VOCAL SKILLS 1 - 2018/9

Module code: ACT1015

Module Overview

This module will provide the student with the means to demonstrate integration between voice and singing.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W311

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

A healthy voice, accompanied by an aptitude and willingness to engage with the physiological and psychological processes necessary with which to progress. Students will be expected to have the necessary equipment (recording devices, scores, etc.) with which to participate in classes, and shall be expected to carry out the necessary work/practice when necessary. A willingness to self evaluate vocal processes and eliminate poor habitual tensions and an openness to enquiry of voice in all its performance forms.

Module content

Singing Classes will commence, covering an anatomical and theoretical knowledge of vocal production and systems/models related to singing. Additionally, classes will prepare the students to become aware of and build technical and musical confidence with reference to the musical and textual demands of the music. Repertoire portfolios will be developed to the ability of the individual covering a range of musical styles/genres specific to the contexts an Actor may be required to sing.

Voice work is delivered via three separate weekly classes: Practical voice, Voice and text and Speech and accent. From the outset students are required to begin the process of understanding their own habitual voice use, and to challenge and develop their vocal capabilities. The target is Optimum vocal function (OVF). This requires that the speaker allows his/her voice to function naturally and effectively in a wide range of everyday and professional situations. Additionally students must also learn how to accommodate a variety of spaces to alter the balance of OVF to satisfy a range of spaces and dramatic texts.

Voice and Text classes enable the actor to communicate from a characters’ or writers perspective, responding to the way in which an author manipulates character and story through text, form and structure. Students will be required to select, learn, experience and speak texts such as first world war poetry, and Shakespeare’s sonnets.

Speech and Accent sets out to explore the awareness of speech sounds, recreating accents beginning with the historical aspects of received pronunciation and further work towards accents other than the students own. It is developed via practical exercises, recordings, written materials and analysis of one’s own and others voices. Students learn about phonetics and will be required to understand the relationships between phonetic notation, speech sounds and speech physicality

Practical Voice explores, develops and brings together all elements of the voice. Initially work tends to focus on posture and breathing. Later work explores and aims to train the mind, body, imagination and emotions in the practice of making sound, establishing resonance and focussing the voice. Further work explores a range of expressions while integrating muscular clear articulation. Breath work underpins all work in the module so that the voice is fully connected.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

An awareness of performance practice through doing. Speaking a variety texts worked on as a performance

An awareness of performing two contrasting singing styles in a performance

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

The performance/assessment to take place in front of peers of war poetry and a Shakespearian sonnet
Feedback will be written and verbal
Performance in the examination period of Semester 1


Formative assessment and feedback

Feedback is verbal and given in a class format for all formative assessments with notes to be taken by peers.

Module aims

  • Analyse the individuals voice and to work towards a balance of healthy vocal function and towards Optimum Vocal Function (OVF).
  • Develop the students awareness of the demands placed on the voice and body with a variety of texts, genres and spaces.
  • Analyse and produce a variety of sounds for various accents to provide an understanding of the vocal mechanism, support system, breath management and vocal anchoring.
  • Lay the foundation of a healthy and robust technique specific to the actor who sings.
  • Begin developing knowledge of musical styles specific to the contexts where song is required. Again, repertoire will be specific, yet varied to the actor
  • Develop and maintain confidence as a soloist or ensemble member

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate an awareness of OVF.
2 Demonstrate knowledge by presenting a poem, sonnet and political speech establishing long breaths, dynamic articulation and appropriate vocal technique
3 Evidence the ability to perceive and produce the consonants and vowels of Received Pronunciation and begin to apply auditory skills for other accents
4 Demonstrate a proven understanding of singing anatomy both in theory and in practice
5 Display the foundations of healthy and sustainable vocal production in performance; including effective support, breath management, vocal anchoring and use of basic voice qualities
6 Demonstrate a developing understanding of music theory and the ability to use these skills when sourcing repertoire and in rehearsal/performance.
7 Demonstrate a developing portfolio of repertoire varied both, in chronological genre and musical styles
8 Perform with developing confidence as a soloist and ensemble member, integrating skills

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 42

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Place an emphasis on the practical development of skills that are required for extended and best practice in the profession.
Enable students to acquire versatility in their physical skills and integrate their knowledge across all acting disciplines all of which lead on to a firm foundation moving toward the study of acting, voice and singing at FHEQ Level 5.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Practical classes
Lectures, Seminars and Master Classes
4.5 hours per week for 11 weeks
Directed revision in week 12

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Reading list for VOCAL SKILLS 1 : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/act1015

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Acting BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.