Monash University – Popular Voice Specialisation

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ROD DAVIES
Co-ordinator of Popular Voice

Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music
Monash University
Clayton, Victoria
Australia

T: +61 3 9902 4305
E: rod.davies@monash.edu
Monash Website – Popular Voice

Popular Voice at Monash offers students a progressive and practical approach to music performance. Students engage in a broad range of music education experiences, while also focussing on aspects of their vocal performance particular to popular music styles.

The Popular Voice specialization prepares students for versatile careers as lead singers, stage performers, singer/songwriters, session vocalists and educators, while also providing transferable skill-sets for careers both in and outside the music industry.

First year students study voice mechanics and the application of technique across a variety of genres such as pop, rock, music theatre and jazz. Expert tuition and reflective practice form the basis of the learning experience, focussing on solo and ensemble performance in both live and recording environments.  In the following years, a selection of modules enables students to explore particular areas such as songwriting, cabaret, music theatre, jazz and session singing.

The many outstanding opportunities offered by the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music make Popular Voice at Monash the most exciting place to develop your vocal craft, artistry and performance.

Workshop Topics 

  • Voice Mechanics and Craft
  • Stage Craft, Career and the Role of the Vocalist
  • Music Theatre, Pop and Rock
  • Session and Small Group Singing
  • Improvisation, Creativity, Self Expression and Autonomy
  • The Professional Pop Singer – Product, Plan, Passion

Audition requirements Registration

Forms are available on-line (artsonline.monash.edu.au/music-auditions/). Registration for a Popular Voice audition comes under “Jazz Voice” and applicants may then nominate which specialisation option they would like to be considered for.

Audition assessment

Two contrasting songs: one up-tempo and one ballad from two different periods (pre and post 1980). Each song should not exceed 5 minutes duration. The audition will comprise selections from the applicant’s audition material, a brief interview, and ear training and sight reading test. Applicants also auditioning for entrance to the Jazz Voice specialisation option (nominated via online form after registering for an audition) will be asked to improvise over a chord progression which will be supplied in the audition.

The audition panel will assess applicants on a range of criteria: 

  • Technical efficiency and level
  • Quality of tone, dynamics and pitch control
  • Breath and muscle management
  • Sense of rhythm and timing
  • Creativity and originality
  • Stagecraft and communication skill
  • Ability to connect with the lyric
  • Interaction with the audience and ensemble

Applicants are encouraged to perform with live backing. No accompanist will be provided. Performing solely with backing tracks is not recommended. Please be prepared to answer questions about your song choice. The panel may stop your performance at any point in time. Original material is permitted but not mandatory.

Key Dates in 2017:

  • 6 August – Sir Zelman Cowan School of Music Open Day
  • 26-27 August – Audition Preparation Course
  • December – Auditions for 2018

Resources:

Two-page Flyer – Popular Voice 2017

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