Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s voice performance program has a reputation for providing young singers with in-depth artistic and technical training that inspires development as a whole artist through unparalleled instruction and ample performance opportunities.
Over the course of the four-year program, students build a strong vocal technique, cultivate linguistic and musicianship skills, and receive valuable acting experience that gives them a professional edge in a highly competitive field. Additionally, students explore related areas of study that are personally meaningful and help to further diversify their skills, such as conducting, teaching, music business and technology, music therapy, composition, improvisation, and holistic health. This flexible curriculum allows singers to focus on vocal studies while expanding their sense of self and understanding their potential as a whole artist.
Furthermore, students are supported by a diverse faculty of esteemed teachers who embody a range of experiences as singers, actors, directors, and collaborators. Through valuable professional insight and nurturing guidance, the faculty encourage students to explore their boundaries and embrace their instincts.
Students who thrive in the Conservatory’s voice performance program are strong performers interested in growing as whole artists—not only as singers, but as actors, communicators, and socially conscious artists. Passionate about using their unique voice as an instrument of change, students in this program learn how to lead and inspire community engagement.
Successful students make the most of the Conservatory's broad alumni network and prime location in the culturally rich city of Boston. They embrace the endless inspiration the city offers and the opportunities to perform with a variety of vocal groups and opera companies throughout New England.
The first two years of the B.M. in voice performance program are designed to help students strengthen musicianship skills and understand music from a historical and cultural perspective. Areas of study include the evolution of music and performance practices, sight-singing methods, musicianship and business skills, major foreign languages (including Italian, German, and French), and language diction and techniques. Additionally, students begin honing their vocal technique in weekly private lessons, practicing audition skills in performance seminars, and performing publicly in studio recitals and ensemble concerts.
In their junior and senior years, voice performance students receive weekly vocal coachings with their private instructors to refine their musical skills and deepen their understanding of the standard vocal repertoire. Students also perform frequently in solo and studio recitals to gain practical performance experience and demonstrate their cumulative skill set: vocal technique, mastery of foreign language diction, thoughtful musical interpretation, engaged storytelling, and more.
The Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance requires students to complete 123 credits, consisting of the course requirements listed below. View the Sample Curriculum by Semester for additional details.
- M-SK 1101 Harmony & Counterpoint 1 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1102 Harmony & Counterpoint 2 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1103 Ear Training 1 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1104 Ear Training 2 (2 credits)
- M-SK 1105 Time & Rhythm 1 (1 credit)
- M-SK 1106 Time & Rhythm 2 (1 credit)
- M-SK 2101 Harmony & Counterpoint 3 (2 credits)
- M-SK 2102 Harmony & Counterpoint 4 (2 credits)
- M-SK 2103 Ear Training 3 (2 credits)
- M-SK 2104 Ear Training 4 (2 credits)
- M-SK 2601 Piano Class 1 (1 credit)
- M-SK 2602 Piano Class 2 (1 credit)
- M-AP 0009 Applied lessons (24 credits total, 8 credits each)
- M-AP 0701 Vocal Coaching (2 credits total, 1 credit each)
- M-EN 0709 Choral Ensemble (8 credits total, 1 credit each)
- M-LT 0711 Song Repertoire: Italian (1 credit)
- M-LT 0712 Song Repertoire: German (1 credit)
- M-LT 0713 Song Repertoire: French (1 credit)
- M-LT 0714 Song Repertoire: English & American (1 credit)
- M-PD 0711 Pedagogy 1: Voice (1 credit)
- M-PD 0712 Pedagogy 2: Voice (1 credit)
- M-SK 0009 Recital (0 credit, completed two times)
- M-SK 0703 Speech to Singing (1 credit)
- M-SK 0711 Diction: Italian (1 credit)
- M-SK 0712 Diction: German (1 credit)
- M-SK 0713 Diction: French (1 credit)
- M-SK 0714 Diction: English & American (1 credit)
- M-SK 1711 Survey of Diction 1 (1 credit)
- M-SK 1712 Survey of Diction 2 (1 credit)
- M-ST 0711 Acting for Singers 1 (1 credit)
- M-ST 0712 Acting for Singers 2 (1 credit)
- M-ST 1711 Performance Seminar 1: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 1712 Performance Seminar 2: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 2711 Performance Seminar 3: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 2712 Performance Seminar 4: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 3711 Performance Seminar 5: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 3712 Performance Seminar 6: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 4711 Performance Seminar 7: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 4712 Performance Seminar 8: Voice (1 credit)
- M-ST 77913 Oratorio Repertoire (1 credit)
General Education and Liberal Arts
- C-PR 1001 Introduction to i-Pad Media Technology (1 credit)
- L-CM 1301 Introduction to College Writing (3 credits)
- L-CM 1302 Literature Topics (3 credits)
- L-CM 749xx Liberal Arts elective: Social Sciences (3 credits)
- L-CM 759xx Liberal Arts elective: Math/Science (3 credits)
- M-LT 1103 Musicology 1: Music and Culture – Understanding Music in Context (2 credits)
- M-LT 1104 Musicology 2: Music and Narratives of Western Classical Music – Ancient Greece through the Renaissance (2 credits)
- M-LT 2103 Musicology 3: Humanism and the Western Classical Tradition – Baroque through Classical (2 credits)
- M-LT 2104 Musicology 4 (2 credits)
- M-LT 3101 Musicology 5 (2 credits)
- M-LT 3102 Musicology 6 (2 credits)
- M-LT 2703 Italian Fluency for Singers 1 (3 credits)
- M-LT 2704 Italian Fluency for Singers 2 (3 credits)
- M-LT 3701 German Fluency for Singers 1 (3 credits)
- M-LT 3702 German Fluency for Singers 2 (3 credits)
- M-LT 4701 French Fluency for Singers 1 (3 credits)
- M-LT 4702 French Fluency for Singers 2 (3 credits)
- Xxxxx General electives (2 credits total)
What You Will Learn
The B.M. in Voice Performance program features a broad range of courses designed to develop the array of skills required for a younger singer to progress towards their goals as a performer. Upon successful completion of the program, students will:
- prepare and perform a wide range of repertoire with a high level of vocal technique and musical comprehension developed through voice lessons, vocal coachings, and voice and speech work, as well as through genre-specific repertoire courses, study of vocal pedagogy, music theory and music history;
- apply their ear training skills and knowledge of theoretical and harmonic analysis as well as of musical historical context to their learning and performance of a score;
- self-sustain and continually build their own vocal technique based on their understanding of the structure and function of the vocal mechanism through vocal pedagogy study and the application of exercises through lessons, coachings, and pedagogy; they will know when they need the help of teachers or vocal therapists and they will have the resources to find those support systems;
- tell stories through song in all sung languages easily and fluently, demonstrating translation skills and the ability to analyze poetry, and deliver text in ways that are expressive and meaningful;
- research, perform, and appreciate the music of living and underrepresented composers;
- express physical artistry in performance through an easy use of the body drawing on work in performance skills courses, acting classes, movement classes, and Alexander Technique;
- develop artistic collaborations with partners across the musical and artistic spectrum that lead to new ways of expression through the sung art forms. Having had collaborative experiences with large groups such as ensembles and casts, as well as one-on-one musical relationships with pianists, coaches, and teachers, working with new music as well as in the traditional repertoire, they will value and seek to understand artistic expression in all its forms;
- create and interpret musical work from their own artistic point of view developed through their unique understanding of who they are as an artist and what they value; and
- create for themselves the artistic life they want using the technical tools, the musical knowledge, and the self-awareness and understanding they gained from required coursework as well as their own elections. Additionally, they will know they can draw on the confidence developed through participation in and exposure to a broad array of performance and learning experiences, both at the Conservatory and in the Greater Boston musical community. They will have experienced consistent one-on-one mentoring with a wide range of teachers who they can turn to for ongoing mentorship throughout their career trajectory.
Alumni of the Conservatory’s voice performance program have won international competitions and awards, hold positions with prestigious opera companies, and perform in a range of genres, including traditional and experimental opera, oratorio, musical theater, choral, new music, and early music. They develop new works, manage established opera companies, and launch new companies, such as Guerilla Opera, and Boston Opera Collaborative. They work in outreach and community service, bringing music to underserved communities. Alumni of Boston Conservatory’s voice performance program are helping to shape the future of the industry and are contributing to their local and global communities in countless ways.