Friday, January 9, 2009

Undergraduate Programs for Voice in Canada: University of British Columbia

I am excited to talk about the University of British Columbia's School of Music Program. Not knowing anything about the program other than the Division Head Nancy Hermiston, I am pleased to report that their website is fantastic! It was very easy to find information with clear outlines for courses, expectations, scholarships and program requirements. I was also impressed by the number of courses and their high demands considering they are not a faculty but a School of Music within the Faculty of Arts. Obviously they have worked hard to make themselves relevant and integral to their University and to the community at large (case in point, the Chan Centre for Performing Arts).

Here is a list of necessary information for admissions and completion to their undergraduate programs in music:

  1. Degrees: Bachelor of Music or a Bachelor of Arts with a major, minor or honours in Music. There are 4 main streams of study in the B.Mus Program - advanced performance, general studies (most students follow this stream), composition and music scholarship (entry in 3rd or 4th year with a focus on music history, theory or ethnomusicology).
  2. Admission: As usual one must audition but UBC expects 5-6 pieces of standard repertoire which is on par with the larger faculties in the country. As well there is a Grade VI piano requirement that if not met upon entrance is worked on over the first two years of study.
  3. Faculty: There are three full time faculty members including Division Head Nancy Hermiston and 9 sessional members.
  4. Degree Requirements: This school takes their singers seriously and requires a first year Lyric Diction course, second and third year Song Repertoire classes, and a fourth year Song Interpretation class for piano and voice majors to collaborate together. In addition to these required courses, the school offers Opera Theatre Techniques, Vocal Techniques (Pedagogy), History of Opera, Opera Workshop.
  5. Opera: UBC School of Music has become known across the country for their Opera department. Undergrads can take the Opera Workshop classes and be part of the main stage shows that are put on each semester. This is also a great way to advance through into the Young Artists Training Program that they offer.
  6. Ensembles: UBC boasts and impressive 11 ensemble courses including Vocal Chamber Music, Contemporary Music (with Stephen Chatman no less!), Early Music Ensemble (which partners with Early Music Vancouver for master classes), a Vocal Jazz Ensemble and 5 different Choral Ensembles. Choral Ensembles are required for third and forth year voice majors and fourth years are required to register for a small and a large ensemble course.
  7. Languages: There is a language requirement of 6 credits each of Italian, French and German study to graduate.
  8. Scholarships: There seems to be a large number of scholarships that are given to incoming and continuing students based on faculty recommendation. Additionally there is a strong community support with much funding from outside the university.

I could go on and on about this program but the bottom line with UBC School of Music is that they are training PERFORMERS. They are willing to teach you the music skills you might lack in order to attract the best singers in the country. So far it seems to be working!


Custom Essays UK Writer said...

Thanks for your information. Most of the posts in the blog is really valuable. Regards

Elizabeth McDonald said...

Thanks for your comments and thanks for reading!

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