Arts Academy Boarding School: Voice Major

Interlochen Arts Academy boarding high school offers voice students a program of pre-professional music training and college preparatory academics. Voice students graduate well-prepared for the rigors of study at the university and conservatory level.

A typical voice student's schedule would include a Voice lesson, choir and music theory; and could also include Chamber Choir (by audition), Opera Theater (by audition - see below), Italian Diction and Song Repertoire, piano study (private lesson by audition or class piano), French classes, and appropriate academic classes.

The voice major course of study includes:

Voice Lessons

Each prospective voice student is auditioned to determine his/her appropriate level of instruction.  An assignment to either private lessons (hour or half-hour) is made on the basis of the student's ability, achievement, and motivation.  This placement is subject to change depending upon the work produced.In addition to private lessons, there are weekly studio classes, numerous student recitals, master classes and guest artists that further enhance the musical training of all voice students.


Music will be individualized to the student’s ability level. Music will be brought to Interlochen personally by the student or may be purchased at the Interlochen Music Store and/or checked out from the Interlochen Music Library. In some studios, there may also be handouts provided by the individual voice instructor.

Interlochen Opera Workshop

The Interlochen Opera Workshop program, in conjunction with the other coursework offered in the Interlochen Voice major is meant to provide students with the training and experiences that will guide them to be successful singers in the college music program and beyond.

Each semester, the course covers a series of workshops on various topics. Workshop topics include: acting techniques for singers; the Stanislavski method; character development in both opera and art song; the development of stage presence; audition techniques; language study and preparation including lyric diction, translation resources and techniques, and phonetic transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet; the development of a professional package including a professional resume and repertoire list; topics in vocal health; performance anxiety reduction techniques; stage dialogue and speech; physical, vocal, and musical improvisation; opera literature and history; and listening immersion.

Students participate in a variety of performances throughout the year, including both in class and public performances, and masterclasses with guest artists and teachers. Students have the opportunity to apply the skills and techniques covered in the workshops through the study, rehearsal, and presentation of a fully staged and directed public scenes performance at the culmination of each semester. The structure of a scenes program allows for greater flexibility in choosing repertoire that can challenge and develop the skills and talents of each individual student, and repertoire that is vocally appropriate for the developing voice. Repertoire includes opera, operetta, classic musical theater, and art song, and the programming aims to create a chamber music making experience for singers, focusing on duets, trios, as well as small and large ensembles. Recent performances include scenes from Mozart's Così fan tutte, Don Giovanni, Le nozze di Figaro, Cimarosa's Il matrimonio segreto, Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice. The Interlochen Opera Workshop program is open to all voice majors.


John Bragle

Choral Conductor, Interlochen Arts Academy and Interlochen Arts Camp; Conductor, World Youth Honors Choir, Interlochen Arts Camp

M.M., Choral Conducting, Michigan State University; B.M.E, Vocal Music Education, Michigan State University

Jeffery Norris

Instructor of Voice, Interlochen Arts Academy; Director of Vocal Music, Interlochen Arts Camp

M.M., Performance and Literature, Eastman School of Music; B.A., Music Education, Michigan State University

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