Master of Voice Pedagogy: Music Theatre Track


Westminster's Master of Voice Pedagogy program is offered 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. This particular track focuses on the pedagogy and science associated with music theater genres. 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 in an entirely online format. Preference is given to candidates who can document professional experience and who have worked in their chosen field for at least three 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: MT Track includes courses in music theater pedagogy and literature, culminating in a substantial vocal pedagogy project completed under the guidance of a Westminster voice faculty member.  

Degree Offered

  • M.V.P. - Master of Voice Pedagogy


Sean McCarther, D.M.A.
Taylor Hall
609-921-7100, ext. 88301

Program Website:
Associated Department:  Westminster Choir College

Related Programs


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 • Associate 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 Emeritus, 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.
Jay Carter • Assistant Professor, Voice, 2019.  B.M., William Jewell College; M.M., Yale University; D.M.A., University of Missouri-Kansas City.
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.
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.A., Indiana University.
Mark Moliterno • Adjunct Associate Professor, Voice, 2005. B.M., M.M., Oberlin College Conservatory of Music.
Kathy Kessler Price • Associate Professor, Voice, 2012. B.A., University of Richmond; M.M., University of Maryland; Ph.D., University of Kansas, Lawrence.
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: Music Theatre Track Program Requirements

Learn more about General Graduate Requirements.

(32 credits)

VC 650Pedagogy Capstone1
VC 722Literature for Teaching3
VC 723Voice Ped I: Voice Science3
VC 740Seminar in Music Theater Pedagogy3
VC 741Music Theater Literature I3
VC 742Music Theater Literature II3
VC 791Teaching Internship 22
MH 731Intro to Musicology3
Core Elective 13
Theory or History elective3
Free electives 35

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:
Voice Ped I: Voice Science
Music Theater Literature I
Seminar in Music Theater Pedagogy
Music Theater Literature II
Literature for Teaching
Teaching Internship 1
Pedagogy Capstone
Core Course
Intro to Musicology
Core Elective 2
Theory or History Elective
Free Electives for five credits total 3

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 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 740 Seminar in Music Theater Pedagogy 3 Credits

Comprehensive study of various pedagogical approaches to teaching Music Theater singing techniques. Students explore exercises and vocalizes 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. The course is offered entirely online and will consist of recorded lectures, reading assignments, group discussions via discussion boards, listening assignments, and other written assignments.

Prerequisite(s): VC 723.

VC 741 Music Theater Literature I 3 Credits

Survey and analysis of Music Theater literature from its roots in Tin Pan Alley through Kander and Ebb. Students will explore the synergistic relationships among text, music, and style and discuss the influence of society and politics on the genre. The course is offered entirely online and will consist of recorded lectures, reading assignments, group discussions via discussion boards, listening assignments and other written assignments.

VC 742 Music Theater Literature II 3 Credits

Survey and analysis of Music Theater Literature from Sondheim to the present. Students will explore the synergistic relationships among text, music, and style and discuss the influence of society and politics on the genre. The class will also discuss the integration of pop/rock and other contemporary substyles within the genre. The course is offered entirely online and will consist of recorded lectures, reading assignments, group discussions via discussion boards, listening assignments and other written assignments.

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.