VOCAL TECHNIQUES - 2020/1

Module code: MUTM029

Module Overview

This module is founded upon a commitment to the integration of the Spoken and Singing Vocal Techniques necessary for a career in Musical Theatre.

Spoken Voice classes are practical and are heavily biased towards learning and training through ‘doing, reflecting, understanding and adapting’. Training is undertaken in vocal anatomy and vocal physiology using of the whole body to underscore the work. Classes explore accent, diction & voice maintenance, and a variety of literature will be studied to fully integrate the spoken voice with the written word in order for the actor to ‘bring the text alive’.

Singing Voice classes are also practical, with initial exploration of the anatomical, technical & physiological elements of singing. Classes include individual singing tutorials, ensemble singing classes, and technical singing skills classes. As the module progresses, strategies examine technical control, use of voice qualities and the vocal performances required for a variety of genres and styles.

In both Singing and Spoken voice, a comprehension and application of terminology will be fully imparted, and all aspects of vocal techniques will be united through the integration of physical performance with vocal performance.

This module runs concurrently with Musical Theatre Practice 1, Musical Theatre Practice 2, and Public Performance Project, thus the vocal styles required for the projects and performance and the essential growth of training required for the student over three Teaching Blocks are purposefully aligned.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

CRIPPS Kevin (GSA)

Number of Credits: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: W312

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

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

Enrolment on: Acting Techniques and Dance Techniques.

Module content

Indicative content includes:

• Private singing tutorials to focus on the individual student’s singing voice

• Repertoire classes to explore song styles and genres of musical theatre

• Group technical singing skills classes studying vocal anatomy, rudimentary music theory, applied technique, vocal set-up and Musical Theatre styles

• Ensemble singing classes to gain experience of; harmony, balance, dynamics, blending, listening, sight-singing, musicianship and team work

• Practical voice classes explores, develops and brings together all elements required for the speaking voice to be used safely with the challenges required in varied performance environments through the study of texts and classroom exercises.

• Voice Maintenance class explores awareness of speech, speech sound and speech physicality, and how to sustain the voice throughout a Musical Theatre career.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Spoken Poetry Performance 25
Practical based assessment Continuous in-class Spoken exercises -1 25
Practical based assessment Continuous in-class Singing exercises -2 25
Practical based assessment Small Ensemble (Duet or Trio) Singing Performance 25

Alternative Assessment

In the event of a student missing the Spoken Monologue Performance assessment, this must be presented at a later date. In the event of a student missing the Small Ensemble Singing (Duet or Trio) Performance, this must be presented at a later date by agreement with assessor and fellow students involved within the same ensemble.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate comprehension and progression of vocal techniques required for a career in musical through continuous classroom and performance assessments.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

Spoken Poetry Performance – 25%. Teaching Block 1

• Contextual Understanding (2,3,4,5,6)

• Characterisation, Analysis and Understanding (2,3,4,5,6)

• Engagement with Narrative (2,3,4,5,6)

• Personal Preparation/Work Ethic (2,3,4,5,6)

• Projection and Clarity (1,2,3,4,5,6)

• Technical Security (1,2,3,4)

In-class Spoken exercises (continuous) – 25%. Teaching Block 2

• Projection and Clarity (1,2,3,4,5,6)

• Use of Voice Qualities (1,2,3,4,5,6)

• Engagement with Narrative (2,3,4,5,6)

• Engagement with Process (1,2)

• Personal Progression (1,4,5,6)

In-class Singing exercises (continuous) – 25%. Teaching Block 1

• Vocal Technique (1,2,3,4,5,6)

• Technical Security (1,2,3,4)

• Use of Vocal Qualities (1,2,3,4,5,6)

• Engagement with Process (1,2)

• Personal Progression (1,4,5,6)

Small Ensemble (Duet or Trio) Singing Performance – 25%. Teaching Block 3

• Contextual Understanding (2,3,4,5,6)

• Characterisation, Analysis and Understanding (2,3,4,5,6)

• Vocal Technique (1,2,3,4,5,6)

• Personal Preparation (1,4,5,6)

• Ensemble Engagement (3,4,5,6)

• Projection and Clarity (1,2,3,4,5,6)

• Technical Security (1,2,3,4)

Formative Assessment and Feedback Formative assessment is crucial to this module. In mirroring industry practice, students are given detailed constant verbal feedback and during classes, which enables students to develop and act upon notes given. Students are encouraged to create a reflective journal which encourages and develops their own reflective practice.

Student Activity Link to Learning Outcome(s)

• Projection and Clarity

• Use of Voice Qualities

• Engagement with Narrative

• Engagement with Process

• Personal Progression

• Contextual Understanding

• Characterisation, Analysis and Understanding

• Personal Preparation/Work Ethic

• Technical Security

• Vocal Technique

• Ensemble Engagement

• Projection and Clarity

Module aims

  • • Acquire a competent understanding of the anatomical mechanisms of the singing and speaking voice, including; breath control, support, resonance and projection.
  • • Develop students’ awareness of the demands placed on the voice in the study and performance of Musical Theatre.
  • • Identify and augment varying vocal styles required when studying and performing the many diverse texts, writers and genres found within Musical Theatre.
  • • Obtain comprehensive knowledge, and apply appropriate techniques of the varying spoken and singing vocal styles which exist and evolve within Musical Theatre
  • • Enhance the student’s understanding of the creative, physiological and emotional contribution to the voice in study, rehearsal and performance.
  • • Identify the elements required for effective and healthy vocal practice in order to sustain a career in Musical Theatre.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed Ref
001 Demonstrate a secure and systematic personal technique in voice, with a centred physicality demonstrating core stability and ease of alignment CKPT
002 Facilitate confident control of vocal techniques encompassing knowledge of vocal anatomy, robust breath support and resonance control, as well as consistently producing a healthy and sustainable sound CKPT
003 Project the voice effectively in a range of performance spaces with a fully energised presence and body confidence CKPT
004 Integrate effective voice techniques with creativity, spontaneity and flair when working as a soloist or ensemble CKPT
005 Display practical use of voice qualities appropriate to the array of styles which appear in the musical theatre repertoire CKPT
006 Comprehend, present and utilise vocal techniques as elements of the acting process in a range of class, rehearsal and performance contexts CKPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 150

Seminar Hours: 8

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Allow students to: comprehend, implement, determine and develop appropriate methods and skills in order to utilise and sustain their Singing and Spoken voice safely in study, rehearsal, performance and career in Musical Theatre.

The learning and teaching methods include:

• Ensemble singing classes (Teaching Block 1)

• Individual Singing classes (Teaching Blocks 1,2 & 3)

• Technical Singing skills classes (Teaching Blocks 1 & 2)

• Repertoire classes (Teaching Blocks 1,2 & 3)

• Practical voice classes (Teaching Blocks 1 & 2)

• Voice Maintenance classes (Teaching Blocks 3)

The module is delivered over 300 hours study across the 3 Teaching Blocks including, classes and self-study.

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 TECHNIQUES : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/mutm029

Other information

Under the three term structure that commences from academic year 2019/0 – this module’s delivery is year-long due to the teaching occurring in Teaching Blocks 1, 2 and 3.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Musical Theatre MA(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module
Musical Theatre MFA(YEAR LONG) Year-long Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2020/1 academic year.