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Vocal Studies

 

VOCAL STUDIES INFORMATION

Changing Voice Studios

If a student has problems with the studio assignment and wishes to change to another applied teacher, the procedure is as follows:

  1. The student should speak to the applied teacher with any concerns;
  2. The student should speak with the Vocal Studies Chair, who will offer counsel and act as a mediator if conflict arises;
  3. If it is determined that a change should happen, the student must obtain a Student Release Form from the Vocal Studies Chair;
  4. After discussing the concerns and the student’s intentions, the teacher will sign the form, releasing the student from the studio at the end of the semester;
  5. The student should arrange for an audition with another applied teacher prior to the beginning of the new semester;
  6. At the audition, the prospective teacher may accept the student or suggest another teacher.  Should the prospective teacher decline the student, the student is responsible to arrange another audition;
  7. The new applied teacher will sign the release form and give it to the chair. 

It is mandatory any studio change be completed by the end of the semester.  Changing applied teachers during the semester is not possible.

Probationary Period

Students who fail to meet the minimum requirements of the studio may be placed into a probationary period by the teacher.  Students will be notified in writing of any unsatisfactory item.  Students who fail to meet the conditions of the writing may be removed from the studio.

Code of Ethics

It is often considered unethical to study voice with more than one teacher concurrently.  In support of this position, it is prohibited that any student study or perform off-campus where the student may receive vocal coaching without prior consultation with their applied voice teacher.  Failure to consult with the voice teacher may result in removal from the studio.

Concert Attendance Policy

All applied voice students are required to attend at least five (5) concerts each semester.  Students must report this recital attendance to their voice teacher as required by studio policy.  Compliance with the concert attendance policy will be a part of the student’s semester grade.

Voice Level Exams and Procedures

Voice Level Exams are performance and repertoire outcomes every applied voice student must achieve to continue studying applied voice.  There are two Voice Level Exams; the first exam must be completed by the end of the third semester of applied study, typically the middle of the second year of school; and the second exam must be completed by the end of the sixth semester of applied study, typically the end of the third year of school. 

Procedure

  1. Voice Level Exams occur at the end of the semester and may be completed concurrently with vocal juries. 
  2. Every student taking the exam must complete a Repertoire List Form prior to the end of the semester.  The Repertoire List Form is available on the USCA music website.  This form is a cumulative list of all works studied in Applied Voice up to the time of the exam.  It is the student’s responsibility to have the applied teacher sign the form and notify the Vocal Studies Chair of the intent to complete the exam.
  1. The tests are given one of the following grades by faculty vote:

Pass:    The student may continue in Applied Voice and work toward the next exam or recital.

Conditional Pass:      The student satisfied elements of the exam, but the faculty has concerns that are serious enough to merit a re-hearing at the next exam period.  Any concerns or conditions of the re-hearing will be offered in writing and explained to the student by the applied teacher.  If the concerns of the faculty are not addressed at the next hearing, the student may not proceed to the next exam or recital until the current exam is adequately satisfied.

Fail:    The student must repeat the exam during the next exam period due to significant inadequacies in preparation.  A second consecutive failure of the exam results in removal from Applied Voice until the student demonstrates significant improvement or re-auditions for the faculty.

  1. Students will be notified of the results by mail.  Decisions of the faculty are final.
  2. A student may attempt any Voice Level Exam twice. 
  3. Students should be prepared to give translations from memory of foreign language texts as a part of the exam. 

Grievance Process

Should the student fail the exam a second time a grievance may be filed with the Vocal Studies Chair.  The grievance should be submitted in writing and include a justification why the student believes the exam was adequately completed, or a proposed solution to meet the conditions of the exam.  The chair will meet with the student and the applied teacher separately.  Upon agreement of the teacher and chair, the student will be permitted to re-take the exam at the next exam period. 

Conditions for an Exam Re-Take

Students may be asked to re-take either Voice Level Exam due to the following reasons:

  • Insufficient repertoire, either in quantity or quality;
  • Vocal production as it relates to tone, resonance, breath support, placement, or posture;
  • Musicianship, where the performance may lack in diction, interpretation, or memory;
  • Basic musical skills, such as correct rhythm and pitch, or poor intonation

Voice Level Exam Requirements for Non-Majors

Students who are not majoring in music education or the fine arts degree do not need to complete the Voice Level Exams. 

APPLIED VOICE REQUIREMENTS

Requirements for Music Education Majors:

Repertoire

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for two (2) credit hours:

            First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized and prepared for juries

            Second year     Five (5) selections learned or introduced

                                    Four (4) selections memorized

                                    Three (3) selections prepared for juries

            Third year       Five (5) selections learned or introduced

                                    Four (4) selections memorized

                                    Three (3) selections prepared for juries

            Fourth year    Seven (7) selections learned or introduced

                                    Five (5) selections memorized

                                    Three (3) selections prepared for juries

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for one (1) credit hour:

First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    One (1) selection memorized and prepared for juries

Each successive semester:      

Four (4) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized

Voice Level Exam I

Requirements for the Voice Level Exam I are:

  1. Four (4) songs or arias in Italian must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  2. Four (4) songs or arias in English must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  3. Knowledge of all major and minor scales; students will be asked to demonstrate one major scale, one natural minor scale, and one harmonic minor scale;
  4. Knowledge of all perfect, major, minor, augmented, and diminished intervals; students will be asked to demonstrate both ascending and descending intervals at the discretion of the faculty.

Criteria for Successful Completion of Level I

Students should be able to demonstrate the following technical and musical accomplishments:

  • Ability to sing the required repertoire from memory;
  • Satisfactory ability to sing with good intonation and rhythmic accuracy;
  • Demonstrate the beginning of good vocal technique;
  • Musical interpretations of the music;
  • Proper diction and understanding of the translations of foreign texts.

Voice Level Exam II

Requirements of the Voice Level Exam II are:

  1. Four (4) German lieder must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  2. Four (4) French chansons must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  3. Ability to read at sight an excerpt of choral music; students will be asked to demonstrate to the best of their ability two parts of a four-part octavo;
  4. Ability to read at sight an except of solo repertoire; students will be given a page of music and asked to perform with accompaniment.

Criteria for Successful Completion of Level II

Students should be able to demonstrate the following technical and musical accomplishments:

  • Ability to sing the required repertoire from memory;
  • Ability to sing with good intonation and rhythmic accuracy;
  • Demonstrate good vocal technique;
  • Musical interpretations of the music;
  • Proper diction and understanding of the translations of foreign texts.

Repertoire for Level II must represent work done after the successful completion of the Level I test.

Requirements for Bachelor of Fine Arts – Music

Repertoire

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for two (2) credit hours:

            First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized and prepared for juries

            Second year     Five (5) selections learned or introduced

                                    Four (4) selections memorized

                                    Three (3) selections prepared for juries

            Third year       Five (5) selections learned or introduced

                                    Four (4) selections memorized

                                    Three (3) selections prepared for juries

            Fourth year    Seven (7) selections learned or introduced

                                    Five (5) selections memorized

                                    Three (3) selections prepared for juries

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for one (1) credit hour:

First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    One (1) selection memorized and prepared for juries

Each successive semester:      

Four (4) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized

Voice Level Exam I

Requirements for the Voice Level Exam I are:

  1. Four (4) songs or arias in Italian must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  2. Four (4) songs or arias in English must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  3. Knowledge of all major and minor scales; students will be asked to demonstrate one major scale, one natural minor scale, and one harmonic minor scale;
  4. Knowledge of all perfect, major, minor, augmented, and diminished intervals; students will be asked to demonstrate both ascending and descending intervals at the discretion of the faculty.

Criteria for Successful Completion of Level I

Students should be able to demonstrate the following technical and musical accomplishments:

  • Ability to sing the required repertoire from memory;
  • Satisfactory ability to sing with good intonation and rhythmic accuracy;
  • Demonstrate the beginning of good vocal technique;
  • Musical interpretations of the music;
  • Proper diction and understanding of the translations of foreign texts.

Voice Level Exam II

Requirements of the Voice Level Exam II are:

  1. Four (4) German lieder must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  2. Four (4) French chansons must have been learned or introduced; two (2) selections should be performed from memory during the examination;
  3. Ability to read at sight an excerpt of choral music; students will be asked to demonstrate to the best of their ability two parts of a four-part octavo;
  4. Ability to read at sight an except of solo repertoire; students will be given a page of music and asked to perform with accompaniment.

Criteria for Successful Completion of Level II

Students should be able to demonstrate the following technical and musical accomplishments:

  • Ability to sing the required repertoire from memory;
  • Ability to sing with good intonation and rhythmic accuracy;
  • Demonstrate good vocal technique;
  • Musical interpretations of the music;
  • Proper diction and understanding of the translations of foreign texts. 

Requirements for Bachelor of Fine Arts – Theatre

Repertoire

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for two (2) credit hours:

            First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized and prepared for juries

            Each successive semester:      

Five (5) selections learned or introduced

                                    Three (3) selections memorized

                                    Two (2) selections prepared for juries 

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for one (1) credit hour:

First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    One (1) selection memorized and prepared for juries

Each successive semester:      

Four (4) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized

Voice Level Exam I

Requirements for the Voice Level Exam I are:

  1. Two (2) songs or arias in Italian must have been learned or introduced; one (1) selection should be performed from memory during the examination;
  2. Two (2) songs or arias in English must have been learned or introduced; one (1) selection should be performed from memory during the examination;
  3. Four (4) songs from the musical theatre repertory, two (2) composed before 1970, two (2) composed after 1970; two (2) songs should be performed from memory during the examination.

Criteria for Successful Completion of Level I

Students should be able to demonstrate the following technical and musical accomplishments:

  • Ability to sing the required repertoire from memory;
  • Satisfactory ability to sing on pitch with rhythmic accuracy;
  • Demonstrate the beginning of good vocal technique;
  • Musical interpretations of the music;
  • Proper diction and understanding of the translations of foreign texts.

Voice Level Exam II

Requirements of the Voice Level Exam II are:

  1. Two (2) songs or arias in either German or French must have been learned or introduced; one (1) selection should be performed from memory during the examination;
  2. Two (2) songs or arias in English must have been learned or introduced; one (1) selection should be performed from memory during the examination;
  3. Four (4) songs from the musical theatre repertory, two (2) composed before 1970, two (2) composed after 1970; two (2) songs should be performed from memory during the examination. 

Criteria for Successful Completion of Level II

Students should be able to demonstrate the following technical and musical accomplishments:

  • Ability to sing the required repertoire from memory;
  • Ability to sing on pitch with rhythmic accuracy;
  • Demonstrate good vocal technique;
  • Musical interpretations of the music;
  • Proper diction and understanding of the translations of foreign texts.

Requirements for Non-Majors

Repertoire

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for two (2) credit hours:

            First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized and prepared for juries

            Each successive semester:      

Five (5) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized and prepared for juries

The minimum repertoire requirements per semester for one (1) credit hour:

First year        Three (3) selections learned or introduced

                                    One (1) selection memorized and prepared for juries

Each successive semester:      

Four (4) selections learned or introduced

                                    Two (2) selections memorized

The Voice Level Exams are not required for non-music majors.

Address

The Etherredge Center
University of South Carolina Aiken
471 University Parkway
Aiken, SC 29801
P: (803) 641-3305

Office Hours

Monday – Thursday : 8:30 am – 6:00 pm

Friday : 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

Saturday and Sunday : Closed

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