VOCAL STUDIES 1 - 2017/8

Module code: AMT1004

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits


ECTS Credits



FHEQ Level 4

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment VOICE & TEXT/PRACTICAL VOICE 50
Oral exam or presentation SINGING PROCESS ASSESSMENT 50

Alternative Assessment


Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

Vocal Studies 1

This module will provide students with a sound knowledge and understanding of fundamental technique and the skills essential to singing and the delivery of text in theatre. A range of classes will cover the practical and anatomical aspects of singing and voice, whilst others will provide skills in musicianship, giving students all the necessary tools required to begin the process toward a true understanding and ownership of their own voice and its place within the practice of the actor/musician.  

Unit 1: Practical Voice & Text

In this unit students work on Practical Voice work and its application to text, building toward a demonstration of emergent optimum vocal function in a summative practical performance of a sonnet or other work in verse from Shakespeare.

Unit 2: Singing

Students study the Anatomy of the Voice and Ensemble Singing, alongside this within Small Group Singing, in smaller groups (nominally groups of 5) students will study specific vocal styles and the function of the voice. An understanding of anatomy is also introduced. In Semester 1 students will have two individual singing classes with a singing tutor from within the faculty, to address specific and personal technical issues.


Module aims

Analyse the individuals voice and to work towards a balance of healthy vocal function and towards optimum vocal function

Develop an awareness of the demands placed on the voice and body with a variety of texts and vocal genres.

Develop an understanding of the vocal mechanism, support system, breath management, vocal anchoring and begin developing the middle (or mixed) voice

Lay the foundation of a healthy and robust technique specific to the actor/musician.

Begin developing knowledge of musical styles specific to the contexts where song is required. Repertoire will be specific

Develop and maintain confidence as a soloist and/or ensemble member.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate knowledge and technique by presenting text in verse or in solo singingperformance.
2 Demonstrate an emergent understanding of vocal/singing anatomy both in theory and in
3 Display the foundations of healthy and sustainable vocal/singing production in performance; including effective support, breath management, vocal anchoring, use of basic voice qualities, and developing the middle (or mixed) voice
4 Display an emergent understanding of technique and style in song and text performance
5 Demonstrate a developing understanding and engagement with singing and voice technique based on active participation in classes, workshops and tutorials

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

Unit 1: Voice & Text/Practical Voice

Explores, develops and brings together all elements of the voice. Initially work tends to focus on posture and breathing. Later work explores and aims to train the mind, body, imagination and emotions in the practice of making sound, establishing resonance and focussing the voice. Further work explores a range of expressions while integrating muscular clear articulation. Breath work underpins all work in the module so that the voice is fully connected. From the outset students are required to begin the process of understanding their own habitual voiceuse, and to challenge and develop their vocal capabilities.

Unit 2: Singing

Cover an in depth anatomical and theoretical knowledge of vocal production and systems/models related to singing. Singing Classes will prepare the students to become aware of and build technical and musical confidence with reference to the musical and textual demands of the music. Through the study of anatomy, technical singing exercises, physical & emotional awareness builds, varied song repertoire, this part of the module will begin to train the students to critically assess weaknesses in technique and acceptable voice qualities and tensions.

Classes: Singing, Individual Singing Tutorial (2 per Semester).

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Developing an awareness and skill base, leading to an understanding of the core technique that is required for extended and best practice in the profession and higher-level study. Enable students to acquire versatility in their vocal skills and integrate their knowledge across all theatre and music theatre disciplines leading to a firm foundation moving toward extension of technique in Semester 2 of study.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Across the semester this module is delivered over 150 hours study across the semester including, class, lecture and self-directed study. Throughout the module different learning and teaching strategies are applied to enable students to achieve the learning outcomes, including research, reflective practice, peer to peer learning and formative assessment with written feedback.

In depth.

The approach of the module is vocational in content and delivery and encourages students to participate in reflection on their own practice, independent study and research and embeds the concepts of peer to peer feedback within the rehearsal room. Students are encouraged to utilise materials on SURREY LEARN and also receive individual tutorials from staff to help in forming their learning experience.

Students receive regular verbal feedback both individually and as a group during each class which they are encouraged to journal within the reflection time which is built in to the lesson plan every week.

Students are encouraged to self-assess and peer-assess within the class structure and as part of the ethos of training as an actor.

Lesson plans are structured to take account of and deliver for students with a specifc bias toward visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning enabling

Assessment Strategy

Reading list

Reading list for VOCAL STUDIES 1 : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/amt1004

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Actor-Musician BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.