Let’s Get Started: First Assignments


Congratulations! You have now entered the world of making music with your voice. Whether you have sung for many years, or you just want to learn how to sing, this course is for you. The key to learning how to sing is to find your true voice, remove anything that stands in its way, and use your body and mind to create beautiful sound.

One common scenario for people wanting to learn how to sing better is the desire to sound like your favorite artist. We all enjoy listening to someone sing, and many wonder if they too could sound like that and maybe even become the next rising star. With the dawn of Youtube stars, shows like The Voice, and the easy access to an unlimited variety of music through devices such as smart phones, now it is easier than ever to put yourself out there for the world to hear. What if someone discovers me, and I get that recording contract and tour around the world?

Another common scenario for people interested in this course is simply curiosity about how to sing. Instead of the dream of being the next star, this student simply wants to learn how to actually sing. It doesn’t hurt that the course fulfills a SUNY General Elective, so why not learn this great skill in college?

This course is designed to bring the student back to the basics of singing, remove any obstacles the student has created mentally and physically, and receive core knowledge of how to sing properly with one’s true voice. There are many things a person can do to try to make his or her voice sound like someone else, and most times this is a contrived sound, destined to become difficult to produce due to tension. Instead, why not create sound with the real voice that follows that style of singing, and brings out one’s unique voice? This type of sound is not only sustainable over time, but allows the singer to explore several different styles of music, giving flexibility to his or her performance.

If you have never read music before and simply learn by ear, fear not. This course is also designed to allow the inexperienced singer to learn the material in different ways. There will be a brief introduction on how to read music, but all the material can also be learned by ear through the use of recordings.

Throughout the course, a variety of assessment methods will be used, giving the opportunity to consume the material from different styles of learning.  There are written recorded lectures, written summaries, quizzes, discussions, vocal assessments in which the singer recorded him or herself singing for evaluation, and exams. The vocal assessments follow a pretest/posttest model. In other words, you are graded on mastery but mainly on improvement throughout the course. No matter where you start vocally, the main idea is to improve. By the end of the course, all will have the tools to look at any new music, and know how to sing it well.

First, I need to know where your starting point will be, so there will be a series of written questions, and vocal assessments just to judge where you are today vocally. So let’s begin!

What you will need for this course:

A solid connection to the Internet: If you are working on a quiz and your Internet times out, all work can be lost. Be sure when working on assessments that you have a strong connection.

A device to video record yourself for singing assessments: A smart phone is ideal for this requirement, but any device that can record and upload to the Internet will be sufficient. See system requirements for file type and size.

Access to a second device to play audio while recording: For some of the assessments, there will be a prerecorded track to play behind your singing. Smart phones have limited ability to play and record at the same time, so this can be any other device such as a computer, smart device, or even another phone.


About Yourself

Please answer the following questions in complete sentences:

1. What is your singing background?

2. What is your favorite style of singing?

3. If you had to pick a favorite singer, who would that be, and why?

4. What are your singing goals for this course?

5. On a scale of 1 to 7, 7 being the best, how would you rate your music reading ability?