Curriculum Guideline

Beginning Choral Ensemble I

Effective Date:
Course Code
MUSC 1145
Beginning Choral Ensemble I
Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Start Date
End Term
Not Specified
Semester Length
15 weeks
Max Class Size
40 all levels combined
Contact Hours
2 hrs per week
Method Of Instruction
Methods Of Instruction

The instructor will present concepts, demonstrate techniques and patterns, and lead the ensemble.  Practice exercises and pieces will be rehearsed and/or performed by the whole class, small groups and individuals.

Course Description
Through the performance of appropriate music, this course will cover the basic skills of ensemble singing, including vocal production, unison and part singing.
Course Content
  1. Vocal production
    • Basic training in production of singing voice, including posture, breathing and singing of vocalises within a comfortable range for beginning students.
    • Vowels and consonants.
  2. Unison and part singing
    • Blend and balance
    • Intonation
    • Diction
    • Interpretation
    • Development of ability to sing one’s own choral part
    • Development of awareness of conductor-chorister relationship
  3. Repertoire
    • Repertoire may include the following:
      • Unison, two- and three-part (SSA/SAT/SAB) music
      • canons


Learning Outcomes

The successful student will be able to demonstrate musical skills associated with the following concepts:

  1. Ensemble singing
  2. Vocal production
  3. Unison and part singing


Means of Assessment

Grades are based on the students’ regular preparation for rehearsals, attentiveness and effort during rehearsals, and musical contribution to the ensemble. Frequently during the semester, certain passages of music are assigned to be learned for an upcoming rehearsal, during which solo quartets (one singer per part) are heard by the instructor in private. Students are graded on their achievement on these assignments.

60%     Assigned passages (minimum 3 tests; no single evaluation may be worth more than 40%)

20%     Contribution to Ensemble (musical/vocal)

20%     Attitude / Effort (ongoing assessment)



Every 15 minutes of unexcused absence or lateness will lower the final grade by 1%. Absence and lateness will be cumulative – whenever a student’s combined absence or lateness adds up to 15 minutes, 1% will be deducted from the final grade.  A drop of 30% due to absence or lateness will result in a UN grade and expulsion from the choir.

Students who are absent without valid excuse from a Dress Rehearsal will not be permitted to perform in the concert, and will fail the course.


Unexcused absence from a concert will result in a failing grade. Every 2 minutes of unexcused lateness to the warm-up and rehearsal immediately prior to a concert (the concert call) will lower the final grade by 1%. Any student who is more than 40 minutes late to a concert warm-up without a valid excuse will not be permitted to perform in the concert, and will fail the course.

Absences will be excused for reasons of illness or emergency; written documentation must be provided.

Attendance at all rehearsals and concerts is assumed; perfect attendance does not increase the final grade.

Textbook Materials

Students may be required to purchase one or more of the scores used during the semester.


Acceptance into one of the following programs: Basic Musicianship, Music Diploma, Music Technology, or Foundation for Music Therapy Studies.



Which Prerequisite