MUSCLASS 1400 - Classical Vocal Studies 1A

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2023

Through the study of appropriate repertoire, technical exercises, vocalises, diction and relevant languages, students will develop their individual technical and musical potential as singers, together with a sound understanding of interpretive principles, stylistic integrity and performance skills. Students are expected to undertake a minimum of 12 hours per week of structured individual practice, technical work, repertoire study, language study and sight-singing practice. Through weekly Performance Classes students will be given the opportunity to develop a range of preparation and performance skills, and will also develop a range of skills and approaches which will aid their technical development. Students will also be given the opportunity to present, perform, and discuss their current repertoire with fellow students as 'work in progress'. Through the Diction & Language Studies Classes, students will learn the fundamental principles of English diction as appropriate to singers including the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and range appropriate vowel modification. Through the Sight Singing & Small Ensemble Class, student will develop their sight-singing ability together with a range of aural skills relevant to singers including one-voice-to-a-part ensemble singing and peripheral hearing. Students will also be paid a stipend from the Conservatorium so that they can undertake intensive 1:1 vocal tuition and coaching with an Elder Conservatorium approved Classical Voice teacher.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code MUSCLASS 1400
    Course Classical Vocal Studies 1A
    Coordinating Unit Elder Conservatorium of Music
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites Audition
    Incompatible MUSCLASS 1051, MUSCLASS 1100A
    Restrictions Available to BMus students only
    Assessment Performance exam (15 mins) 40%, Performance class assessment 20%, Diction & languages assessment 20%, Sight-singing & small ensemble assessment 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Carl Crossin OAM

    Teaching in this course also includes the following staff members...

    Classical Voice Teachers
       Rosalind Martin
       Cheryl Pickering
       Sara Lambert
       Judith Henley
       Rosanne Hosking

    Accompanist (Performance Class)
       Sachiko Hidaka

       Penny Cashman (Italian & German)
       Rosalind Martin (French)
       Fiona McArdle (Italian & German - Semester 1 ONLY)

    Sight-Singing, Aural Training & Conducting Studies
       Carl Crossin

    Stagecraft (this workshop is for Classical Voice students but is a component in the Music Professional Development courses)
       Catherine Campbell
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    At the successful completion of this course, students will be able to…

    1. Exhibit technical, musical and language skills that, through accuracy, fluency and clear stylistic awareness, illustrate a strong and maturing conceptual and interpretative understanding of (a) the art of singing in general and (b) of the student’s chosen repertoire in particular.
    2. Exhibit effective personal practising strategies which arise from independent, imaginative and creative approaches to problem solving including the use of contemporary technologies.
    3. Manifest a developing sense of critical understanding of the widely accepted performance standards required for professional endeavour and an ability to assess one’s own performances and those of fellow musicians in the light of those standards.
    4. Exhibit skills in performance etiquette, communication, stagecraft and interaction with an audience that enhance the student's performances in a way that reflects the essence of the music being performed.
    5. Exhibit curiosity, self-awareness, a sense of musical standards, and problem-solving skills that will enable continuous learning and growth.

    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)

    Attribute 1: Deep discipline knowledge and intellectual breadth

    Graduates have comprehensive knowledge and understanding of their subject area, the ability to engage with different traditions of thought, and the ability to apply their knowledge in practice including in multi-disciplinary or multi-professional contexts.

    1, 3, 5

    Attribute 2: Creative and critical thinking, and problem solving

    Graduates are effective problems-solvers, able to apply critical, creative and evidence-based thinking to conceive innovative responses to future challenges.

    2, 3

    Attribute 3: Teamwork and communication skills

    Graduates convey ideas and information effectively to a range of audiences for a variety of purposes and contribute in a positive and collaborative manner to achieving common goals.


    Attribute 4: Professionalism and leadership readiness

    Graduates engage in professional behaviour and have the potential to be entrepreneurial and take leadership roles in their chosen occupations or careers and communities.

    4, 5

    Attribute 5: Intercultural and ethical competency

    Graduates are responsible and effective global citizens whose personal values and practices are consistent with their roles as responsible members of society.

    3, 5

    Attribute 8: Self-awareness and emotional intelligence

    Graduates are self-aware and reflective; they are flexible and resilient and have the capacity to accept and give constructive feedback; they act with integrity and take responsibility for their actions.

    1, 3, 5
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    1. Musical scores of repertoire and technical exercises as prescribed by course lecturers (The Elder Music Library houses an excellent collection of scores available for loan to students). Original copies of the music must be used for examinations.
    2. Engagement of the services of a professional accompanist for performance examinations and other performances.
    3. A good quality recording device to record classes, performances and private practice - as required - on a regular basis.
    4. All Classical Vocal Studies 1A students are required to purchase their own copy of A Handbook of Diction for Singers (2nd Ed.) by David Adams. This book will be used as an essential reference in all Classical Vocal Studies courses throughout all three undergraduate year levels.
    5. Tuning fork (A440), pencil & eraser, and metronome.

    Recommended Resources
    Regular listening to a variety of performances (live & recorded) is highly recommended. Students can listen to works through the library's Naxos subscription (see library catalogue, search using Naxos as the title and limit search to ‘electronic resources’. You will be prompted to enter your uni ID number and password to access the Naxos catalogue).

    There is a wealth of material available for listening (but not for downloading).

    The link to the Naxos catalogue is In the Music Resources Guide:

    You will find links to both Naxos and Naxos Jazz under “Quick Links” on the left side of the page.

    The Music Resources Guide contains quick links to key music databases for scholarly research and online listening. It also contains links to websites of publicly available online scores, collected editions, and professional associations. Here too you can find a regularly updated list of new books, scores, CDs and DVDs available in the Elder Music Library.

    Music Resources Online:

    Access to online music from library’s other Music Database (Music Online – incorporating Classical Music Library, Jazz Music Library, American Song, Contemporary World Music and Smithsonian Global Sound for Libraries) is now integrated in Library Search – just type the work you require into the general Library Search box and narrow down appropriately.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    1:1 Tuition
    Although individual 1:1 tuition is fundamental to the development of each student’s vocal potential and is an integral part of Classical Voice studies at the Elder Conservatorium, this aspect of the student’s musical development is undertaken outside of this course structure through the provision of a stipend of $1,000 per semester to cover the cost of individual tuition with a Conservatorium approved Classical Voice teacher. Under the guidance of the Head of Voice, Opera, Conducting & Ensembles this arrangement will enable each student to plan and undertake a series of 1:1 lessons with an appropriate Classical Voice teacher in a manner that suits the student’s vocal needs, and provides suitable vocal support for the student’s work within the course.

    Performance Classes
    Through weekly Performance Classes students will be given the opportunity to develop a range of preparation and performance skills. Performance Classes are taken principally by Rosalind Martin who will monitor each student’s vocal and musical progress, diagnose technical and musical problems, and suggest strategies for problem solving and independent practice.

    As part of each student’s engagement with their peers in these classes, students are given the opportunity to make informed critical comments about their own performances and those of their peers. Students are also expected to maintain a written journal to document their engagement with the class.  Performance Classes will be vertically grouped across all three year levels to facilitate each student’s maximum engagement with their peers. Students will also be given the opportunity to present, perform, and discuss their current repertoire with fellow students as ‘work in progress’.

    Diction & Language Studies
    Through the English Diction Classes, students will learn the fundamental principles of English diction as appropriate to singers. Studies will include the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and the related skills of range appropriate vowel modification.

    Sight Singing
    Sight-singing and related aural development is a crucial but often underrated skill-set for singers. Throughout the three semesters of Sight Singing classes (Year 1 and Semester 1 of Year 2) , students will develop their sight-singing ability together with a range of aural skills relevant to singers, including one-voice-to-a-part ensemble singing and the development of ‘peripheral hearing’ and other ensemble skills. The specific materials used in sight-singing component of Classical Vocal Studies will be tailor made for current students.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1. Performance Class - up to 20 hours per semester
    2. English Diction Class - up to 10 hours per semester
    3. Sight Singing, Aural Development & Small Ensemble Class - up to 10 hours per semester
    4. Private Language study - up to 20 hours per semester
    5. Individual sight-singing and related aural practice - up to 20 hours per semester
    6. Classical Voice Performance Examination Preparation - up to 20 hours per semester
    7. Private individual vocal practice and repertoire study - a minimum of 60 hours per semester

    Please Note: In addition to the required contact hours and structured non-contact hours described above, students are expected to spend a minimum of 60 hours per semester preparing and practising all repertoire, technical exercises and other assigned material. Students should note however, that the demands of the music profession are such that considerably more time should be spent in private vocal practice and related preparatory activities.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary

    Assessment in this course comprises the following components…

    1. Performance Examination (15 minutes):   40% Relevant Course Learning Outcomes - 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
    2. Performance Class Assessment:   20% Relevant Course Learning Outcomes - 1,  2,  3,  4,  5
    3. Diction & Languages Assessment:   20% Relevant Course Learning Outcomes - 1,  2,  3
    4. Sight-Singing, Aural Development & Small Ensemble Assessment:   20% Relevant Course Learning Outcomes - 1,  2,  5


    Assessment Related Requirements

    All students enrolled in courses taught by the Elder Conservatorium of Music are expected to actively and positively participate in 100% of all required activities - rehearsals, workshops, classes, lectures, tutorials, seminars and performances - as defined by this course outline.

    In courses where Participation & Attendance penalties apply (such as this course), any student who misses more than 40% of required activities will be deemed ineligible for assessment in that course, irrespective of the amount of leave that has been formally approved.

    In this course, penalties apply for any absences which are not formally approved according to the Conservatorium's Leave Policy (see the leave Application Form URL below).  However, an absence may be approved by the relevant lecturer as either Medical Leave, Professional Development Leave or Compassionate Leave.  Please see the Conservatorium's Leave Policy for further information.

    For each unapproved absence in any class in this course the following penalties will apply: Three (3) marks will be deducted from the student's final percentage mark for this course for each unapproved absence.

    Leave Application forms are available from the Music Office and can be downloaded from the Music website at...


    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.