Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 2
Hours: 2 lecture, 1 laboratory per week (36 total per quarter)
Advisory: Concurrent enrollment in MUS 12A; this course is included in the Voice Class Applied Performance family of activity courses.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Non-GE
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • A successful student will understand and apply basic methods of vocal production.
  • The successful student will apply proper singing techniques to public performance.


An introduction to the fundamental techniques of vocal production and performance. Group vocal instruction with the potential to sing in a variety of musical styles. Emphasis on understanding the basic foundation of a healthy vocal technique and integrating that technique into songs. Topics include warm-up techniques, breath support, tone production, musical phrasing, diction and text communication, as well as an introduction to standard vocal repertoire and associated performance practices.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Create a free, open and sustainable singing sound.
B. Describe and demonstrate correct breath support to sustain a vocal line.
C. Describe and demonstrate basic resonant vocal production.
D. Demonstrate articulation appropriate to repertoire studied.
E. Explain basic terminology for elements of vocal production and music.
F. Synthesize a personal method of vocal warm-ups for a daily practice routine.
G. Understand and communicate the text of the repertoire studied.
H. Apply all characteristics of vocal technique and musicianship studied at a basic level in performance.

Course Content

A. Technical skills
1. Breath support:
a. Posture
b. Controlled inhalation and expansion of breath capacity
c. Ability to maintain support throughout musical phrase
2. Tone production:
a. Awareness of jaw and tongue tension and skills to relax, lifted soft palate
b. Use of natural resonance without laryngeal involvement
c. Awareness of vocal range
3. Articulation:
a. Develop the ability to use articulators in basic songs
b. Explore the use of articulation in text expression
B. Communication of text:
1. Understand and describe the meaning of the song text or lyrics
2. Begin to use vocal technique to communicate the text meaning
C. Develop basic daily warm-up skills incorporating techniques listed above
D. Basic song repertoire: music from early Italian vocal exercises to contemporary song literature; may include classical, folk, pop, musical theater and will vary depending on the vocal and musical backgrounds of the students enrolled
E. Introduction to music reading skills
1. Rhythmic values
2. Pitches
3. Meter
4. Music terminology related to dynamics, tempo and interpretation
F. Preparation and performance of repertoire
1. Fully prepare all assigned material applying principles studied in:
a. Vocal technique
b. Musicality
c. Communication of text
G. Perform group and solo repertoire as assigned

Lab Content

A. Supervised rehearsal of assignments and projects.
B. Ensemble and solo coaching.
C. Exercises in expression and connection to text.
D. Repertoire building and exploration.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. Song and pedagogical materials as assigned during class; access to a piano for practice outside of class.
B. Large classroom with piano.
C. Quality vocal recording equipment.
D. Audio/visual equipment; internet available computer/media equipped classroom.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. Class participation applying techniques covered from warm-ups through songs.
B. Progress in repertoire assigned: vocal technique, musicality, text.
C. Performance of songs demonstrating improvement in accuracy of pitch, rhythm, breath support, resonance, diction, communication and expression of text.
E. Periodic quizzes on course content.
F. Final exam will consist of a performance of repertoire developed during the quarter.

Method(s) of Instruction

Lecture and demonstration, individual and group singing, discussion, listening examples and vocal performances.

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

One of the following may be selected for use during each quarter:

Hamady, Jennifer. The Art of Singing. Milwaukee: Hal Leonard Corporation, 2009.

Peckham, Anne. The Contemporary Singer: Elements of Vocal Technique. 2nd ed. Boston, MA: Berklee Press, 2010.

Peckham, Anne. Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer. Boston, MA: Berklee Press, 2006.

Peckham, Anne. Singer’s Handbook: A Total Workout in One Hour or Less. Boston, MA: Berklee Press, 2004.

Although these texts are older than the suggested "5 years or newer" standard, they remain seminal texts in this area of study.

Repertoire for the course will be chosen from a wide range of vocal literature, from classical through contemporary, through the instructor's and student's collaboration that will successfully develop each student's vocal skills.


Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Review of handouts and relevant reading materials.

B. Reading and study of the textbook.

C. Write self-evaluation journal.