Master of Voice Pedagogy: Classical Track

Program Overview

Westminster's Master of Voice Pedagogy program is offered almost entirely online and is specifically designed to serve the needs of professional singers, voice teachers, school music teachers, and voice coaches who want advanced training in the art and science of voice teaching. For those interested, there is also the option of extensive voice research. Supported by the latest developments in voice science, and thoroughly grounded in practical application, the program offers the most comprehensive training for singing teachers available anywhere. Because of the high standard required for admission to this program, applications will be considered only from candidates who can document professional experience, and who have worked in their chosen field for at least five years since their undergraduate degree was completed.

Curriculum Overview

At least one course required to fulfill this degree is offered online each semester. Coursework is also offered during Westminster's six-week Summer Session, allowing degree candidates to maintain performance schedules and teaching jobs during the year.

The M.V.P. program includes courses in vocal pedagogy and literature, culminating in a substantial vocal pedagogy project completed under the guidance of a Westminster voice faculty member.  

For students who elect applied voice study (fee is charged), weekly studio and performance classes offer frequent performance opportunities.  Two fully-staged operas, one with orchestra, are presented each year. Private vocal coaching is available (fee is charged).

Please see the Voice Handbook for language requirements.

Degree Offered

  • M.V.P. - Master of Voice Pedagogy

Contact

Christopher Arneson, D.M.A.
Erdman Hall
609-921-7100, ext. 8269
carneson@rider.edu

Program Website:  www.rider.edu/wcc
Associated Department:  Westminster Choir College

Related Programs

Faculty

Margaret Cusack (Chair) • Professor, Voice, and Chair of Voice and Piano Faculties,  1994. B.M., M.M.T., Oberlin College.
Christopher Arneson • Professor, Voice, 2003. B.A., M.M., Binghamton University; D.M.A., Rutgers University.
Susan S. Ashbaker • Adjunct Professor, Voice, 2006. B.M., M.M., Southern Illinois University; M.M., University of Illinois.
Lauren Athey-Janka • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2016. B.M., Boston University, M.M., Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Dalton Baldwin • Adjunct Professor, Piano, 1984. B.A., Oberlin Conservatory.
Victoria Browers • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2017. B.M., Ohio Wesleyan University, M.M. Westminster Choir College of Rider University; D.M.A. State University of New York at Stony Brook.
Elem Eley • Professor, Voice, 1987. B.M., Baylor University; M.M., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Rochelle Ellis • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 1995. B.M.E., University of Missouri, Kansas City; M.M.E., Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Faith Esham • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2000. B.A., Columbia Union College; B.M., M.M., The Juilliard School.
Harold Evans • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2007. B.S., West Chester State College; M.M, Indiana University.
Thomas Faracco • Associate Professor, Voice. 1983. B.M., M.M., Westminster Choir College.
Theodora Hanslowe • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2016. B.A., Cornell University, A.D., Peabody Conservatory of Music.
Nancy Froysland Hoerl • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 1995. B.A., Moorhead State University; M.M., Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Katherine Johnson • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2006. B.M., University of Calgary; M.M., Manhattan School of Music.
Rachelle Jonck • Adjunct Associate Professor, Voice, 2007. B.M., University of Stellenbosch (South Africa)
Robin Massie • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2008. B.M., Westminster Choir College; M.M., Yale University.
Sean McCarther • Associate Professor, Voice, 2012.  B.M., Baylor University; M.M., D.M., Indiana University.
Mark Moliterno • Adjunct Associate Professor, Voice, 2005. B.M., M.M., Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
Carolann Page • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2008. B.M., Curtis Institute of Music.
J.J. Penna • Associate Professor, Piano, 1996.  B.M., Binghamton University; D.M.A., University of Michigan.
Kathy Kessler Price • Associate Professor, Voice, 2012. B.A., University of Richmond; M.M., University of Maryland; Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence.
Laura Brooks Rice • Professor, Voice, 1985. B.M., Georgia Southern College; M.M., Indiana University.
Debra Scurto-Davis • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2004. B.M.E., Evangel College; M.M., Baylor University; S.M., University of Michigan.
Elizabeth Sutton • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2005. B.A., Bowling Green State University; M.M., College-Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati.
Sharon Sweet • Professor, Voice, 1999. B.S., Roberts Wesleyan College; M.M., Ithaca College.
Nova Thomas • Associate Professor, Voice, 2004.  B.M., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; M.M., Indiana University.
Charles J. Walker • Adjunct Instructor, Voice, 1995. B.M., University of Delaware.
Sally Wolf • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 2001. B.M., Kent State University; Artist Diploma, Curtis Institute of Music.
Amy Zorn • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Voice, 1996. B.M., University of Wisconsin, Madison; M.M., Boston University.

Master of Voice Pedagogy: Classical Track Program Requirements

Learn more about General Graduate Requirements.

Major Area
VC 650Pedagogy Capstone1
VC 722Literature for Teaching3
VC 723
VC 724
Voice Ped I: Voice Science
and Voice Ped II: Methods
6
VC 791Teaching Internship 12
Literature Courses
VC 661German Lieder3
VC 662French Melodie3
Core
MH 731Intro to Musicology3
Theory or Music History elective (1 course)3
Core elective 23
Electives
Free electives 35
Total Credits32

Notes

  •  Students with limited prior singing experience, as determined through departmental evaluation of past vocal study, performance career and/or performing skill as demonstrated through live or recorded performance, may be required to complete up to four credits of applied voice instruction in addition to the major area course requirements. Such required developmental lessons will result in additional charges.
  • In addition to the above requirements, all students must demonstrate competency in at least two of the three major European singing languages (Italian, German, French). This may occur through completion of at least one year of college-level study in each language, intensive work through language institutes or practical experience living and/or working in a foreign country, as verified by diagnostic testing at Westminster.

Academic Plan of Study

The following educational plan is provided as a sample only.  Students may follow a different plan to ensure a timely graduation.  Each student, with guidance from his or her academic advisor, will develop a personalized educational plan.

Pedagogy Courses
It is preferable that the pedagogy courses be taken in the following order:
VC 723Voice Ped I: Voice Science3
VC 724Voice Ped II: Methods3
VC 722Literature for Teaching3
VC 791Teaching Internship 12
VC 650Pedagogy Capstone1
Literature Courses
VC 661German Lieder3
VC 662French Melodie3
Core Courses
MH 731Intro to Musicology3
One Theory (TH) or Music History (MH) elective3
Core elective 23
Free Electives 35
Total Credits32

Footnotes 

Notes

  1. Students with limited prior singing experience, as determined through departmental evaluation of past vocal study, performance career and/or performing skill as demonstrated through live or recorded performance, may be required to complete up to four (4) credits of applied voice instruction in addition to the major area course requirements.  Such required developmental lessons will result in additional charges.

  2.  In addition to the above requirements, all students must demonstrate competency in at least two of the three major European singing languages (Italian, German, French).  This may occur through completion of at least one year of college-level study in each language, intensive work through language institutes, or practical experience living and/or working in a foreign country, as verified by diagnostic testing at Westminster.

Courses and Descriptions 

MH 731 Intro to Musicology 3 Credits

Introduction to the basic tools of research in historical musicology in order to foster: (1) an awareness of the nature and scope of historical musicology as a scholarly discipline; (2) familiarity with the techniques of musicological research; (3) an understanding of the relationship between musicological research and performance practice; and (4) experience in the application of musicological techniques to specific musical works and issues. It is strongly recommended that this course be taken at the outset of graduate study. Required for all Master of Music candidates.

VC 650 Pedagogy Capstone 1 Credits

Independent research leading to a completed capstone project, such as a pedagogical publication or presentation, development of an original or unique method of instruction, instructional materials, etc. The project must be approved by the department.

VC 661 German Lieder 3 Credits

This survey of the German Lieder begins with its roots in the 17th and 18th centuries and continues into the 20th century. Classes will involve study of Romanticism, including philosophers and poets of the 18th and 19th centuries who were important for German Lieder. The bulk of the class involves in-depth study of the Lieder of the important composers of the genre: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Robert and Clara Schumann, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Brahms, Wolf, Strauss, Mahler, Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern. Class sessions will involve a balance of lecture, discussion, and student performance.

VC 662 French Melodie 3 Credits

This course is designed as a survey of the song literature of France. Students examine works for voice and piano/instruments by Berlioz, Gounod, Saint-Saëns, Bizet, Faure, Duparc, Chausson, Debussy, Ravel, Messaien, Milhaud, Poulenc, and others, analyzing their relationship to larger stylistic, social, and musicological trends. Investigation will include matters of prosody, scansion, and compositional organization, with particular attention given to matters of text setting and poetic treatment. Special emphasis will be placed on important French language poets whose literary works serve as the basis for this material. Poets will include Baudelaire, Verlaine, Hugo, Rimbaud, Mallarmé, LaForgue, Maeterlinck, and others. Poetic history and form will be covered as well as important composer/poet partnerships. Class sessions will involve a balance of lecture and discussion. Works by both well-known and lesser-known composers will be included.

VC 722 Literature for Teaching 3 Credits

A survey of graduated teaching literature for beginning, intermediate and advanced voice students. Literature will be explored that is particularly well-suited to specific vocal issues (e.g. legato, coloratura, staccato, etc.)

Prerequisite(s): VC 723, VC 724.

VC 723 Voice Ped I: Voice Science 3 Credits

Study of voice anatomy and physiology with concentration on respiration, phonation, articulation, hearing and vocal health. Through hands-on experience in the Westminster Voice Laboratory, students explore the physics of sound, the fundamentals of musical acoustics, and acoustical elements that are unique to the human voice. Priority registration is given to M.V.P. majors and M.M. students majoring in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. Other students may enroll on a space-available basis.

VC 724 Voice Ped II: Methods 3 Credits

A comparative study of various pedagogical methods and ideals. A wide range of important historical and contemporary pedagogy treatises is reviewed. Students explore exercises and vocalises for general voice development as well as techniques to address and correct specific vocal problems. Role-playing exercises are used to develop appropriate listening and teaching skills. Class participants begin supervised instruction of a volunteer singing student.

Prerequisite(s): VC 723.

VC 791 Teaching Internship 2 Credits

Teaching internship with a master teacher(s). The student will teach under faculty observation and supervision, including follow-up private discussion with the observer. In addition, students themselves observe group and private lessons and are given readings, written assignments, and/or projects associated with their own teaching. May be offered on an intensive basis in conjunction with Westminster Summer Session events, such as The High School Solo Vocal Artist and/or Vocal Institute.