Studies & Degrees in Music Performance (Vocal)
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Music Performance (Vocal) Study Programs
Music Performance education in voice includes intensive professional training, required for employment in the music industry. It is aimed at students who wish to develop their individual performance skills and their ability to perform effectively within an ensemble to the highest level. Therefore, vocalists may work solo or with an accompanist, or permanently or casually with bands, ensembles, orchestras or in concert opera. Vocal performers prepare a repertoire and many specialize in a particular style, or work on stage, radio and television. They may entertain as soloists, perform in a group and/or play an instrument. Vocalists need to train and develop their voice and capacity to sing, as well as develop presentation skills. They need to understand music and be able to work with bands and orchestras.
Besides having a good singing voice and taking voice lessons, there are other qualities that may be required to become a vocalist. A successful singer typically has a love of performing and a good stage presence. Further qualities are:
- Confident on stage
- Perseverance and discipline
- Ability to sing along with music, with precise timing
- Have good diction
- Able to sing with emotion
- Have a good memory, as song’s lyrics have to be memorized
- Good at concentrating for long periods of times
- Prepared to work long hours as well as in the evenings
Degrees in music performance are available at various levels, and students should expect to take courses in music theory, music history, language and diction study, vocal and opera literature, vocal pedagogy, conducting, and opera training. Active participation in opera productions and choral ensembles is an important part of the undergraduate experience too.
As with music performance degrees in keyboard, the reputation of the school is of uppermost importance as well as whom your music instructors will be. It would be a good idea to research them in advance and check whether their background matches your own requirements of how you wish to develop. Again, it is crucial to check what performing ensembles, groups, events, and opportunities are available for you as a student in and out of the Music Department. Typically, larger music departments and colleges/universities in bigger cities will offer more performing opportunities. Check what links and relationships your chosen institution has formed with local performing organizations and venues, and what your opportunities to work while studying are.
A vocal music performance degree provides significant career options including the music industry; professional singing; musicals; opera. You should go to as many auditions as possible and get a lot of exposure in order to be noticed early in your career and enhance your career prospects. The performing industry is a highly competitive one, so you should definitely be aiming to get as much experience as possible. Finally, teaching in music schools and conservatories is also an opportunity for those who enjoy it.