Fundamentals of Singing


Professor D. Talley

MUS 103 NA



Fall 2010


Course Day and Time: Tuesday, 4:15-5:10 pm


Credits:  1


Room: B600


Office Hours: 12:30-1:30 Monday, 3:00-4:00 & 6:00-8:00 Tuesday,

6:00-7:00  Wednesday, 3:30-4:30 Thursday, and by appointment: Please see my schedule, which is posted on the door of my office. If you need to schedule an appointment, please call our administrative assistant, Autumn Nova, (212) 625-0500 ext. 6188. 


Phone:   (212) 927-1015 Home

              (917) 825 8697 cell

              (212) 625-0500 ext. 6187 Office


E-Mail: dana.talley@nyack.edu


COURSE DESCRIPTION: Fundamentals of Singing is designed for non-voice majors and all voice students in place of, or in addition to, private instruction. It is also a requirement of B.A. in Music with a Church Music Concentration, SMB, and Music Education majors. This course may be also used for Applied Music credits. Fundamentals of Singing, is meant to help the student to better serve the Lord in song.  Vocal exercises, relaxation, and basic musicianship will be covered, in addition to communication, and the study of English diction. 


REQUIRED TEXT: None, but access to a computer will be mandatory




Class participation: 45% Term project: (review of 2 vocal concerts): 15%

Midterm: 10% Diction Quiz 10% Final: 20% (including the singing of an assigned spiritual or hymn)




Your grade will be reduced after one un-excused absence.  Students are to arrive on time.  If you are 15 minutes late, it will be considered half an absence as this is a 55 minute class.  Students are expected to attend every class.  (1/2 letter grade for each absence, after three cuts an F will be given.  In the unusual event that an absence is unavoidable, it is the student’s responsibility to obtain the relevant notes, materials, videos, or recordings. Missed exams or tests can be made up at the Instructor’s discretion.


Student Learning Goals:


This class will help the developing musician or interested student to understand the centrality of singing to all music study. 




Student Learning Goals
The Student will:

Music Program Goals

Core Goals

Assignments &/or Assessments Used

1. Focus on the time-tested theories of bel canto singing--the goal of which is to produce beautiful tone.



1c, 2a, 3a, 3b, 4c, 5b

1b, 2a, 3c, 4a, 5b

Learn to perform in different genres while maintaining a healthy vocal technique that follows through all the styles

2. Express the words, both in meaning and in pronunciation.


1a, 2b,3b, 4a, 4d, 5a

1c, 2b, 3c, 4c, 5b

Evaluation of diction and pronunciation. Written exams. Evaluation of other singers

3. Sing in a relaxed an easy manner, which will not hurt the voice and will be pleasant for the listener.


1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 2c3a,3b, 3c, 4c, 4d, 5a, 5b

1b, 2b, 3b, 3c, 4c, 5c

Vocal exercises, breathing, and practice sessions.  Evaluation of other singers

4. Maintain a worshipful attitude and communicate both with the Lord and with His people.



1c, 2a, 3a, 3b, 4c, 5b

1b, 2a, 3c, 4a, 5b

Communication skills and understanding relating to others and the Lord at the same time

5. Use various search systems to retrieve information in a variety of formats (IL Standard 2, 3a) – see section VII.



Visit a website related to the vocal study and print out a relevant article


 Additional Course Requirement:


Part of this class is geared to the music education student, and in addition to singing, you will be required to evaluate performances inside and outside class. Elements of basic vocal technique appear on the CST exam required of all music education students.  During the course of the semester, you need to attend one VOCAL concert outside the school and one Nyack College student recital. Free recitals at Juilliard, Manhattan, and Mannes Schools of Music should be included as the one required concert.  If you have questions about whether or a not a concert will count, check with me.  Reviews of concerts should include:

1. VOCAL technique observed (use terms below and ideas from class)
2. Personal reactions (musical and cultural factors)

Critique/Performance Guidelines:


1.      Vocal technique: breath management, tone quality, coordination, placement, support.

2.     Musicianship: accuracy in pitch, rhythm, tempo, dynamics, phrasing.

3.     Stage presence: posture, use of gestures, poise, eye contact, facial expressions, nervous habits, attire, grooming.

4.     Diction: pronunciation, clarity and projection of text, words understood.

5.     Musical/dramatic presentation: interpretation, portrayal of mood style, expression, dynamic changes, tempo fluctuation, etc.

6.     Preparation: memorization, connection with accompanist.

 B. Papers must be typed, double-spaced and between 500-750 words in length.


NCMC Concert Schedule: An updated list of this semester’s concerts will be given to you by week two of the semester. Currently recitals are scheduled on the School of Music Bulletin Board or School of Music and Facebook websites. Nyack College recitals will fulfill your concert obligation and I encourage you to attend several of our school performances and support our students.  Currently concerts and recitals are scheduled on the following dates:


Tue Oct 5, 2010 -  14:20 - 16:00 Student Recital #1

Fri Oct 8, 2010  -   19:00 - 22:00 Faculty and Alumni Homecoming Concert

Fri Oct 22, 2010 -  19:00 - 21:30 Student Recital #2

Fri Nov 12, 2010 - 19:00 - 21:00 Concert Jazz Ensemble

Sat Nov 13, 2010 - 14:00 - 15:00 Sook In Em Junior Recital

                               15:00 - 16:00 Sattanya Robotham Senior Recital

Sun Nov 14, 2010 - 18:00 - 19:30 Chamber Singer's Concert

                                  At Soul Saving Station

Tue Nov 16, 2010 - 14:20 - 16:00 Student Recital #3

Thu Nov 18, 2010 - 17:00 - 18:00 School of Music Thanksgiving Chapel Service  

Sat Nov 20, 2010 - 12:00 - 14:00 Senior Recitals: Nazaria Ilovar and Freddy Diaz

Sun Nov 21, 2010 Thanksgiving Break begins J

Sat Dec 4, 2010 -  12:00 - 13:30 Senior Recital Seung Woo Lee   

                              14:00 - 15:30 Senior Recital: Michael Dow

Tue Dec 7, 2010 - 17:00 - 18:00 School of Music Christmas Chapel    

Fri Dec 10, 2010 - 17:00 - 19:30 Student Recital #4

Sat Dec 11, 2010 - 12:00 - 14:00 Senior Recital Melissa Bartholomew

Tue Dec 14. 2010 -19:00 - 21:00 Chorale Christmas Concert

                                 at St. Paul's Lutheran Church

Fri Dec 17, 2010 - 17:00 - 19:30 Opera Theater Workshop Performance 

Free Concerts for your second required recital report: 

Juilliard School  http://www.juilliard.edu/search/calendar.asp

Manhattan School of Music http://www.msmnyc.edu/

Metropolitan Opera  http://www.metopera.org/season/ (Student fee)

New Your City Opera  http://www.nycopera.com/education/ (Student fee)

New York Philharmonic http://nyphil.org/ (Student fee)

Jazz  http://bigapplejazz.com/events.html

Classical Music Venues in New York http://www.ny.com/music/classical/

Music and Concerts in NY (All types of music)  http://www.ny.com/music/

Trinity Church, Wall Street http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/calendar/


Approximate Calendar of classes for the semester


This is a lab class and there will be group participation every week.  I encourage you to work with a partner.  In the course of the semester you will be required to learn and sing for the class a total of three songs which will be approved by the instructor. Singing must be an expression of, and an enhancement of, the text. It certainly must not detract from the text.  Therefore it is very important that the singer know the text, invest it with its true meaning, and pronounce it in such a way that it can be understood by all.  Good "diction", then, combines an understanding of the text, and its proper expression, with correct pronunciation of the words. We will spend 50% of our time on the study of diction.


9/14/2010: Class 1, IntroductionWhat is singing and how will we improve in the following areas: 1. legato, 2 communication, 3. diction, 4. Relaxation, and

5. breathing. 6. How to practice. We will discuss guidelines for repertory selection for the semester.  One volunteer student will sing.


9/21/2010: Class 2, BreathingWomen, please come to class in pants and be ready to be on the floor.


9/28/2010: Class 3, Relaxation and Legato I Vocal exercises that aid relaxation and legato will be discussed and demonstrated. For this class, and all that follow, the study of diction will be added to the subject of the day. Three volunteer students will sing vocal exercises.


10/05/2010: Class 4, Relaxation and Legato II For this class, and all succeeding classes, please bring a song to sing, of your choice, from the guidelines given in class one. Each succeeding class will have at least one student singer so be prepared. One half of the students will sing.


10/12/2010: Class 5, Relaxation and Legato III We will hear the remaining students and have a discussion of how each of us could improve.


10/19/2010: Class 6, Communication I— We will hear the second song of your choice for the semester. One half of the students will sing and we will have a short discussion after each song focusing on improvement of communication skills.



10/26/2010: Class 7, Communication II (Stage presence The second half of the class will sing as above.


11/02/2010: Class 8, Midterm Exam.  This will be a short written quiz where you will be asked to evaluate common experience from the first half of the semester. Each of you will sing privately for the instructor in his office as the written exam continues for a semester evaluation.


11/09/2010: Class 9, Diction I—What is the difference between pronunciation and diction? Two or three students will sing.


11/16/2010: Class 10: Diction II— What are diphthongs and how do they affect English diction. Two or three students will sing.


11/30/2010: Class 11, Diction III —What is the difference between meter and rhythm and how does it affect diction? Two or three students will sing.


12/07/2010: Class 12, Diction IV—Written quiz on meter and diphthongs. One short individual voice lesson will be given to one volunteer student.


12/14/2010: Class 13, Legato, Communication, Diction, Relaxation, and Breathing. Bringing it all together and practice for your final exam. All students will sing the song they will be using for their final exam.


12/21/2010: Class 14. Final Exam We will all be singing our songs for the entire class and evaluating each other’s performances in a confidential assessment.




In addition to the information in the college catalog, all students are responsible for the requirements, regulations, and information in the NCMC Music Handbook.  Please put the following link in your browser:  http://www.ncmcmusic.com/Handbook.htm


Electronic Devices: It is expected that ALL electronic devices be MUTED during class time.  Do not answer phone calls or text messages during class. ALL cell phones are to be kept off for all exams. If you are a health care worker, policeman, fireman, or other profession that requires that a cell phone be on, please inform the professor at the beginning of the semester.


Reasonable Accommodation:  Any student eligible for and requesting academic accommodations due to a disability is required to provide a letter of accommodation from the Office of Disabilities Support Services within the first two weeks of the beginning of classes. Any student who has a learning disability is encouraged to speak privately Professor Adelaide Pabon the 504 coordinator for Nyack College/New York City. 



1. To graduate students who have acquired and developed the academic skills of reading carefully and critically, communicating clearly and cogently, thinking analytically and synthetically.



1a. By designing into the music history sequence a comprehensive overview of western music and related religious, philosophical, political, scientific, and social developments.

1b. By designing into music literature courses the appreciation and understanding of non-Western music of the church, including research components and the analysis of contemporary phenomena in these areas.

1c. By fostering the aural development, kinesthetic processes, and aesthetic sensitivities which form the basis of professional caliber musicianship.


2.  To graduate students who have achieved a broad understanding of human learning.

2a. By fostering in our students the skills and motivation for life-long learning and participation in music.

2b. By encouraging all students to value the creativity of the human spirit and the aesthetic dimension of life.

2c. By promoting involvement in campus life through participation in aesthetic and cultural activities.

3. To graduate students who have achieved an in-depth understanding of one  field of study by meeting the requirements of at least one major


3a. By training our students to acquire the theoretical and practical skills required by music educators, church       musicians, performers and composers.  

3b. By fostering a broad knowledge of music literature, both sacred and secular, through study and performance.

3c. By employing a competency-based approach for course design and requirements throughout the program while       encouraging artistic creativity.

3d. By cultivating career programs and awareness in the various music and music- related fields.

3e. By utilizing the cultural resources of various metropolitan New York area institutions.

4. To graduate students who have achieved a basic Christian worldview understanding which can serve as a basis for interpreting experience


4a. By providing experiences in Christian ministry involving music in the Christian and  Missionary Alliance and      other churches.

4b. By promoting a sense of Christian love and caring throughout the endeavors of the School of  Music.

4c. By building the self-esteem of the individual through musical achievement in the Christian context.

4d. By fostering a respect for diverse forms of music, worship, and culture.

5. To strengthen a sense of civic responsibility to the community


5a. By promoting in our students an appreciation for the opportunities and responsibilities which exist in a democratic society concerning the arts.

5b. By encouraging involvement in civic affairs through music and the allied arts



1- Socially Relevant

1a. Students will recognize the value of economic, political, social, and systems as tools for positive change.

1b. Students will apply a foundation of compassion and integrity to their chosen field of study.

1c. Students will demonstrate servant leadership as they engage the community and marketplace.


2- Academically Excellent

2a. Students will attain an educational foundation in arts and humanities, science, mathematics, and social science.

2b. Students will be able to communicate in oral and written form and demonstrate information and technological literacy.

2c. Students will demonstrate critical thinking, problem-solving, and research skills across the curriculum.


3- Globally Engaged

3a. Students will understand the interplay of historical, cultural, and geographical realities of the global community.

3b. Students will value diversity through an understanding of worldviews, languages, cultures, and peoples.

3c. Students will engage in service opportunities within the global community.


4- Intentionally Diverse

4a. Students will understand the heritages and traditions of diverse peoples and cultures.

4b. Students will appreciate the need to promote biblical principles of social equality.

4c. Students will engage in interactions and relationships with those from diverse backgrounds.


5- Emphasizing Personal Transformation

5a. Students will grow in their faith as they pursue God’s purpose in their lives.

5b. Students will integrate their Christian worldview into learning and service.

           5c. Students will apply discipleship principles to assist in the personal transformation of others.