Earn your BM in Voice

Voice students at the University of Iowa experience a rich and varied curriculum that develops the highest levels of artistry and musicianship. World-class faculty guide each singer's development and prepare them for professional life. In addition to one-on-one lessons with voice faculty, students perform in weekly and monthly classes and seminars, and have the opportunity to perform in a range of vocal ensembles, as well as large opera productions several times each year.

Students interested in pursuing a course of study in musical theatre are encouraged to explore the double major in music and theatre.

Already applied and admitted to the university? Prepare to audition with the School of Music.

Requirements and program planning

download course checklist

Course Offerings

  • Musicianship and Theory I (MUS:1201)*, 4 semester hours
  • Musicianship and Theory II (MUS:1202), 4 semester hours
  • Musicianship and Theory III (MUS:2203), 4 semester hours
  • Musicianship and Theory IV (MUS:2204), 4 semester hours
  • Group Instruction in Piano I (MUS:1211)**, 1 semester hour
  • Group Instruction in Piano II (MUS:1212)**, 1 semester hour
  • Recital Attendance (MUS:1210), 6 semester hours
  • History of Western Music I (MUS:2301), 3 semester hours
    • Note: Also meets General Education Requirement for Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts and Historical Perspectives.
  • History of Western Music II (MUS:2302), 3 semester hours
    • Note: Also meets General Education Requirement for Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts and Historical Perspectives.
  • Techniques of Conducting (MUS:3625), 2 semester hours

*Entering students who do not have Advanced Placement (AP) or transfer credit should enroll in MUS:1201:0002, and take Placement Exam A, administered online in the summer before the start of the fall semester, to determine readiness for the sequence. Learn more about this process.

**Students will take a piano placement exam and may place out of one or both Group Piano classes based on their proficiency.

Select one of the following:

  • Jazz Cultures America and Abroad (MUS:1009), 3 semester hours
    • Note: Also meets General Education Requirement for Diversity and Inclusion and Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts.
  • World Music (MUS:1310), 3 semester hours
    • Note: Also meets General Education Requirement for Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts.
  • Music of Latin America and Caribbean (MUS:2311), 3 semester hours
    • Note: Also meets General Education Requirement for Diversity and Inclusion and Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts.
  • Advanced Jazz History (MUS:4350), 3 semester hours

  • Lower level applied lessons (MUS:2020), 8 semester hours*
  • Upper level applied lessons (MUS:3020), 8 semester hours
  • Major Ensemble Choir (MUS:----), 8 semester hours
  • Senior Recital (MUS:4900), 1 semester hour

*A maximum of 6 semesters (12 semester hours) in lower-level applied instruction is allowed.

Select 3 semester hours from these:

  • Form and Analysis (MUS:2206), 3 semester hours
  • Introduction to Jazz Improvisation (MUS:3001), 3 semester hours
  • Instrumentation (MUS:3220), 2 semester hours
  • Arranging for Band (MUS:3665), 2 to 3 semester hours
  • Intermediate Jazz Improvisation (MUS:3710), 2 semester hours
  • Jazz Theory (MUS:3750), 2 semester hours
  • Counterpoint Before 1600 (MUS:4200), 3 semester hours
  • Counterpoint After 1600 (MUS:4201), 3 semester hours
  • Keyboard Harmony (MUS:4210), 1 to 2 semester hours
  • Advanced Jazz Improvisation (MUS:4710), 2 semester hours
  • Transcription (MUS:4750), 2 semester hours

  • Diction for Singers I (Italian/German) (MUS:1510), 2 semester hours
  • Diction for Singers II (English/French) (MUS:2510), 2 semester hours
  • Interp of German Art Song (MUS:3510), 1 semester hour
  • Interp of Non-German Art Song (MUS:3511), 1 semester hour
  • Opera Workshop (MUS:3500), 2 semester hours

Choose from any music (MUS) courses, except those closed to music majors.

Recommended for voice majors:

  • Opera Workshop (MUS:3500),  2 semester hours
    • This course can be repeated.
  • Intro to the Alexander Technique (MUS:3851), 3 semester hours
  • Intro to the Laban Movement Studies (MUS:3850), 2 to 3 semester hours
  • Audition Repertoire (MUS:3140), 1 semester hour
  • Opera Theater Chorus (MUS:3501), 1 semester hour
  • Acting for Singers and Dancers (MUS:3521), 2 semester hours
  • Principles of Voice Production (MUS:5520), 3 semester hours
  • Methods of Teaching Voice (MUS:6520), 3 semester hours
  • Opera Production (MUS:3502), 2 to 4 semester hours

Voice majors pursuing teacher licensure may also select music education classes as music electives:

  • Choral Methods (MUS:3640), 3 semester hours
  • Choral Conducting and Lit (MUS:3645), 3 semester hours
  • Methods/Materials: Gen Music (EDTL:3620), 3 semester hours

Note: These are the current requirements for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Please consult the your advisor for the requirements you will be held to based on your entry year.
  • Communication and literacy
    • Rhetoric, 4 semester hours
    • Interpretation of Literature, 3 semester hours
    • World Language, 0 to 16 semester hours
  • Natural, qualitative, and social sciences
    • Natural Sciences, 7 semester hours
    • Quantitative or Formal Reasoning, 3 semester hours
    • Social Sciences, 3 semester hours
  • Culture, society, and the arts*
    • Diversity and Inclusion, 3 semester hours
    • Historical Perspectives, 3 semester hours
    • International and Global Issues, 3 semester hours
    • Literary, Visual, and Performing Arts, 3 semester hours
    • Values and Culture, 3 semester hours

*Music majors may use up to three music courses (MUS) toward completing the General Education Requirements.

Performance opportunities

  • Weekly performance seminars
  • Opera Workshop
  • Inter-departmental collaborations with dance and theatre departments
  • Martha-Ellen Tye Opera Theatre
  • Camerata: This select ensemble of 50 to 70 singers is open to UI students, staff, and faculty. Camerata usually presents three concerts per year and joins the UI Symphony Orchestra for two concerts of major works.
  • Kantorei: Kantorei is the premier choral ensemble of the University, consisting of about 30 graduate students. Kantorei presents four to five concerts on campus each year, as well as a number of off-campus performances. Superior sight-reading is desirable.
  • University Choir: University Choir is a select, advanced choir of 50 to 60 singers, primarily undergraduate students. They present four to five concerts per year and combine to perform two major works with the University Symphony Orchestra. Good singers with sight reading competency are required.
  • Women's Chorale: Voxman Chorale is a select chorus of approximately 35 treble singers (sopranos/altos) that presents three to four concerts per year. As with other ensembles, it is open to singers from the University of Iowa. 
  • Conductor's Chorus: Whether you are a graduate student or freshman, experienced or novice, the University of Iowa's choral program offers a variety of ensembles for your participation.

Performing in the community

For further information, please contact Elise DesChamps.

Create your academic path

You'll find degree overviews, requirements, course lists, academic plans, and more to help you plan your education and explore your possibilities.

View General Catalog

Current course list

The MyUI Schedule displays registered courses for a particular session and is available to enrolled students. The list view includes course instructors, time and location, and features to drop courses or change sections.

View Current Courses

Voice faculty

Royce Blackburn

Royce Blackburn

Visiting Assistant Professor
Portrait of Élise DesChamps

Élise DesChamps

Assistant Professor of Instruction
Voice Area Head
Portrait of Rachel Joselson

Rachel Joselson

Associate Professor
Portrait of Stephen Swanson

Stephen Swanson

Portrait of Wayne Wyman

Wayne Wyman

Interim Director of Opera

Practice and perform

Need to book a music room, request an accompanist, check out audition information, rent a locker, or use a recording studio? Visit the Music Callboard for all scheduling and policy information.