• The components of the course
• The course
• Special subjects
• Practical information
The 3-Year Singer/ Singing Teacher Diploma Course is aimed at singers and teachers who wish to qualify professionally, partly as singers, and partly as singing teachers. The course is a 3-year intensive study. The goal of the course is to enable the participants to work independently and responsibly with singing and teaching. The course is open to singers from all genres of music, rhythmic as well as classical. The aim is for the participants to have achieved the highest professional proficiency on completion of the course.
The components of the course
- Personal vocal development and education
- Studying of singing theory and teaching theory
- Training auditive analysis, recognition of singing techniques and common problems
- Learning skills to demonstrate as well as use singing techniques
- Supervision of participants as teachers
- Ongoing debates and discussions concerning different teaching approaches, and exchanging of experience
- Insight into most recent research within the field of voice
The course will be taught in groups. Participants will acquire in depth knowledge of learning methods and singing problems of the other participants. This will bring about invaluable knowledge in meeting different methods of singers, both learning and singing wise. It is essential for the well-being and free expression of each individual participant that the work takes place in an atmosphere of openness and trust. Ongoing theoretical written and verbal assignments and singing tests will be given. Singing exercises and practical tests with student test singers will take place regularly.
Personal vocal development and education
Focus will be on the individual singer’s technique and singing range, since having thorough knowledge of one’s own voice is a prerequisite for recognizing and solving vocal problems of others. A major part of the course will deal with enhancing the technical and artistic potential of each participant.
Studying of theory and teaching theory
The acquisition of theoretical knowledge will take place through individual study and demonstrations. Classes will offer detailed study of the voice. Among areas covered: study of singing concepts such as The Three Overall Principles, and the vocal modes Neutral, Curbing, Overdrive and Edge, study of sound colour, the use of effects, as well as identifying and solving vocal problems. Theory will be consistently illustrated using specific examples. It is a fundamental aim of the course that all acquired theory be put to immediate practical use.
Training auditive analysis, recognition of singing techniques and common problems
It is a prerequisite for safe and responsible teaching that participants are able to recognize the used vocal modes rapidly so they may quickly apply the correct methods in the solving of problems.
Learning skills to demonstrate as well as use singing techniques
Learning skills to use the singing techniques includes the use of The Three Overall Principles and use of vocal modes Neutral, Curbing, Overdrive and Edge in singing as well as speech. Also, the use of sound colour and effects are central elements. Furthermore, emphasis is put on self-study, i.e. participants are responsible for areas they wish to study and work on, how this is done and which results they wish to achieve.
Supervision of participants as teachers
Personal guidance of the participants’ work with test singers and other singers from the group will be given. Each individual singer / teacher will receive personal feed back. Personal guidance will also make the individual participant aware of his or her presence and methods, so he or she becomes conscious of strengths and weaknesses and learns how to deal with them in a teaching context.
Ongoing debates and discussions
Debating, discussing and exchanging views and experience on musical careers and teaching will be encouraged throughout the course. The groups on the 3-Year Course will be made out of very talented, highly qualified singers and singing instructors, and there will be a lot to learn from one another.
The Course – 1st year
During the first year of the course, emphasis will be put on individual, personal voice work. Participants will study singing theory and methods in detail. Also, exercises in teaching will be introduced, and work with test singers will begin:
- Support. Including run through of supporting muscles, understanding the essence of support, recognizing different sensations of support, support training, understanding the energy needed to use support, detailed study of using support.
- Anatomical and physiological study of the vocal organs, the importance of an unhindered voice.
- Detailed study of pronunciations and their importance.
- Opening of the mouth for producing different notes.
- Principles for completing a note and for various attacks.
- Study of different levels of volume and a safe method of producing them.
- The Three Overall Principles.
- Theoretical and practical study of range and types of voice.
- Study of the vocal modes Neutral, Curbing, Overdrive and Edge. This includes an introduction to and the use of the vocal modes with regard to pitch, sound colour, volume and vowels.
- The study of sound colour, including the importance of the vocal tract, the possibilities of the epiglottis funnel and adjustments of the larynx, the tongue, the mouth, the palate, and the nasal passage. Furthermore, the various sounds will be combined in order for the participants to get a full overview of the possibilities of sound colour.
- A short introduction to the different effects the participants can make use of. This study will primarily aim at a theoretical understanding of the effects.
- A short introduction to various voice problems and how to solve them, including topics such as warm-up, hoarseness and the importance and practice of physical exercise.
- Work with rhythm.
- Work with teaching situations, using test singers and other singers from the group.
- Interpretation and performance.
- Different pedagogical skills and tools.
The Course – 2nd year
During the second year, emphasis will still be on individual, personal voice work. However, increasing focus will be put on learning theory and methods with regard to teaching and teaching skills. A more in depth study of the vocal modes and their use, with regard to pitch, transitions between the modes, speech technique, sound colour, volume and vowels and modes in relation to various musical genres. Introduction to distortion, rattle, scream, added air and vocal breaks. Voice register, including vocal flageolet, flute register and solving unintentional vocal breaks. Principles of intonation. The different combinations of sound elements will help toward a better understanding and recognition of the possibilities of the voice. During the second year, various voice problems and how to solve them will be given much attention. Studying, identifying and solving hoarseness, so-called tone-deafness, nodules, and irregular production of mucous will be part of the programme. Also, preventive measures and emergency aid, including work with an emergency aid programme, will be included. Furthermore, ongoing study and identification of different methods in music, including examination of problems arising from musical practice, as well as means to solve these, will be conducted. Difficulties in hearing one’s own voice and the problems this may cause during singing work will be covered. The difference between using the vocal modes for acoustic singing, singing in a recording studio and singing live with amplification (microphone technique). Studying and practicing the principles of improvisation and phrasing, interpretation and performance. Practicing presentations of a technical subject.
The Course – 3rd year
During the third year of the course, individual participants will be further strengthened in their vocal abilities. Increasing emphasis will be put on participants’ abilities to recognize and demonstrate both practical and theoretical knowledge. Different teaching methods and their psychology will be tried and tested. Each individual will be encouraged to find his or her own method and way of practice. Working on performance will be covered, as will awareness of one’s own abilities, strengths and weaknesses, and how these affect one’s artistic work. A more detailed study of various effects, both those used by participants as well as others. There will be a further in-depth study of distortion (intentional hoarseness), growl, grunt, intentional vocal breaks, air added to the voice, screams, creak, creaking, as well as vibrato, techniques for ornamentation, (rapid run of notes). Including an introduction to effects, the use of effects in relation to pitch, sound colour, volume and vowels. This study will partly further theoretical knowledge and partly enable participants to recognise and demonstrate the most common effects. Summing up and establishing overview will be practised, so the participants on completion of the course can:
- master theory
- immediately solve singing problems
- hold advanced teaching skills
- demonstrate vocal modes clearly, especially in different sound presentations that may impede recognition
- recognize vocal modes and the correct and incorrect use of them, both live and on recorded material
- be capable of recognizing and examining techniques used in all forms of singing
- be capable of explaining words and singing concepts, to use and apply them in a teaching context and be able to answer difficult questions relating to technique and interpretation in a satisfactory manner
- be rapid in their analysis and problem solving
- be aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, to what extent and how this may affect their teaching
- continuously evaluate their teaching experience and revise their teaching strengths and weaknesses
- be able to differentiate between genre and technique, with regard, yet again, to their own strengths and weaknesses in teaching
- understand the importance of being open and approachable, or of making clear that this will not be the case before undertaking a long period of instruction
- be punctual so appointments and schedules can be met
- be acquainted with relevant published texts and publications
The various working methods that have been studied during the course will be integrated though an intensive work process and the work of a teacher will be carefully examined. Furthermore, emphasis will be put on the strengths and weaknesses of the individual – and each participant will be encouraged to find his/ her own specific identity as a singing teacher.
All participants are encouraged to form groups for the duration of the course. Working in study groups will help all singers in practising and developing.
Each participant will, from the beginning of the course, work both as a singer and as a singing teacher in order to become confident in both roles while working in the group. Instruction during the course will be a combination of individual singing work, theory and training teaching skills under supervision. There will be individual as well as group exercises. The work with the group will be both process and result related, and theory will relate to the techniques and exercises undergone with the group.
Lectures, talks and debates
The working methods will include study and lectures on theory, as well as practical testing of theory. Moreover, there will be talks and debates, including what the participants expect from the course, what may be expected of a singing teacher, investigating and debating outdated terminology frequently encountered, a common platform to exchange and discuss teaching difficulties, critique of technique, including joint questions and answer sessions.
A pianist will be present for accompaniment during certain parts of the course.
The work method will include tests, self-assessment and skills tests to highlight the participant’s awareness of his or her singing and teaching skills. Ongoing assessment All topics and modules will be tested to assess the development of each individual participant as well as the course.
Each participant will present subjects orally in the presence of the group. Theoretical study will form the basis of oral presentations.
Supervision of teaching
Participants will teach test singers/ “guinea pigs” in the presence of the group and receive guidance during and after teaching class. Teaching beginners, intermediate and advanced students will be tested out. The participants will also teach each other, in the presence of the group.
The work method will include auditory analysis of live and recorded singing. The used techniques will be examined under supervision, both live and recorded, before the group. Assessments together with group.
Written and practical tests
There will be ongoing written, theoretical tests, most of these taking place at the beginning of the course so weaknesses and problems may be discovered and corrected at an early stage. The course concludes with a written and practical examination of all studied subjects.
Theoretical tests and examination
There will be ongoing theoretical exercises and a major test covering related theory at the end of the 1st and the 2nd year, enabling the participants to assess their grasp of theory and their progress as a whole. The 3rd year ends with an examination module where participants will be individually tested in all subjects on the course. In special circumstances participants may choose to undergo examination before the 3rd year, in which case the exam module costs (DKK) 9.000. When the exam module is taken as part of the full 3-Year Course, the costs are included in the course fee.
Upon successfully having completed the course appertaining examination, a diploma granting authorization to teach Complete Vocal Technique is issued. Diploma trained singing teachers are encouraged to participate in a singing teacher think-tank. This is a network of singing teachers who meet in order to remain updated on the latest developments at home and abroad, discussing teaching skills and exchanging know-how and experience.