MUSIC APPRECIATION AND
YOUNG ARTIST PROGRAMS
Voice students who successfully complete Level 4 and are age 14 or older are prepared to begin studying the operatic literature. Students under age 14 may continue vocal study at Level 5 and above using literature that is suitable to the student’s voice. At this point the KMI vocal department does not distinguish between Music Appreciation and Young Artists at these levels except in the general requirements for each program, and in what literature is selected for the students based on need for auditions or other vocal activities. This curriculum is still under development, so the Levels 5 – 12 are not separately described.
Admission to Young Artist Program: The singer must perform two songs from memory, with piano accompaniment and one song must be in either Italian or German. The student will be asked to sight sing a simple C-Major melody in both the treble and bass clefs using solfeggio syllables. The student will also be asked to sight sing a melody in a key with up to 5 sharps or flats, singing on “la” or using words. Preference will be given to candidates who perform selections from the classical repertoire and who have strong music reading ability (sight singing).
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Program Levels: Since vocal students generally have a late start compared to instrumental musicians (due to late maturation of the instrument), the student is not required to complete up to Level 10 in order to audition for music school. Instead, the minimum requirement for audition is either Level 8, or successful completion of 3 years in the Young Artist Program for Voice (which ever comes first). Levels 9 – 12 are available for students who continue their studies at KMI long enough to reach those levels.
Technique: Students proceed to develop a clear legato line, flexibility in singing scales, and the management of the upper and lower ranges. Considerable effort is given to developing a vibrant consistent tone and clear vowel formation and throughout the range of the instrument.
Languages: Students study Italian, German and French, and the pronunciation and diction for each of these languages plus Latin and English. To sing in a foreign language requires that the singer know what each word means and how it sounds for maximum expression. In addition to the primary languages listed above, students may wish to explore Russian (or other Slavic languages) and Spanish, as the KMI vocal faculty also know Russian and Spanish, and can provide diction/singing instruction in songs of those languages.
Diction: Students learn important diction rules, and become fully versed in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), so they may also sing in many other languages beyond the five primary ones listed above. Formation and placement of consonants as well as vowel color is defined and carefully practiced. Mr. Kikuchi is currently authoring a diction workbook series, and expects to have the first book available sometime in 2006.
Literature: Students study Italian arias, German Lieder and French Melodie of all musical periods. Students may also pursue songs from musical theater and the popular literature. Assigned materials will include volumes from the Royal Conservatory Vocal Repertoire Series, 24 Italian Songs and Arias, Anthology of German Lieder and Anthology of French Art Songs. Students will learn the salient operatic solos appropriate to their voice type (Fach) as determined by the faculty.