MA in Advanced Vocal Studies
More information: MA in Advanced Vocal Studies (pdf)
By virtue of its limited student intake the Academy is able to operate an intense and personalised programme.
Most students will have already succeeded at other Universities and Conservatoires and possibly have some professional experience. WIAV seeks to complement those experiences with a programme of demanding study at a professional level.
There are thirty weeks of study and performance over two semesters, with three week breaks at Christmas and Easter. Students will be enrolled at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
The emphasis is on critical musical and vocal aspects of performance. The dramatic elements of performance are also studied ,particularly in preparation of our public performances through regular group sessions in the Stanislawski method. This work will form the basis of all staged or semi staged performances.
Students receive regular one to one tuition,in Vocal Technique, Art Song,Concert repertoire, Languages and Operatic repertoire central to their careers. They will be required to master and memorise two new Operatic roles in the original language. There are also group events in audition technique and preparation,, recitative classes and ensemble work. Importance is given to developing a thorough knowledge of repertoire and of concert and recital material and the research and selection of the same, to develop self reliance and self awareness with artistic confidence.
The Director leads the vocal technique team giving regular individual lessons. Our coaches and repetiteurs with whom each student will learn their repertoire, are drawn from the leading companies of the UK and we also bring in specialist coaches from other parts of the world. All our language coaches are from international opera houses and teach the method of idiomatic delivery of text in a singing legato line.
Of great importance is the system of regular masterclass days given by national and international celebrities, These give an opportunity of working at a professional level and the opportunity to reflect on the work of fellow students encouraging understanding and a critical ear. In addition, distinguished lecturers will visit in related subjects such as the physiology of singing, performance styles in different eras, etc.
An additional unique teaching method is our one to one weekly sessions studying historical peer performance, relevant to the student’s repertoire and study, through the medium of historical recordings both in sound and on video. The Academy has an enormous collection of this material at its disposal.
The University has a very successful performing Arts reputation with several important courses and excellent facilities. The Academy will work closely with these programmes as an active part of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
These performance facilities will be available to the Academy, along with other local facilities and venues for public performance. Many of the performances will take place at the University’s campuses in Carmarthen and Lampeter, and occasionally in Cardiff where the Academy is based. Our method provides the students with the same preparation for performance as professionals receive.
The Academy recognises that the best teacher is the stage itself and our many activities involve several weeks of pure performance. These will involve staged or partially staged scenes from Opera, when programming is constructed around the voices of the group and not voice category, enabling all singers as equal an opportunity to perform as possible.
Other performances will include Sacred works, Opera Galas and recitals of Art Song. Performances will be frequent and used to assess progress and standards Whenever practical, performances will be open to the public.
- To produce singers capable of assuming a distinctive position in the mainstream of the profession.
- To provide vocational training whose own internal standards and characteristics mirror those demanded in the profession.
- To provide advanced study delivered by practitioners of national and international standing.
- To provide advanced vocal training that nurtures critical self-awareness, a capacity for reflective insight and the ability to formulate sound musical judgements.
- To provide a theoretical and analytical basis for programme design, voice production and performance technique, ensuring theory informs practice.
The study of performance cultivates skills of mind-body coordination, physical skills involved in vocal production as well as the artistic and critical skills involved in preparing and presenting a performance. Such skills include:
- physical dexterity and control (technical mastery of the instrument/voice), together with the necessary powers of sustained concentration and focus;
- powers of interpretation: the ability to find creative links between the results of personal research, textual and musical analysis, scholarship, reflection and listening skills, and the process of performing;
- the ability to select a programme of music suitable to the performance context, displaying stylistic awareness and versatility as appropriate, and an awareness of personal strengths;
- artistic and expressive skills necessary to communicate music convincingly to the listener;
- presentational skills, such as awareness and acknowledgement of an audience;
- ensemble skills: performing effectively as part of a group;
- awareness and understanding of the physiologies involved in playing an instrument or in singing;
- awareness and understanding of the cultural conventions and symbolic meanings associated with the repertoires, instruments and genres studied.
Study of the chosen repertoire(s) and of the historical, philosophical and cultural context of music involves a variety of intellectual skills, of which some are specific to music, and some are shared with other branches of scholarship, including intellectual skills contained below. Such skills include the ability to:
- observe, understand, interpret and manipulate oral, written and visual signs denoting music;
- call upon a wide knowledge and experience of the repertoire(s) studied;
- understand theoretical and aesthetic systems and relate theory and practice to each other;
- confront, explore and assimilate unfamiliar musical sounds, concepts, repertoires and practices.
The graduate in MA Advanced Vocal Studies will have developed a wide range of transferable skills, many of which are common to the other arts, humanities, science and vocational subjects, and are applicable to issues of musical and non-musical origin. These may include the intellectual and personal skills listed in the following sections.
Such skills include the ability to:
- research and explore: gathering, synthesis and evaluation of evidence, including the ability to quote from and acknowledge written sources
- examine assumptions critically in the light of evidence
- plan, implement, evaluate, and reflect critically on work in progress
- synthesise inputs (materials, knowledge, instinct, tradition) in order to generate informed and personally owned outputs in written, aural or practical format
- assimilate and synthesise complex information
- comprehend and apply the parameters of context
- extract issues of practice from principle, and principle from practice
- exercise judgement and to make informed choices
Skills of communication and interaction
Such skills include:
- language skills, including, as appropriate, the study of one or more additional languages within a performance context;
- the ability to work as an integrated member of a team, to respond to partnership and leadership, and to lead others in teamwork (as in ensemble/choral performance, and leading/conducting/directing such groups);
- an ability to react spontaneously, manage risk and cope with the unexpected;
- skills in public presentation, including an awareness of audience characteristics and responses;
- awareness of professional protocols;
- the ability to absorb the imaginative concepts of others, to build upon them and to communicate the resultant synthesis;
- awareness of issues within the arts world: cultural policy, funding mechanisms, professional arts structures and institutions, arts within the community.
Skills of personal management
Such skills include:
- self-motivation: to practise, take on new repertoires, create a freelance career, acquire new skills, initiate career moves, continue to learn and explore, and keep abreast of developments in an ever-changing profession;
- self-critical awareness: monitor and assess abilities, realistically review career path, and reflect on achievements;
- the ability to respond positively to self-criticism and to the criticism of others while maintaining confidence in one's own creative work;
- understanding one's own learning style and work regimes: constructing one's own timetable, ensuring adequate preparation, and meeting deadlines;
- ability to work independently and in isolation: ensuring continued individuality, building upon established technique, continuing research, and ensuring personal welfare;
- time management and reliability: making the most of every opportunity and ensuring consistency of achievement;
- organisational skills: prioritising and managing;
- problem-solving skills: reacting to new situations, decoding information and ideas, dealing with complex situations, and finding ways of working with others under pressure;
- financial and business awareness: the ability to implement career management skills, personal presentation, and knowledge of the business aspects of music;
- entrepreneurship: identifying and exploiting opportunities.
Enhanced powers of imagination/creativity
Such skills include:
- flexibility of thought and action;
- openness to new, personal, different or alternative thinking;
- curiosity and the desire to explore and express;
- the ability and confidence to carry a creative project through to delivery.