Name of teacher / supervisor
Jodi Gilbert

Period, duration
Block 2: Week 47-03

Study load
21 contact hours, 1-2 self-study hours

1, 2, 3, 4

In this class we will approach the voice in a physical and personal manner: The Voice in Movement, Movement in Voice. We will practice ensemble songs that first and foremost instil a joy of singing together. The use of the voice in a physical and free manner is paramount in most vocal techniques, be it classical, jazz, folk musics, or experimental vocal techniques.  We will emphasise relaxation, physical support of the breath and an open expressive sound. Development of musicality, rhythmic study, and listening in regards to melody and harmony are also touched upon. We will draw on different techniques and forms I practice as a vocal performer,  from  music of African Pygmies, Balkan song,  polyphonic choral music, “mountain calls” from various folk traditions, to working with sound and gesture and   experimental improvised “jazz” with influences from Meredith Monk, Elizabeth Swados, Bobby McFerrin, to Instant Composers Pool (ICP).

Content and design of the class
The class will consist of basic vocal and physical warmup exercises done in a group setting, geared to the development of an open expressive voice through a relaxed physicality and awareness of breath and its function in vocal production.   The warm- up may lead to  improvisational voice and movement games and exercises, developed by me and influenced by various physical theatre teachers and techniques from Viola Spolin, to Jacques Lecoq,  and move to the learning of a repertoire of ensemble songs, in unison, or simple multi-voiced  songs taken from a varied repertoire, from canons,  simple classical repertoire, jazz, to bulgarian or georgian polyphonic songs oa.   In approaching improvisation.  I will use the form codified by Bobby McFerrin, Circle Song, which in essence is based  on  rhythmic and  polyphonic vocal techniques found in many folk traditions, and used by composers such as Meredith Monk and Steve Reich . There may be moments that students will be asked to sing a solo song of their own choice, or choose a text or poem that they will explore in terms of form and expression. We may work on a group text for expression, projection, vocal freedom.  We will discuss and explore extended vocal techniques, the use of the voice beyond song, and beyond words as an expressive instrument.

Learning goals

  • Awareness of body in the voice, and voice in body. Finding own voice.  Joy and freedom in voice.
  • Relaxation, breath, projection and expressivity of the voice.
  • Building some technical facility within vocal usage
  • Development of musicality and awareness of simple rhythm, melody and harmony.
  • Finding the courage to use the voice, solo, or in a group.
  • Listening and responding in a group,
  • Making choices in improvisation, commitment
  • Use of fantasy and imagination in vocal improvisation

Working method(s) used
Primarily group work. Some individual work. Listening to musical examples

Used study material
Scores,  audio material, text.

Assessment criteria
Attendance, attitude, participation, personal development Students are assessed in regards to the class learning goals and their personal development trajectory.

Method of assessment
Continuous feedback, and self-reflection

Learning goals in the class contribute to the overall development of the competency indicators
1.1 1.6  2.1, 2.2,  2.4 , 2.7,  3.1  3.3  4.4 4.5

The overall development of the student is assessed at integral assessment meetings, twice a year, through combined self-assessment and assessment by teachers, coaches and mentors. This course forms a continuous line with the Drama (for Dancers) Year 1, block 3, Voice and singing, Year 1, blocks 3 & 4, Introduction to basic music theory and music appreciation, year 1, block 3 & 4