VOCAL SKILLS 4 - 2019/0

Module code: ACT2020

Module Overview

In this module, in addition to continuing the development of all technical and practical aspects, we attempt to consolidate these skills working towards industry entry level. Context and genre of the repertoire supply the technical requirements expected of the voice, whilst integration skills are developed to ensure technique is not apparent to the untrained eye. Texts tackled are complex in nature, and range from the early 17th century to modern day, whilst song choices are made based upon vocal ability and appropriateness of the abilities.  An appreciation of euphony, assonance, onomatopoeia, and alliteration will be explored to further develop the students understanding of complex texts, whilst musically students will be encouraged to develop an ever – expanding portfolio.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

PALMER Christine (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: W311

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

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Successful completion of Level 4 modules Vocal Skills 1 and 2.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Voice is delivered via three separate classes: Primitive Voice, Voice & Text and Speech & Accent and also through voice support in workshops. 

The visceral verses the cerebral qualities of language, as exemplified in the work of writers such as the poet Hopkins and 17th and 18th century writers such as Pope, Swift, and Smart, are explored.

Skills levels are enhanced by developing and modifying them to satisfy the demands of each of the periods, forms and conventions.

A deeper understanding of accent consistency within a more complex heightened text is explored and presented.

Primitive Voice continues to further develop and enhance the students understanding of grounding centring and alignment explored in level 1.

Voice & Text explores the works of 17th and 18th century writers such as Pope, Swift and Smart and the Restoration period, working on wit and word play that characterised so many plays of that period. Muscular dexterity and dynamic articulation underpins this work.

Of equal importance are the works of the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins and his use of alliteration, euphony, assonance and onomatopoeia and is a particularly good vehicle for developing the emotional and imaginative muscles that complement the physiological musculature of the voice.

Speech & Accent further develops the knowledge built upon in level 1. Working on heightened text in an accent or speech quality such as change of gender in order to enhance the students’ capacity for vocal variety.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment HEIGHTENED SPEECH (JACOBEAN) 50
Practical based assessment ACCENT PRESENTATION 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

Module aims

  • Develop a secure, systematic and healthy personal technique in voice.
  • Enable the student to produce a variety of accents and speech qualities, applying them to character.
  • Increase knowledge of dramatic texts which are more complex and vocally demanding in nature.
  • Develop the ability to project the voice safely and effectively in a range of performance spaces.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Further engage in the process of working on Optimum Vocal Function (OVF).
2 Present and create a character from a 17th century perspective.
3 Perceive and produce the speech qualities for accent presentation.
4 Project the voice safely and effectively in a range of performance environments.

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 20

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Prepare the actor to develop research and understanding in order to adopt accent and character work

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Practical classes.

  • Seminars and lectures.

  • Recordings.

  • Films.

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 4 : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/act2020

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 2019/0 academic year.