VOCAL STUDIES 1 - 2018/9

Module code: MUT1015

Module Overview

This module will provide students with a sound knowledge and understanding of fundamental technique and the skills essential to singing and the delivery of text in theatre. A range of classes will cover the practical and anatomical aspects of singing and voice, whilst others will provide skills in musicianship, giving students all the necessary tools required to begin the process toward a true understanding and ownership of their own voice. 

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


Module content


Cover an in depth anatomical and theoretical knowledge of vocal production and systems/models related to singing. Technical Singing 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.Through the study of anatomy, technical singing exercises, physical & emotional awareness,as well as varied song repertoire, this part of the module will begin to train the students to critically assess weaknesses in technique and unacceptable voice qualities and tensions.


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.  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). Students will be required to select, learn, experience and speak texts such as First World War poetry, Shakespeare’s sonnets. Speech and Accent studies set 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.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment SINGING-CONTINUAL ASSESSMENT 50
Practical based assessment SONNETS 50

Alternative Assessment

In the event of a student being unable to complete any specific component of the module a new poem/singing piece will be assigned by the module tutor. This will then be assessed in a practical setting.To be determined by the unit/module that is incomplete.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate technique that has been learnt through the module and a first opportunity to apply technique in a performance situation amongst their peers.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Continual Assessment


Student Activity                                                                   Link to Learning Outcome(s)

Vocal Technique in performance                                                                            1,2,3,4,5,

Technical understanding                                                                                         1,2,3,4,5

Characterisation                                                                                                      1,2,3,4,5

Connection with text                                                                                                1,2,3,4,5

Breath control                                                                                                          1,2,3,4,5

Process                                                                                                                    1,2,3,4,5

Sonnets (Practical)

Student Activity                                                                   Link to Learning Outcome(s)

Vocal Technique in performance                                                                                    6,7,8

Technical understanding                                                                                                 6,7,8

Characterisation                                                                                                              6,7,8

Connection with text                                                                                                       6,7,8

Breath control                                                                                                                 6,7,8

Process                                                                                                                           6,7,8

Formative assessment and feedback

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

Student Activity                                                                   Link to Learning Outcome(s)

Vocal Technique in performance                                                                     1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Technical understanding                                                                                  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Characterisation                                                                                               1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Connection with text                                                                                        1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8

Breath control                                                                                                  1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8


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, vocal anchoring and begin developing the middle (or mixed) voice.
  • Lay the foundation of a healthy and robust technique specific to the musical theatre performer
  • Begin developing knowledge of musical styles specific to the contexts where song is required. Again, repertoire will be specific.
  • Develop and maintain confidence as a soloist or ensemble member.

Learning outcomes

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

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 113

Independent Study Hours: 37

Methods of Teaching / Learning

This module is delivered over 150 hours study across the semester

Throughout the module different learning and teaching strategies are applied to enable students to achieve the learning outcomes, including research, reflective practice, peer to peer learning and formative assessment with written feedback.

In depth.

  • The approach of the module is vocational in content and delivery and encourages students to participate in reflection on their own practice, independent study and research and embeds the concepts of peer to peer feedback within the rehearsal room. Students are encouraged to utilise materials on SURREY LEARN and also receive individual tutorials from staff to help in forming their learning experience.

  • Students receive regular verbal feedback both individually and as a group during each class which they are encouraged to journal within the reflection time which is built in to the lesson plan every week.

  • Students are encouraged to self-assess and peer-assess within the class structure and as part of the ethos of training as an actor.

  •  Lesson plans are structured to take account of and deliver for students with a specifc bias toward visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning enabling differentation of techniques within the class.

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 STUDIES 1 : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/mut1015

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Musical Theatre 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.