Voice Class

Register for Spring 2019 Voice Class

Course Information

Instructor: Christopher Sierra

Day and Time: Saturdays, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Course Dates: February 9-April 27, 2019
Meeting Dates: 2/9, 2/23, 3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23, 3/30, 4/6, 4/13, 4/27
Skip dates: 2/16, 4/20

Tuition:  $300

Click here to register for the Spring 2019 semester!


Voice class flyerCourse Description

Voice class is designed to provide singers of varying abilities a greater understanding of healthy sound production. Students will be introduced to the processes of healthy singing, which encompass mental awareness, posture and alignment, balanced breathing and support, free phonation, optimal resonation, and efficient use of the articulators. The course will examine research on the anatomy and physiology of the vocal mechanism so students can gain practical skills that may enhance their approach to vocal technique and repertoire. Great emphasis will also be placed on performance and students will learn to become efficient in their preparation of a piece via performance practice strategies.

Course Goals and Objectives

  • Gain a genuine understanding of efficient and healthy sound production
  • Explore the phonatory structures of the voice
  • Learn repertoire that is appropriate to one’s vocal development
  • Perform comfortably and expressively in front of others
  • Explore creativity with singing and programming
  • Secure knowledge of musical aesthetics, style, and accurate diction.
  • Address vocal health and maintenance
  • Learn warm-ups that enhance one’s vocal coordination and body awareness
  • Be a critical listener who can identify technical issues as well as good vocal habits
  • Translate foreign texts into colloquial English
  • Comprehend IPA and the rules of lyric diction.
  • Strengthen one’s musicianship skills
  • Enjoy the act of singing, while inspiring others to do the same.

Special Topics

Every semester, the course is themed. Special topics may include:

  • Crossing Genres: Classical to Contemporary Commercial Music
  • Vocal & Theatrical Improvisation
  • Chamber Music & Ensemble Collaboration
  • Developing Musical Monologues & Creative Programming
  • Aesthetics of Live Performances vs Studio Recordings
  • Antiquating Commercial Music & Modernizing Classical Music
  • Developing Music Videos


Repertoire Assignments & Master Classes: ​Students will sing in at least two
pre-scheduled master classes. For each solo working session, students will prepare a
piece assigned by the instructor. During these master classes, students will perform and
receive constructive feedback from both the instructor and colleagues.

Final Performance​: ​Students will have the opportunity to demonstrate their
improvements and the knowledge acquired throughout the course in a final concert.


**This schedule is subject to change**

Week 1: Introduction & Mental Awareness
Week 2: Posture & Alignment
Week 3: Breath Support & Management
Week 4: Free Sound Production
Week 5: Resonation
Week 6: Articulation & Lyric Diction
Week 7: Learning Music Efficiently; Translations
Week 8: Warm-ups & Masterclass Group #1 with Accompanist
Week 9: Warm-ups & Masterclass Group #2 with Accompanist
Week 10: Warm-ups & Masterclass Group #3 with Accompanist
Week 11: TBD
Week 12: Reflections & Dress Rehearsal with Accompanist
Week 13: Final Performance


Peruvian-American tenor Christopher Sierra is recognized for his artistic sensitivity and versatility in repertoire ranging from Handel, Mozart, and Donizetti to Popov, Morrison, and contemporary premieres. He has performed with Santa Fe Opera, Opera Sierra, ChristopherNew Jersey, Spoleto Festival USA, Princeton Festival Opera, Long Island Opera, and New York Lyric Opera Theater, among many others.
On the concert stage, Dr. Sierra has performed works such as Schumann’s Spanisches Liederspiel, Britten’s Les Illuminations, Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass, Brahms’s Liebeslieder Walzer, Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music, and Schubert’s Mass in G. Recent engagements include performing as a featured soloist with The Harlem Chamber Players and the Palouse Choral Society. He is also an active recitalist and was invited to perform mélodies by Henri Duparc at the 2018 College Music Society Pacific Northwest Regional Conference.
As a recording artist, Dr. Sierra can be heard on The Flower of Beauty (2009) with the Westminster Choir,  Landscape: Choral Music of Gerald Custer (2008) with Anam Cara, and Teaching Music Through Performance in Choir, Volume 2 (2007) with the Grammy-nominated Westminster Williamson Voices. He has sung under the baton of Pierre Boulez, Leon Botstein, Christoph Eschenbach, Ton Koopman, Lorin Maazel, Kurt Masur, David Robertson, John Rutter, Emmanuel Villaume, and Franz Welser­-Möst during his time as a member of the Westminster Symphonic Choir, MidAmerica Productions, and NYC’s MasterVoices.
A frequent guest clinician, Dr. Sierra has presented vocal master classes, choral workshops, public lectures, and scholarly performances at institutions such as Florida International University, Iceland University of the Arts, Lewis-Clark State College, University of Idaho, the Washington State University Choral Festival, and the Idaho Music Educators Association District II Elementary Music Festival. His voice students have placed in NATS competitions and have been accepted into notable training programs.
Dr. Sierra currently serves on the voice faculty at the Mason Gross Extension Division and The College of New Jersey. He has taught applied voice at Columbia University, Monmouth University, Rutgers University, and Washington State University, as well as general music and choral ensembles at Hunter College Elementary School, 51st Avenue Academy, Yorkville East Middle School, and William Tennent High School. Dr. Sierra received a doctor of musical arts degree in voice performance from Rutgers University, a master of education degree in music education from Columbia University, a  master of music degree in classical voice performance from Manhattan School of Music, and bachelor of music degree in music education and voice performance from Westminster Choir College.