Master of Vocal Arts Curriculum

The vocal arts curriculum is divided into three main components:
  • Core Seminar
  • Private instruction
  • Workshops

Core Seminar

The program’s innovative curriculum centers on the Core Seminar, which focuses on topics that address different aspects of the singing life: poetry and text, diverse musical influences, and opera.

Core Seminar I
Dickinson, Goethe, and Verlaine
Core Seminar II

First Songs
Core Seminar III

Creating Unique Performance Opportunities
Core Seminar IV

The Singer and the Stage              

Private Instruction

Course work also includes concentrated weekly private instruction:

Voice lessons
All students in the program receive private voice instruction each week in New York City.

Vocal coaching
Every student in the program receives weekly individual sessions, alternating between Artistic Director, Dawn Upshaw, Associate Director, Kayo Iwama, and various VAP faculty.

Alexander Technique tutorials
All students receive weekly private Alexander Technique tutorials.


Additional course work includes the following classes:

Acting Explorations
Diction and Phonetics
Language Translation for Singers
Movement Improvisation
Opera Workshop
Professional Development
Recital Class
Singers Forum
Vocal Chamber Music
Vocal Ensemble Workshop         

Performance Opportunities

Performing is the central means of artistic self-discovery in the VAP. Most of the classes require weekly in-class participation at a performance level and culminate in public concerts. Throughout the course of the program, each singer is offered opportunities to perform works drawn from the song, oratorio, and operatic repertoires. Singers work in collaboration with pianists, instrumentalists, and orchestra—in recital, oratorio, and fully-staged operatic productions. The VAP curriculum connects the young singer with a larger artistic world through frequent performances in the surrounding area and New York City.

Summary of Requirements

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