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Vocal Pedagogy

Kevin Wilson, Director

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Your Training

The Vocal Pedagogy program is designed for a limited number of majors at the graduate level. Small class size and the sequence of specialized courses offer opportunities for hands-on anatomical experiences and extensive one-on-one interaction with the Boston Conservatory faculty and Massachusetts General Hospital voice specialists and doctors. The small class size creates a space for sharing and exploring teaching techniques and repertoire ideas with colleagues, other students in the program and Conservatory teachers. "The science, the experience and teachers in this department are world-class, and this program is trailblazing the next generation of successful vocal pedagogues. If you are serious about gaining real-world information with real-world application, this is your program."—Taylor Stilson (B.M. '11, Voice; M.M. '15, Vocal Pedagogy)

This program provides the foundation for development of an analytic and discerning ear toward the diagnosis of vocal issues in the teaching studio. Students of the program will explore a range of vocal teaching techniques, they will better understand the role of rehabilitation and the relationship between voice teacher and voice therapist, they will develop an understanding of appropriate repertoire for the teaching studio and compile a personal library of teaching repertoire.

Curriculum


The core of the program is a four-semester sequence of courses in topics of vocal pedagogy culminating in a year of teaching practicum, the development of a written personal teaching philosophy, and the capstone project, a lecture recital. Students of the program will also gain exposure to the most recent research and technologies in vocal development, health and rehabilitation through The Boston Conservatory’s special affiliation with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). Throughout their program each student will make clinical site visits to the Voice Center at MGH where they will have opportunities to see a variety of medical procedures ranging from laryngeal scoping to video of surgeries specific to speech and singing.

Pedagogy students receive private voice instruction for four semesters with a member of the Conservatory voice faculty. The jury standards and outcomes for these lessons are the same as for those students enrolled in the Voice Performance degree program. The final lecture recital is on a topic determined and developed by the student, their applied instructor and the Director of Vocal Pedagogy. The course Repertoire for the Teaching Studio addresses repertoire as it pertains to specific vocal problems, pedagogical goals, and individual vocal development. Pedagogy students are exposed to both classical and musical theater repertoire through repertoire and diction courses as well as through required attendance at the many vocal studio and solo recitals on The Boston Conservatory performance calendar.

Vocal Pedagogy Faculty

Voice & Opera Faculty

 

Your Department

Average number of Vocal Pedagogy students: 10

Your Opportunities

Featuring the same rigorous training as voice performance majorswith the addition of pedagogy-specific coursework in anatomy, physiology, history and comparative pedagogyour Vocal Pedagogy program gives you the voice expertise to teach your students healthy performance habits for a range of musical settings, while at the same time providing you with the skills you'll need for work on the opera and concert stage. The program trains you to:

  • Accurately diagnose vocal issues in singing and provide a comprehensive pedagogical plan appropriate to individual needs
  • Effectively teachfrom a solid pedagogical, anatomical and scientific foundation—students who are singing classical or musical theater repertoire
  • Pursue independent research into evolving pedagogical theory and vocal rehabilitation techniques 
  • Secure employment as voice professionals
  • Understand the role of speech language pathologists and what resources are available in terms of therapies and rehabilitative processes
  • Write a personal teaching philosophy and professional curriculum vitae

Application and Audition Requirements

Application to the M.M. Vocal Pedagogy degree program mirrors that for M.M. Vocal Performance with the addition of an interview with the Director of the Vocal Pedagogy program and the Chair of Voice and Opera. Basic requirements include a bachelor’s degree and an educational background in voice and performance. Candidates may self-identify as classical singers or musical theater singers. View a complete list of requirements.

There is a pre-screening requirement for all applicants to the Vocal Pedagogy degree program. All applicants must be prepared to perform the following repertoire for their audition:

  • An Italian art song
  • An art song in either French or German
  • An art song in English (not a translation)
  • Optional: an aria from an opera or oratorio
  • Optional: a popular song or a song from a musical theater show

Outcome Proficiencies

A student graduating from this program should have attained a vocal technique and performance capabilities at a level consistent with his or her peers in the Vocal Performance degree. He or she should have the following skills and abilities:

  • An understanding and mastery of vocal/physical anatomy and vocal technical issues such that an accurate diagnosis and pedagogical plan can be put in place for each individual student
  • The ability to teach students in classical or musical theater repertoires and address the specific issues of those two productions armed with factual anatomical and scientific information
  • An understanding of the role of the vocal therapist, how to use the therapist as a resource and understand what is available in terms of therapies and rehabilitative processes
  • Knowledge of the resources necessary to pursue independent research into evolving pedagogical theory and vocal rehabilitation techniques throughout a teaching career
  • A written personal teaching philosophy

Your Future

Students of our Vocal Pedagogy program have brought their expertise to music programs through a wide range of fellowships and faculty appointments.

Fellowships

  • Boston Arts Academy—High School of Performing Arts
  • Boston City Singers
  • The Boston Conservatory Vocal Arts Academy
  • The Boston Conservatory Vocal/Choral Intensive

Alumni Faculty Appointments

  • Voice Faculty, Dean College, Metropolitan Opera Guild
  • Voice Faculty, Wellesley School District (Massachusetts)
  • Director of French Diction, Franco-American Vocal Academy
  • Instructor of Voice, South Shore Conservatory
  • Director of Rhythm Instruction, Boston City Singers
  • Voice Faculty, Brown University
  • Voice Instructor, Franklin School of the Arts
  • Concert Chorus Manager, Fundraising and Communications, Boston City Singers
  • Children's Opera Director, The Boston Conservatory
  • Voice and Acting Instructor, Riverside Theater Works
  • Opportunity Music Project, Inc., Program Manager Intern
  • Ensemble Manager, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
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