What is the course about?
This advanced course offers experienced singers the opportunity to study all aspects classical song repertoire in depth. You need to have a reliable vocal technique and good music-reading skills as well as the ability to prepare repertoire independently. Working alongside a professional accompanist, the tutor will guide you through the nuances of singing in different languages and styles, honouring the subtleties of the text and music. This course typically has a termly repertoire focus. Tutor: Håkan Vramsmo [external website]
Accompanist: Clive Pollard.
What will we cover?
- Vocal and physical exercises.
- Expanding your confidence and experience of singing in different languages
- Guidance on technical improvement with particular reference to vocal colour and tone.
- Experimentation with repertoire and guidance on its suitability.
- Communicating with an audience.
- Help with constructive criticism in order to gain a better understanding of the voice.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Confidently perform songs from the studied repertoire from memory.
- Demonstrate variations of tone and colour in your vocal technique
- Show an enhanced understanding of the works studied through nuanced performance
- Show an improvement in your listening skills and aural perceptiveness.
- Critically evaluate vocal and performance technique in yourself and others.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
For this course you need a reliable vocal technique, having completed either the City Lit foundation levels up to ‘Singing repertoire workshop’ or have had a minimum of five years individual tuition;
You need to be confident singing in front of the class and have the ability to learn repertoire from memory regularly.
You also need a good understanding of musical notation so that you can prepare your songs in advance (sight-singing is not required).
Some previous experience singing in various languages especially English, French, German and Italian, is vital for progression in this course.
You need to be able to follow written and verbal instructions in English and engage in class discussions.
If you are new to City Lit singing classes, please take a moment to read our blog: Choosing a singing class at City lit which lists our full sequence of singing classes. You could also drop in to one of our advice sessions where we can hear you sing and help you choose the right course. Please bring a piece to sing with simple piano accompaniment.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Time is allowed for physical and vocal warm-up.
- Classes comprise of group work, individual presentations, discussion and exchange of ideas/suggestions between tutor and class members.
- There will be some demonstration and lecture.
- The time to research and experiment with repertoire and to present it in class already prepared is essential.
- Repertoire themes will be introduced for the most part by the tutor, and students will have opportunity to experiment with their own choices.
- A regular practice routine is essential.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Note book and pencil, sheet music as required and perhaps a course book if required. You are encouraged to acquire copies of music you are singing during the year. Music may be purchased new or second-hand and/or borrowed from local libraries. Westminster Central Music Library (Victoria) and the Barbican Music Library have very comprehensive collections. Suitable scores may also be available from http://imslp.org/.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
This course comprises of 3 terms across the year after which you are encouraged to repeat this course as necessary to continue developing your knowledge of repertoire, singing of art song from different periods, singing in different languages, performance skills and general technical ability. You may also wish to consider ‘Singing: build a song recital’, ‘Opera Arias’ or ‘Opera Scenes’.