Practicum Courses

Independent Study in Conducting

Independent Study in Conducting is offered to one student per year and is an introduction to basic conducting skills with an emphasis on the art of conducting, baton technique, left hand technique, non-verbal communication, leadership, conducting terminology, transpositions, and score study. As an Independent Study, the timeline and progression of the course will depend largely on the enrolled student’s prior musical experience as an instrumental musician, as well as his/ her training in music theory, aural skills, and analysis. Necessary elements that are missing from his/ her experience may be added. The student must co-enroll in String Ensemble as a performing and observing member (2 hours per week) and will receive weekly private instruction (2 hours per week).  Major units of study will include Score Analysis and Marking, Physical Gestures, Rehearsal Analysis and Planning Strategies, and Social-Emotional Leadership of Rehearsals. Skype sessions with professional conductors, attendance at concerts, rehearsal observations, and conducting labs with off-campus ensembles will enrich the student experience.

  • 1 credit – year-long major
  • limited to one student per year, by audition/permission of instructor
  • co-registration in String Ensemble  is required

VOX: Vocal Technique & Literature

VOX is an introduction to the study of singing technique. Intended for beginning singers or for more experienced singers who have not trained formally, this course addresses an overview of the elements of healthy singing as well as the practical application to vocal literature (songs). Students will have an opportunity to sing alone and together during class but there will not be any public performances associated with this class. Outcomes will include greater comfort and fluency with singing, greater self-knowledge of one’s own voice, inspired passion for further vocal training, and improved confidence. Skills addressed will include the integration of psychomotor skills with theory, performance practice, and acting, proper breathing for efficient breath management, proper physical posture to maximize the voice’s sound and maintenance, self-monitoring the voice based on intimate knowledge through exploration and use, maintenance of good vocal health, greater confidence and comfort with singing voice. Major Units of Study will include: Respiration, Phonation, Resonance, Articulation, and Performance Practice. Sub-units of study will include: vocal health, the role of the warm-up, vocal anatomy, registration, connecting registers, tone quality, International Phonetic Alphabet, coordination, song study, singing practice, vocabulary. Singing is an individual skill that is separate from but related to the skills involved with singing in an ensemble. This course is useful for students who are considering private study in the future, for those who are enrolled in an ensemble as a singer, for those participating in a Student-Run Performing Group as a vocalist, or for those in the midst of a disorienting voice change who would like to maintain their practice but aren’t keen on performing publicly while their voice in unpredictable. Teenage years are a period of critical identity exploration and formation; the understanding and ownership of one’s singing voice is both directly and representationally related to the process of identity formation and personal voice. Capturing or recapturing the singing voice is a transformational and empowering experience.

  • .5 credits – year-long minor