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A Master’s in Vocal Performance is awarded to students who’ve completed an advanced vocal program at a professional university. While some programs will accept students without an undergraduate degree in a related field, a Bachelor’s degree and extensive vocal training is usually required. Many programs will require a performance audition in addition to a normal application.
What Is a Master’s Program in Vocal Performance?
Generally, a Master’s in Vocal Performance takes one year to complete. However, the thesis requirement may push the pace to fit a two-year completion schedule. For most vocal programs, students will complete a base class in vocal performance that serves as a foundation for coursework to come. Beyond this requirement, many universities encourage students to look at diverse musical sets to maximize their exposure.
It’s hard to pinpoint the core course in such an artistic program, but students should expect their coursework to fit into these categories:
- Recital: With supervision from a faculty, students must plan and produce a professional level performance. Students may work individually or in groups to produce their show depending on the course’s structure.
- Ensemble: This course is designed to give students practical experience with performing in cohesion with others. Vocal performance is often collaborative so students will be exposed to a repertoire designed for collaborative efforts.
- Language Proficiency: Vocal performers frequently perform in other languages. In particular, classical and opera singer frequently encounter Italian and German. As such, some schools will test for a certain degree of language proficiency.
- Diverse Musical Exposure: Students are encouraged to explore vocal styles that are either significantly different in subject or approach.
- Music Theory: These classes help students understand how music is constructed and why it occurs in certain patterns. Students may work towards developing their ears to identify specific notes, chord types and similar events.
- Thesis: Research is an essential part of a thesis as is a lengthy paper. Vocal performance students may do a large amount of fieldwork and performance to amass their data.
What Are the Benefits of Getting a Master’s in Vocal Performance?
A Master’s program gives graduates many benefits, especially in the vocal performance field:
- Increased Salary: Especially if you are thinking about becoming a vocal trainer or freelance vocal professional, a Master’s in Vocal Performance can help you secure higher salaries.
- Build Professional Network: In the vocal performance world, you have to hear about the right part in the right show at the right time. Your peers in the program will also be your professional peers, so start building you connections early.
- Expanded Job Pool: With a Master’s degree on your resume, you will qualify for more positions within and outside the vocal performance sphere.
What Kind of Career Can You Expect With a Master’s in Vocal Performance?
With a Master’s in Vocal Performance, graduates are prepared to enter their professional field at a high level. Many will go on to be professional vocal performers in theater and performance companies around the country and world. Others will get involved with record contracts and begin crafting their own music. However, what else is available to vocal performance graduates?
- Vocal Trainer: Do you have an entrepreneurial spirit and like the idea of a freelance lifestyle? Private vocal trainers frequently set their own schedules and work with private clients. Of course, you can also start your own training facility or work within one.
- Vocal Educator: If you love the academic setting, think about working as a vocal educator. With a master’s in the subject, you may be qualified to teach above the secondary school level.
- Arts Administrator: These professionals oversee the production of arts festivals, vocal companies, galleries, art councils, museums and much more. Depending on the size and scope of the company, an Arts Administrator may help fundraiser as well as curate artists.
- Theater Director: A director will manage the creative and practical interpretation of a musical score and/or script. Many directors enjoy working on a freelance basis and may have an agent to help them find the right shows.
Don’t hesitate to get started on your vocal performance dreams. Get the training you need to succeed at a high level and find the right university for you. Remember to make sure your prospective programs have a vocal curriculum you’re really excited about.