Hi everyone, I’m Julia Polanco, advisor at Berkleemusic. We just launched the Advisor Blog and I wanted to share with you my favorite certificate of the week: the Specialist in Voice Technique and Musicianship.
Being a vocalist, vocal coach and a Berklee Alumni, I can speak from experience when I say that most singers are not always “respected” in a musicians’ world. A common belief is to think that all there is to being a vocalist is singing a melody line and reciting lyrics. Wrong! We are as gifted musically as any other instrumentalist. It is up to us to take our musicianship to the next level, not just to sing along but live our music, understand it, and interpret it like a trumpet player or a piano player would perform their tunes. Yes, your voice is an instrument and a powerful one, so use it right!
Our Specialist Certificate in Voice Technique and Musicianship is a collection of three courses. It will not only take your vocal and technical skills to an advanced level, but your musicianship as well. Add to it your talent and your dedication and it is the recipe to success for a respected and a trusted vocalist. Let’s take a look at the courses included in my favorite certificate.
Music Theory 101 is the key to understanding pulse, meter, triads, basic chord progressions, music notation and its relationship to a comping instrument: the piano. You will learn how to read, write, and notate music. It is extremely important especially when you have to prepare for an audition or for a rehearsal. It is best to know what the lead sheet you are giving your accompanist is about. Finding out as you are performing for the audition of the year that the song you’ve dedicated so much time to is in a different key, that you are out of tune since there was no intro and you didn’t know where to start is mortifying (yes, I’m speaking from experience).
Basic Ear Training 1 will teach you how to identify different parts of a song, rhythm, key signatures, intervals, and major/minor tonics and triads. You will find it especially useful to get your sight-singing skills up to speed and you will love the fact that you can finally hear harmony parts in a song, find your melody line without hearing the backing track, and start to arrange vocal parts for your background vocalists.
Voice Technique 101 is the icing on the cake. You will get rid of bad habits, polish your breathing technique, you will turn into a healthy singer with daily practice routines, you will feel your range expanding fast and your voice sound more powerful in no time. Getting rid of bad habits is hard, especially when you’ve been singing “the wrong way” for years. Starting fresh with an excellent foundation and no preconceived ideas is the best thing you can do when it comes to mastering such a delicate and fragile instrument in contemporary music.
I highly recommend this certificate to every inspiring or advanced vocalist out there. No matter what your goal is: whether it is towards your career or your personal growth, the most important thing is to approach it as an art and reach for perfection.
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