your lesson. 
  • Your lesson time is a standing class time. It is your responsibility to know when your lesson is and to show up for it. Please don’t hesitate to confirm if you are unsure of your scheduled time.
  • You must arrive on time for your lessons. If you arrive twenty minutes late for an hour lesson, you get a forty-minute lesson.
  • You must cancel your lesson if you are sick. Coming to your lesson sick could pass your illness onto your fellow students or me. Please cancel your lesson if you don’t feel well the night before or if you experience any of the following:
    • Stuffy nose or sniffles (discuss with me even though it may only be allergies)
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Hoarseness
    • Vomiting
      • If you show up to a lesson sick, I will send you away. 
  • You are expected to accomplish weekly assignments by the next lesson.
  • Bring a small pad or notebook (for exercises and assignments and daily record of your practice – a practice journal) and a digital recorder to each lesson. You must use the recording during your practice sessions to help you warm up and focus on what we are working on. 
  • After two lessons on any assigned piece, I will expect you to have it memorized by the third lesson. This way we can work more speedily on the theatrics of singing and musical interpretation (remember, we only have 14 weeks in the semester).
  • All of your music for the semester’s jury must be memorized by no later than two weeks before your jury. If it is not, you will receive a grade no higher than a B.  This became an issue this past semester. It cannot happen again. 
  • I would suggest that you schedule regular practice times into your daily schedule and log your time in your practice journal. This way you can assess whether you are practicing enough for each lesson. Shorter practice times several times a day (such as two times of 30 minutes each) will increase your ability to concentrate and will help prevent vocal fatigue.
  • Foreign language texts should be transcribed (using IPA – International Phonetic Alphabet) and translated by the first lesson after the music is assigned. This translation and transcription must be written in your music. 
  • A Song Analysis Worksheet will be provided to help you in analyzing and preparing your music. I want to see the form completed for each song.
  • Voice majors are expected to produce and maintain the following records to be collected in a three-ring binder each semester and then inserted into their official portfolios (you will use this when preparing for competitions, graduate school auditions, and many other things throughout your career):
    • Comprehensive repertoire list with complete title and composer information, categorized by language, style period, and other relevant sub-classifications per instructor recommendation.
    • Working repertoire, including all pertinent score markings, character analyses, text translations and IPA transliterations.
    • Lesson and practice notes detailing vocalises and their technical objectives.
    • Jury repertoire records, jury evaluation forms, programs, and other documentation of student’s own performing activities.
    • Concert portfolio (a program) and log complete with date of performance, type of performance, venue, city, company, conductor (if appropriate), and accompanist (if appropriate). This will help you, once again, as you start to prepare for life outside of Roosevelt. 
    • Any other documentation that will help you detail and explain your voice studies at Roosevelt University. 

III. Make-up Policies:

  • I will make up lessons to the best of my ability that are missed due to (Please note that my time is extremely limited.  If I offer a make-up lesson, and you do not want it, I am not responsible for that lesson.):
    • Illness (you)
    • Documented emergencies (medical or personal)
    • Cancellations made 24 hours in advance
    • Religious observance:
      • http://legacy.roosevelt.edu/aboutru/PolicyPDF/Religious%20Holiday.pdf
  • A regularly scheduled lesson time may not be used as a make-up. Missed lessons must be made up in the same month (preferred) during which they are missed. Remember, missed lessons toward the end of the semester may be impossible to schedule due to my full schedule at Roosevelt. 
  • If you cancel your lesson for any reason other than the above listed reasons, I will not make it up due to my time constraints.

IV. Grades:

  • Each lesson will receive a number grade based on your preparation, your attitude, and your progress. Please see Attachment A for a sample of the guide used to track your weekly progress and grade. This sheet is only a guide and is not filled out for each lesson.  
  • Grades will be totaled and averaged to produce the semester’s studio grade.

Notes will be taken at each lesson to support the number grade and may be viewed by you upon request.

You may ask at any time during the semester for an evaluation of your progress.

The grading scale follows the University standard and is as follows:

A 95-100

A-   93-94

B+   90-92

B     87-89

B-   85-86

C+ 82-84

C     79-81

C-   77-78

D+ 74-76

D     69-74


(from the CCPA Student Handbook) Students will be graded separately at the end of the semester for voice lessons and juries.  Both grades will appear on the student’s grade report and transcript.  Of the four semester hours allotted for applied voice major lessons, the grade of the voice teacher for the semester’s work in the studio will account for three hours, and the jury grade for one.  The only exceptions are:


VOI 312 (Junior Recital), in which the entire grade is given by the recital jury

VOI 314 (Senior Recital), in which the entire grade is given by the recital jury

VOI 414, which is graded entirely by the applied teacher, with a separate grade given by the recital jury


For music education majors, the studio grade accounts for two hours and the jury grade carries no credit.


Jury members (not including the studio teacher) will grade each student numerically.  The grades will then be averaged, and this average will constitute the student’s jury grade.


V. Jury and Recital Requirements (taken from CCPA Student Handbook):


Voice Majors:

VOI 211:  Four songs will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury.  Two pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury.

VOI 212:  Four songs will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury.  Two pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury.

VOI 213:  Four songs will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury.  Two pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury.

VOI 214:  Four songs will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury.  Two pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury.  A grade of B is required for admission to the Upper Division.

VOI 311:  Five pieces will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury (four songs and one opera or oratorio aria).  Students must submit at this jury the complete recital program for VOI 312 for approval by the faculty. Three pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury.  

VOI 312:  Public Performance. The graded junior recital will be given in place of a jury. The recital must include at least 25 minutes of music, sung in at least three languages (including English) and representing at least three stylistic periods. The repertoire must be taken entirely from the song literature; no arias or musical theatre pieces are permitted (with the exception of pieces by Kurt Weill or Gilbert and Sullivan). One or two duets may be included.

VOI 313:  Preparation should begin for the senior recital.  Five pieces will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury.  Students must submit at this jury the complete recital program for VOI 314 for approval by the faculty. Three pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury. 

VOI 314:  Public performance.  The graded senior recital will be given in place of the jury.  The recital must include at least 40 minutes of music, sung in at least four languages (including English) and representing at least four stylistic periods. One aria may be included; the remainder of the repertoire will be taken from the song literature. No musical theatre pieces are permitted (with the exception of pieces by Kurt Weill or Gilbert and Sullivan). No vocal duets or ensembles are permitted, but chamber pieces for solo voice and instrumentalists (e.g., Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen or Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge) are acceptable. Students must also prepare program notes with information about the pieces, their composers, and the authors of the texts. 

VOI 411-413:  Six pieces will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury for each of the first three semesters.  Three selections will be chosen for performance at the jury. The jury for VOI 413, in the fall of the second year of graduate study, will serve as the recital permission jury. Students must submit at this jury the complete recital program, a significant portion of which must be memorized, for approval by the faculty. Over the four semesters of study, the student will prepare a graduate recital program.  The program must include at least 50 minutes of music, sung in at least four languages (including English) and encompassing at least four stylistic periods.  The music should be programmed in chronological order. Two arias from the classic period on may be presented. No musical theatre pieces are permitted. No vocal duets or ensembles are permitted, but chamber pieces for solo voice and instrumentalists (e.g., Schubert’s Der Hirt auf dem Felsen or Vaughan Williams’s On Wenlock Edge) are acceptable. Students must also prepare program notes with analytical and historical information about the pieces, their composers, and the authors of the texts. A and B are the only passing grades

VOI 414:  During the fourth semester the student will present the recital. No jury is required.


Voice Minor (Music Education):

VOI 201-204:  Four songs will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury.  Two pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury.

VOI 301-303:  Five songs will be prepared and memorized and offered at the jury.  Two pieces will be chosen for performance at the jury.


VI. Useful information:


The following is a list of suggested materials for your research that are located in the Music Library or on line (these are offered as a beginning as there are many wonderful books on interpretation in the library. If you are a novice at searching there, please ask a librarian for help):


Word for Word Translations of Songs and Arias (Italian, vol.1; French and German, vol. II - MREF. ML54.6 .W65)

The Ring of Words (translations of Spanish, Italian, German, and French texts - MBOOK. ML54.6.M5 R51963)

Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians (MREF. ML100 .G886)

Baker’s Biographical Dictionary (MREF. ML105 .B16 2001)

New Groves Dictionary of American Music (MREF. ML101.U6 N481986)

The Interpretation of French Song / Bernac (MT892 .B4)

Notes on technique of song interpretation / Drews (MBOOK. MT855 .D7)

Foundations in singing (MBOOK. MT825 .C531975)

Fischer-Dieskau book of Lieder (MREF. ML54.6 .F51977)

Many recordings and CDs contain liner notes that are helpful.


The following is a list of websites that you may use to find composer information, translations, music, and as listening resources, etc.)


www.recmusic.org  (art song translations)

www.aria-database.com  (aria translations)

www.grovemusic.com  (composer information

www.freetranslations.com  (foreign language translations)

www.schubertline.co.uk  (4000 songs available in any key for a nominal fee)

www.classicalvocalreprints.com  (If you need classical music, but you can’t find it, look here)

www.operapracticeperfect.com  (roles for operas on CD)

www.musicminusone.com  (Classical music with accompaniment CDs)

www.penders.com  (Classical music, Opera, Wedding, Accompaniments on CD or orchestra / 1-800-772-8405)

www.naxos.com  (listening resource)

www.recmusic.org/lieder/ (many translations of songs)

www.dlib.indiana.edu/variations/scores/song.html (online scores available for searching and printing from Indiana University)

www.ipasource.com/ (gives IPA transcriptions of many songs and arias - minimal subscription required)

www.dolmetsch.com/musictheory23.htm (useful for ornamentation help)


VII. From the CCPA Student Handbook - - Necessary Information:


Performance/Repertoire Classes (VOI 100/200/300/325/400):

Performance and repertoire classes for voice majors provide the opportunity to sing for a peer audience and to work on interpretive and stylistic issues through interaction with faculty and other students.  Attendance is required at all levels; participants must perform at least twice.  Material performed must be memorized.  Work in the class moves beyond the technical matters covered in voice lessons to emphasize the student’s understanding of the text, and the ability to convey its meaning, language, and style effectively.  The format may also include master classes and seminars with visiting artists.

Students are encouraged to use the performance opportunities presented in the supportive atmosphere of the class for initial performances of jury or recital repertory.

Voice Recital Attendance:

Voice majors are encouraged to attend the recitals of their student colleagues as well as those of their department faculty.  Such performances broaden the student’s knowledge of repertory and style.

Coaching:

Undergraduate students from the sophomore level on, and all graduate students, receive thirty minutes of private vocal coaching each week, for which they will register and receive a grade each semester. Students are responsible for signing up for vocal coaching sessions and for regular attendance and preparation. 

Major Ensembles: 

Undergraduate voice majors must enroll in a university choral ensemble during each semester in residence, and must complete a minimum of 8 semesters of credit.  Undergraduate students must complete two semesters of opera studies, normally taken during the senior year. 

Graduate students are required to participate in a performing ensemble during each semester in residence, for a minimum of 5 semesters of credit.  During the first year students are required to enroll in Choral Ensemble; during the second year students are normally assigned to an Opera class. 

In addition, there are yearly opportunities for solo performance with large and small instrumental ensembles.

All ensemble and other performing assignments are determined by the faculty audition committee.

Repertory, Jury, and Recital Requirements: 

Although there are no designated requirements as to the type of repertory to be studied in any given semester, it is expected that the teacher will, in general, follow the chronological development of the art song in preparing his or her students.  Suitable material consistent with the student’s development will be taken from the Italian, French, and German literature, as well as from the English and American repertories.

B is the minimum passing grade in the following undergraduate semesters: 214, 311, 312, 313 (and all juries associated with these semesters) and for the junior and senior recitals.  B is the minimum passing grade for all graduate voice courses, juries, and recitals. 

Voice majors must be able to sing in three foreign languages, starting with Italian.  German and French are usually added from the sophomore year on, although these languages may be started earlier at the discretion of the teacher.  Russian and other national literatures may also be included in the original language if the student has the proper facility.  Graduate students whose diction in Italian, German, or French is not at a sufficient level for advanced study will be required to take additional diction courses. 

There is no language requirement for voice minors (students pursuing another major program for whom voice is the chosen area of applied study), but the student may be assigned such repertory if he or she has the proper facility. 

At the discretion of the teacher, more repertory than listed below may be assigned.  These additional pieces shall not be listed on the jury sheet.

              

VIII.        Extra requirements for Graduate Students, Juniors and Seniors.

 

This semester we will read "The Diagnosis and Correction of Vocal Faults: A Manual for Teachers of Singing and for Choir Directors (with accompanying CD of sample vocal faults) Paperback by James C. McKinney.


http://www.amazon.com/The-Diagnosis-Correction-Vocal-Faults/dp/1577664035


It is available in hardback format. It is really full of important information! I don’t always agree with the fixes but I would like your input on the book.  I would like you to write a paper on what you discover in the book. Try the exercises. Ponder the points made in the book and then tell me what you think.  How can you use this information?  Juniors and Seniors will write 5 pages, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, and font size 12.  Graduates will write 7 pages with the same dimensions.  Papers are due the last day of classes.



© Mark Crayton 2014