jazz & blues music blog with news, reviews, concerts & more, with a Canadian focus

March 29, 2010

Berklee School of Music Offers New Jazz Vocal Course

Written by
cindy mcleod
Berklee Music

Berklee School of Music
Jazz Voice Course

Jan Shapiro to Teach Jazz Vocalists

Chair of the Voice department at Berklee College of Music, Jan Shapiro will teach the new Jazz Voice course. Shapiro has presented vocal clinics around the country and toured extensively, performing in jazz clubs, hotels, and supper clubs in Chicago, Washington D.C., Atlanta, New York, St. Louis, and Boston. Her latest CD, Back to Basics, features jazz standards with her own unique arrangements.

About the Course

Singers like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Frank Sinatra have left an indelible mark on American popular music through their vocal stylings, fusing a conversational delivery with rhythmic and melodic improvisation. Jazz Voice is designed to teach you the unique characteristics of jazz singing and how you can apply these characteristics to create your own sound. You will learn jazz phrasing, how to integrate good technique into jazz song styles, and how to sing with a number of time feels and grooves.

The course begins by comparing jazz vocal styles to other contemporary styles, as well as exploring blues artists and their influence on jazz. It then focuses on jazz vocal technique and delivery, including use of vocal inflections, dynamics, articulation, and interpretation, and how to improvise through rhythmic and melodic phrasing. You’ll then apply these concepts to jazz tunes in various tempos and grooves, including ballads, medium swing, fast swing, and bossa nova. You’ll move on to learn important considerations for effective stage presence and use of the microphone, too. The course combines video demonstrations with listening examples and audio analysis, and you’ll work with rhythm tracks recorded with a live band. The course features artists such as Ma Rainey, Lonnie Johnson, Bessie Smith, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Carmen McRae, Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, Chet Baker, Joao Gilberto, Astrud Gilberto, Abby Lincoln, Lou Rawls, Kenny Rankin, Luciana Souza, and Jane Monheit.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

-sing jazz standards in various tempos, including ballads, medium swing, fast swing, and bossa nova
-improve your stage presence and use of microphone
-identify your vocal range most comfortable for singing jazz
-distinguish characteristics of early blues singers and their influence on jazz
-apply good breath management and tone while singing in a jazz style
-strengthen your articulation of song lyrics
-use vocal inflections and dynamics appropriately
-alter the melodic and rhythmic phrasing in a song
-better hear chord changes within a song
-identify song forms common in jazz
-sing introductions and endings effectively

for more info and to register, visit www.berkleemusic.com/school/course?course_item_id=16068974&program=voice

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.