Carnegie Mellon University

School of Music

Where artistry and innovation share center stage

Vocal Performance

The vocal performance program at Carnegie Mellon prepares singers for professional careers in opera and the concert stage. Alumni of the School of Music are currently performing with orchestras and opera companies around the world, as well as performing on Broadway.

Vocal performance majors study the classical bel canto technique with an emphasis on vocal health. Four semesters of acting and dance enhance their performance skills. Each year, the School of Music presents two fully-staged productions in the Philip Chosky Theatre at the Purnell Center for The Arts, and a third fully-staged production in Alumni Concert Hall. All productions are designed by students in the School of Drama. 

Vocal performance majors also study Italian, French, and German, as well as English language diction; junior and senior year recitals include repertoire in all four languages. 

While there is close collaboration between the School of Music and the designers of the School of Drama, it is important to note that the vocal performance major in the School of Music is a separate program of study from the music theater major in the School of Drama. Talented young singers and actors may wish to apply to both programs with separate auditioning processes for each.

For more information about the School of Drama and the Music Theater Major, please visit the School of Drama Website here, or call 412-268-2392.

The foundation of the Undergraduate curriculum contains five elements:

  • Studio: weekly individualized instruction within a major area of study
  • Theory: to develop listening skills, to acquire theoretical knowledge, to recognize structural techniques, and to manipulate technological resources
  • History: in depth study of western music and survey of non-western styles and structures
  • Ensemble Work: student participation in some of the School of Music Ensembles
  • Academics: one General Studies course outside of the School of Music per semester and six semesters of Elective courses

Carnegie Mellon courses are measured in units rather than credits or credit hours, with three units equaling a standard credit. There is no charge for extra credits taken at Carnegie Mellon.

COURSE TYPE

SEMESTERS REQUIRED

Studio

8

Major Ensemble

8

Languages

4

Diction/Literature & Repertoire

10

Acting

4

Dance

4

Production

4

Music History

7

Music Theory

4

Eurhythmics

4

Solfege

4

Keyboard Studies

4

General Electives

2-4

For more specific information regarding curriculum for the undergraduate Vocal Performance program, click here.