While a degree in singing and voice is not required for a singing career, students in a degree program can learn the technical skills needed by most professional singers. A program in singing and voice includes coursework in music theory, history, conducting and performance. Most programs encourage students to learn a musical instrument in addition to voice, and vocal recitals are usually required to graduate.
1. University of Southern California in Los Angeles
|School Highlight: The University of Southern California features expert faculty not only in voice training, but in a range of closely-related disciplines as well including musical composition, music performance and collaborative arts.|
University of Southern California (USC) is located in the center of Los Angeles, where students have opportunities to work with organizations like the Los Angeles Opera, the GRAMMY Foundation and the Recording Academy. U.S. News & World Report ranked USC the 23rd best national university for 2015 and the 36th best graduate fine arts program.
USC features undergraduate and graduate-level programs in classical voice and opera. The Bachelor of Music (B.M.) in Vocal Arts program stresses strong technique and offers classes in diction, music theory and conducting. A Master of Music (M.M.) in Vocal Arts program focuses on ensemble, cantata and oratorio, vocal literature, music history and pedagogy. Earning the Doctor of Musical Arts (D.M.A.) in Vocal Arts requires performing four recitals.
Rock, pop, R&B and folk, Latin and country performance are featured in the B.M. in Popular Music program. Coursework includes songwriting, keyboard and harmony. A Bachelor of Arts in Choral and Sacred Music is also available.
2. Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
|School Highlight: Temple University hosts seven official student choirs, and each choir is defined by a unique history and performance style.|
Temple University is located in downtown Philadelphia and houses the Temple Performing Arts Center. Temple was ranked 13th among graduate fine arts programs in 2015 by U.S. News & World Report and 115th among national universities overall. Temple is accredited by the NASAM.
The Boyer College of Music and Dance offers the B.M. in Voice Performance and the B.M. in Jazz Voice Performance. The former program focuses on choral music and opera, while the latter centers on jazz studies. Both degree programs prepare students for careers in performance and vocal education. Classes include ensemble, piano, music theory and conducting.
Earning an M.M. in Voice prepares students for professional performance or further doctoral study. Specializations are available in musical style and performance, vocal literature, language and diction skills, acting technique and music theory. The D.M.A. in Voice program is ideal for those who want to further specialize and attain the highest level of skill in vocal performance. Classes include chamber music, music history and pedagogy. Students must perform with an orchestra or perform a major role in an opera to graduate. An M.M. and D.M.A. in Opera are also available.
Top Singing and Voice Programs
|Boston University||Master's degree music performance students at BU are each assigned to a single faculty member||Boston, MA|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Students in the vocal performance program are taught the classical bel canto technique; acting, dance and language training along with full productions each year supplement the voice training||Pittsburgh, PA|
|The Juilliard School||This exclusive school enrolls fewer than 1,000 students, and offers undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees as well as artist diplomas||New York, NY|
|Northwestern University||The Bienen School of Music offers performance and dual degrees, double majors and ad hoc options as well as on-campus auditions for opera companies; all doctoral students receive a full-tuition stipend||Evanston, IL|
|Portland State University||Students participating in the PSU Opera Workshop perform opera scenes on-campus and off-campus||Portland, OR|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Voice students at the U of I put on three fully-staged performances along with recitals, opera scenes and choral works||Champaign, IL|
|University of Washington - Seattle Campus||Seven choirs, four different degrees and a full-scale opera production are offered by the School of Music||Seattle, WA|