Students enroll in coaching each semester they are enrolled in a primary applied voice course. They will receive letter grades each semester for vocal coaching coursework. The coaching faculty at Eastman strives to provide regularly scheduled coaching times for all voice majors in the Voice, Opera and Vocal Coaching Department. Assignments to a coach are subject to change from year to year and may be based partly on considerations of repertoire.
Students are expected to be musically prepared for and promptly attend the following coaching sessions:
- First-year students: seven 30-minute coachings per semester
- Sophomores: seven 30-minute coachings per semester
- Juniors: seven 45-minute coachings per semester
- Seniors: weekly 45-minute coachings per semester (in semester of senior recital)
- Seniors: weekly 30 -minute coachings per semester (non-recital semester)
- M.M and D.M.A. students: weekly 45-minute coachings per semester
Attendance is crucial to a complete learning process, and absence or tardiness will result in grade reduction. A student is absent if they have not arrived 10 minutes after the scheduled time of the coaching. A student is late if they are not in the room and ready to work at the scheduled time of the coaching. Coaches’ schedules vary, and coaching sessions times are established in the best way possible for all concerned. Cancellation policies for lessons due to illness or other reasons will be clearly presented by each coach and must be adhered to or makeup sessions will not be guaranteed.
First-year students focus primarily on English and Italian repertoire, in conjunction with their foreign language and lyric diction courses. Sophomore German coaching is conducted with guidelines regarding texts, translations and IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet, and are without accompanists.
From the junior year and beyond, students must arrive at each coaching prepared with the following:
- A memorized, word-for-word translation of the piece they wish to coach. The translation must be memorized in order to effectively execute and integrate details of pronunciation and meaning.
- Two copies of the music, one for the student and one for the coach (one of these may be a .pdf for use on an IPad, at the coach’s discretion).
- Knowledge of the textual source and context of the piece being coached. For art song, this means knowing the text’s author as well as any relevant background that may contribute to the song’s interpretation (for example, understanding of a poetic cycle or larger narrative).
- For operatic arias, this means knowing the full operatic story and the details of your character, and the exact place of the aria within the opera. Students are expected to arrive with full knowledge and a list of each aria’s orchestration. For chamber music repertoire, students must have full knowledge of the piece’s instrumentation.
All singers are encouraged to bring their assigned collaborative to their coaching sessions whenever possible. Faculty coaches will play when the student’s pianist is not available.
Additional coaching sessions will be arranged at the discretion of the coaching faculty, based on availability and student demand. The requests for coaching from our students far exceed the hours that the coaching staff can provide, and it is up to the student to communicate any extra needs to the coach and their voice teacher. Requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis to the extent possible.