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Singing Schools with Programs to Become a Professional Singer

Vocal performance programs for prospective professional singers are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. When selecting a program, students should consider factors like accreditation and the type of music they want to sing.

How to Select a Singing School to Become a Professional Singer

A number of public and private colleges and universities, as well as music conservatories, offer vocal performance degree and certificate programs for those who wish to become professional singers. Programs at liberal arts colleges and universities are generally housed within the music department and lead to degrees in music with an emphasis in vocal performance.

Considerations

  • Accreditation
  • Genre of Music
  • Other coursework

Accreditation

Music schools offering programs in vocal performance are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM). According to the NASM, accredited programs meet industry standards for music education, and students studying at accredited programs may find it easier to transfer credits or apply to graduate-level programs (www.nasm.arts-accredit.org).

Genre of Music

Different schools offer instruction in different types of singing. For example, some programs specialize in training professional opera singers, and will not accept students who favor popular music or musical theater. Others accommodate a wide range of styles, from popular to jazz to choral music. Some schools state their musical genres in their admission or program information; students can also look at the work being done by recent graduates to find out what types of performance the program fosters.

Other Coursework

Students may also want to look at the non-performance classes offered in the programs, such as those having to do with building one's career. Individuals with additional interests in composition or pedagogy can also find programs that give them opportunities to complete coursework in these areas.

Singing School Program Overviews

Bachelor of Music

Some Bachelor of Music (B.M.) programs offer a voice concentration. An audition is typically required for admission, and a second audition may be necessary before being admitted to advanced coursework. A senior recital may be required for graduation. These 4-year programs require coursework in:

  • Liberal arts
  • Solo and ensemble performance
  • Music history
  • Music theory

Diploma in Vocal Performance

Undergraduate diplomas are usually awarded by music conservatories and institutes. These programs involve three years of performance-intensive study with no liberal arts requirements. Students study solo and ensemble techniques and perform in a variety of settings. Undergraduate diplomas may make a student eligible to attend a graduate-level diploma program, but will not qualify them for a master's degree program. Students study:

  • Diction
  • Stage movement
  • Alexander technique
  • Arias
  • Vocal technique

Master of Music

A Master of Music (M.M.) takes two years to complete. Graduation requirements include solo recitals and participation in ensemble performance groups. The curriculum combines group and private instruction with workshops and seminars in relevant topics such as:

  • Repertory development
  • Diction
  • Acting for singers
  • Career development

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