Private Voice Lesson Level 1
Private Voice Lesson Level 1 is an introduction to voice study and performance. At the beginning, the instructor will assess your skill level. Additionally, the instructor will assess the history of your vocal training and vocal health in order to appropriately plan a course of study that will support your vocal needs and your goals.
For each semester in Levels 1–6, you are encouraged to perform a song written by an underrepresented composer. "Underrepresented" is defined as a group that is not represented in the majority with respect to race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical ability. It’s important to note that songs in Levels 1–4 may not be repeated in subsequent semesters. Additionally, all final exam materials for Levels 1–7 must be performed with accompaniment (either backing track or live accompanist). A cappella singing is only permitted in special musical circumstances where the arrangement of the song is intended to be performed without accompaniment. All final exam materials for all levels must be approved by your instructor and performed from memory.
Private Voice Lesson Level 1 focuses on learning patterns based on the major scale and major pentatonic scale. You will be introduced to the three types of tone onsets, as well as staccato and legato patterns, to increase your vocal flexibility and agility. Body alignment and proper breath management are important to vocal development and we will also be addressing them in your program of study.
These vocal skills will be applied to the following final exam materials, performed from memory:
- One exercise (performed in three transpositions) or an etude demonstrating any musical or vocal skill approved by your teacher
- Two contrasting songs in any style/genre
By the end of Private Voice Lesson Level 1, you will be able to:
- Sing the major pentatonic and major scale a cappella in three transpositions
- Perform a technical exercise or song that requires sustained long tones/phrases
- Perform coordinated onsets on a staccato exercise with ease
- Demonstrate appropriate body alignment and posture
- Perform two to four contrasting songs learned throughout the semester
Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements
Prerequisite Courses, Knowledge, and/or Skills
This course does not have any prerequisites.
- Vocal Studies for the Contemporary Singer by Anne Peckham (Berklee Press, 2022)
- Students are required to create notation and submit it in PDF format. Options include:
- Notation software (recommended option), such as Finale, Sibelius, Dorico, MuseScore (free), etc.
- Handwritten notation captured by a digital camera or a scanner can be used in lieu of notation software.
- Piano or keyboard instrument with at least 61 keys and a sustain pedal
- If using a MIDI keyboard controller, a high-quality piano software instrument is also required.
- If using a digital piano or keyboard workstation without built in speakers, an audio interface or amplifier is also required.
- Students are required to capture their vocal performance in high quality, as well as monitor audio output. Options include:
- Input (one required):
- XLR microphone suitable for singing and audio interface (recommended option)
- USB microphone suitable for singing
- Output (one required):
- Headphones (required if multitracking and/or input monitoring)
- Studio monitors and audio interface
- Built-in or external speakers
- Input (one required):
- Note: Depending on your setup, you may also need an XLR cable, microphone stand, and pop filter.
General Course Requirements
Below are the minimum requirements to access the course environment and participate in Live Chats. Please make sure to also check the Prerequisites and Course-Specific Requirements section above, and ensure your computer meets or exceeds the minimum system requirements for all software needed for your course.
- Latest version of Google Chrome
- Zoom meeting software
- Speakers or headphones
- External or internal microphone
- Broadband Internet connection