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Vocal Studies FAQ


Singing at Emory

  • I'm interested in studying voice at Emory. When should I visit?

    We encourage you to visit our campus and experience all that Emory offers. Many students visit during the spring of their junior year or the fall of their senior year. Visit Emory's Office of Admissions website to schedule a tour.

  • Is an audition required? What repertoire is appropriate?

    **For Fall 2020 Auditions will be held via Zoom, or you may send a link to Bradley Howard.**

    Singers interested in auditioning for the vocal program may contact Bradley Howard, Director of Vocal Studies, to schedule a meeting. They may audition during their first visit to campus or upon arrival as a freshman. All prospective students should send a link directly to Professor Howard and, in addition, include the link in their college application as they consider Emory.

    Repertoire should consist of two contrasting, memorized songs representing classical, sacred, folk, or musical theater genres. If singing a live audition, the student must provide piano-vocal scores for both songs to the pianist. Also included in the audition are sight-reading and aural skills tests. Students are encouraged to send links to their performances.

  • What do you want to hear?

    An undergraduate vocal student should have a healthy, age-appropriate vocal quality. A clear, vibrant tone that has ring and minimal tension is desired. Good intonation, rhythmic and musical sensitivity, and some degree of communication are desirable. Finally, but certainly not least important, we would like to experience your joy in singing and making music.

  • What can I do to prepare myself to study music at Emory?

    • Vocal study with a good teacher is highly recommended.
    • Choose a teacher who focuses on healthy vocal technique and appropriate repertoire.
    • Study piano.
    • Other instruments are valuable, but all music majors need keyboard skills, and piano proficiency is doubly important for singers.
    • Study Italian, French, German, or Spanish. These are the main languages in which you will sing in undergraduate vocal study.
    • Take music theory and history classes if they are available at your school. At Emory, we stress well-rounded musicians, whatever their instrument happens to be.
    • Acting, dance, public speaking, and debate experience are valuable to singers as well.
  • What courses are offered to Music Majors at Emory?

    See the Music Major page for a list of music classes and the Course Atlas.

    Classes specific to the Vocal Studies are as follows: Diction I (English and Italian), Diction II (German and French), Performance Techniques for Singers (basics of singing and acting, pre-requisite for StageWorks), StageWorks: Opera and Musical Theater Workshop, Freshman Seminar: Love, Sex, and Murder, Opera as Drama.

    The Department of Theater and Dance offers many wonderful acting courses, which are valuable to singers. Many of our Vocal Music Majors take advantage of these opportunities. And, several classes are cross-listed between music and theater.

  • I want to be a public school teacher or a music therapist. Do you offer a Music Education or Music Therapy degree? Do you offer a Bachelor of Music in Performance or Musical Theater?

    We offer one undergraduate degree in music: Bachelor of Arts. In the spirit of liberal arts education, Emory endeavors to educate the whole person, and at the same time, we are proud to offer courses that enable those singers who wish to continue study at graduate-level as singers to be competitive upon completion of their undergraduate study.

    Masters programs in Voice Performance do not require the Bachelor of Music degree, and all of our graduates who have auditioned for graduate study have been accepted at fine institutions. Because we focus exclusively on this program, we do not offer degrees in either Music Education or Music Therapy.

  • I love to sing, but I'm not sure I want to just major in music. What other options are available to me?

    Emory is known for its liberal arts curriculum, and many of our students take advantage of the opportunity to double major in Music and another discipline. Math, Classics, Philosophy, Business, and the Sciences are common majors to combine with Music.

    Some students take advantage of the opportunity to minor in Music. Choose this link for detailed information on the Music Minor.

    Other students choose to study voice as a non-major, either for credit or for no credit. Vocal study for credit as a non-major requires an audition (see audition requirements for majors), and carries many of the same course requirements as those for the major. An audition is not required to study without credit. For-credit lessons carry a fee of $450 and non-credit lessons carry a fee of $960, for twelve 1-hour lessons. In addition, for-credit study also requires an accompanist fee.

    Contact Bradley Howard, Director of Vocal Studies, if you are interested in either of these options.

  • What performance opportunities are there for me at Emory as an Undergraduate?

    Because of our focus on undergraduates, you have many performance opportunities. Singers participate in StageWorks: Opera and Musical Theater Workshop, Performance Techniques classes, departmental recitals, JR and SR recitals, and wonderful masterclasses with our faculty and special guests from around the world. Most recent guest teachers have included Nathan and Julie Gunn, Isabel Leonard, Dr. Robin Rice, Dr. Soon Cho, William McGraw, and Dr. Joyce Farwell.

    As a Music Major, you will be a member of an ensemble each semester you are enrolled. You may audition for Concert Choir and University Chorus. Both ensembles perform each semester. You may audition for solo opportunities in these ensembles.

    Other performance opportunities on campus include Ad Hoc Musical Theater productions and student a capella groups, which often perform throughout Atlanta and the Southeast.

    If you would like to pursue acting, the Department of Theater Studies offers many non-musical productions throughout the academic year. Undergraduate students are often cast for roles in Theater Emory's critically acclaimed professional productions.

  • Are scholarships available for singers?

    There are a very limited number of Music Merit half-tuition scholarships available. These scholarships are used to fill the needs of the performing ensembles, and while an individual singer or instrumentalist might be outstanding, the specific position in an ensemble is the deciding factor. Please visit the Department of Music's scholarship webpage.