Voice Intermediate

Voice Intermediate: Week #6

Week #6


Hey Guys! As we approach the recital, we’ll be spending a lot of class time making sure we are feeling good about our songs! If you have an qyestions

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Major and minor arpeggios;

  • Scale: C Major, d minor, e minor

  • Technique: Jumping up a major 7th interval, minor arpeggios

  • Repertoire: Nowhere Man, Peace to Come

  • Additional Studies:



Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

Today we put the first two parts of Nowhere Man together, slowly, paying close attention to the Ab notes (that make the minor IV (4) chord. We worked on dynamics and arrangement choices, everyone finding and picking what they think the best range is for them.

Assignment for next week

Please practice all 3 parts to Peace to Come and Nowhere Man, focusing on tone and breath control. Try not to sing too loud or push too much - a combination of relaxation and repetition will help immensely!

How to Practice this at home

Sit or stand in a comfortable position and begin with a lip buzz or a “Ming-ah”, relax your shoulders and breath slowly in and out for 10 breaths, counting to 4 on the inhale and 6 on the exhale. Listen along with all the parts. Sing along until you become very familiar with them, then try singing one of the parts along with one of the other ones.

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Maryruth BarnettComment
Voice Intermediate: Week #5

Week #5



List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Breathing exercises, Scales, and a song of your choice on your own!

  • Scale: C Major scale and D minor scale, using solfege. Start at middle C and climb up one octave, then go back to middle C and climb down one octave (as low as you can go). Do the same for D minor. Try singing C, major, D minor, and E minor arpeggio’s! ( in Solfege, this would be: Do Mi Sol - Re Fa La - Mi Sol Ti )

  • Technique: Continued to work on hearing the minor 4 chord.

  • Repertoire: Peace To Come, Nowhere Man

  • Additional Studies: Dear Someone



Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

Continuing our work on the recital pieces, we broke off into groups of 3 to sing Peace To Come in close harmony to get better acquainted with hearing and singing the individual parts. We then continued working on putting together the alto and lead vocal part to Nowhere Man. We also sang through a beautiful rendition of Dear Someone by Gillian Welch.

Assignment for next week

Listen to, and sing along with the 3rd part to Nowhere Man! We’ll be putting all 3 together next class, so try to familiarize yourself with it.

How to Practice this at home

Repetition is your friend. Listen to each part carefully and sing along with it until you feel really comfortable. Try singing the Alto part along with the Lead vocal and the Lead vocal along with the Alto (like we did in class). Try to be diligent with this so we can launch into adding the Soprano line in next week!

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Maryruth BarnettComment
Voice Intermediate: Week #4

Week #4

By this time, we’ve covered a lot of new stuff; new warm-ups, styles of singing, repertoire, and …Theory! (cue eerie, ominous music). You are all doing great. At this point, we will begin to spend most of our time working on our recital pieces and continuing to apply small doses of theory and harmony to our lessons as we go.

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: breathing exercises, Scales, and a song of your choice!

  • Scale: C Major scale and D minor scale, using solfege. Start at middle C and climb up one octave, then go back to middle C and climb down one octave (as low as you can go). Do the same for D minor.

  • Technique: hearing and singing a minor scale, round singing.

  • Repertoire: Peace To Come (traditional shape-note round), Nowhere Man

  • Additional Studies:

    Listening: “Hangman”, by Jean Ritchie

    “Never Leave Harlan Alive”, by Patty Loveless


Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

Today we worked on singing through the Re minor scale (D minor), aiming to be able to hear the differences and understand what “natural” notes are. (*Think white keys on the piano…no sharps or flats).

We through the Lead and Alto parts of Nowhere Man, trying to put them together in preparation for adding the 3rd part. We briefly talked about the concept of the minor IV chord, briefly circling back on our discussion about harmony, chords, and function of chords in music.

We began learning a traditional Shape-note round called Peace To Come (originally “Babylon”, I’ve altered the words to make it a more contemporary version)

Assignment for next week

Continue to sing the the two parts to Nowhere Man, one against the other, getting very familiar with both parts interchangeably.

Sing through the individual parts of our new round, Peace to Come! Try as best as you can to play along on the keyboard if there are notes you’re confused about. Use the Link below (even if the worlds are slightly different) to sing along with…it’s in the same key as written!

How to Practice this at home

Begin as usual by warming up with a scale or other vocal warm-up we’ve gone over. Spend lots of time listening to the repertoire, then try singing the notes one at a time with a keyboard so you can get comfortable with the notes. Nice and slow and methodical is always helpful!

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Peace To Come

"Babylon” - Peace To Come as sang by Mountain Man (youtube)

Maryruth BarnettComment
Voice Intermediate: Week #3

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Major Scale arpeggios. (Remember, an ‘arpeggio’ is singing the 3 notes of a chord in succession: Do Mi Sol Mi Do.)

  • Scale: C major, D minor.

  • Technique: continued study of syncopation.

  • Repertoire: Nowhere Man, Lead and Alto. Bye Bye Blackbird

  • Additional Studies:

    • Intro to intervals, how they function in a chord.


Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

We began by warm-ups in the key of C, learning how to hear arpeggios as they travel through the chords within a single key (In the key of C ,the arpeggios would be: C major, d minor, e minor, F major, etc…). We sang through Nowhere Man and a new song, Bye Bye Blackbird.

Click here to access the Interval recognition guide as an introductory reference. This will be touched on much more next session.


Assignment for next week

Read through and be able to sing the first two parts to “Nowhere Man”. Sing one part along with the other, if you can.

Please access a virtual piano here to use as a tool to help you practice your intervals! Go through them and be able to sing

Below you’ll find a diagram of the C major Scale that includes the roman numeral system for describing chords. Remember that a triad (3-note chord) is made up of 3 notes that are built from a starting pitch and skip every other note in a scale. The C major chord is circled on the chart (C, E, and G). Can you figure out what notes are in a ii chord? Or a IV chord?

How to Practice this at home

As usual - make sure you’re well hydrated and in a comfortable sitting or standing position. Do some warms up’s, making sure your breathing is intentional and unstrained. For interval practice, use a virtual piano of keyboard if you have one to play a C note, then try practicing singing other scale degrees (notes of the scale, based on a number system 1-8). Sing at least 15 minutes a day, going through any of the material we covered so far, including anything else you’d like to sing! Sing along with recordings to ensure that you’re matching pitch.


Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Nowhere Man Alto (pdf)

Nowhere Man Lead (pdf)

C Scale with Roman Numerals

Maryruth BarnettComment
Voice Intermediate: Week #2

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Slide from G - C (scale degree 5 - scale degree 1) using “Ming-Ahh”, moving down chromatically. Major triad arpeggios, moving up chromatically (from last week).

  • Technique: Circle songs - building improvisations as a group. Continue working on breath control and pitch accuracy.

  • Repertoire: Nowhere Man (lead vocal melody)

  • Additional Studies: What are chords? How are they built?


Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

We began class with warm-ups, leading into Circle Songs, a way of developing songs together using techniques of improvising and being able to sing a repeating line while other lines are added. We went on to learn about how chords (triads) are built using the C major scale and the concept of Scale Degree; we then talked about chord progressions, focusing in on the common progressions I, IV, V (remember what this means?) and ii, V, I. Finally, we sang through the lead melody of “Nowhere Man”.


Assignment for next week

Come to class being able to comfortably sing Part 1 and 2 of “Nowhere Man”. Continue to sing along to “Paper Moon” and try to catch some of Nat King Cole’s phrasing.

How to Practice this at home

Begin with your warm-ups listed above. Remember to always relax! As counter intuitive as it sounds, the more relaxed you are, the more easily tough notes can be sung. Make sure that you are breathing properly and deliberately.


Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

Nowhere Man (soprano)
Chord Progressions in C Major

Paper Moon (youtube)

Maryruth BarnettComment
Voice Intermediate: Week #1

Week #1


Welcome back, everyone!

List of Goals for the week:

  • Warm Up: Begin with your regular breathing exercises and include our new exercises - C major arpeggios on the syllable “Doo”.

  • Scale: C Major using Solfege

  • Technique: Arpeggiating C, E, and G, and being able to find any of the first 6 notes of the C major scale on their own, using only Do as a reference.

  • Repertoire: Paper Moon (Nat King Cole)

  • Additional Studies: Construction of a triad (a three-note chord), and how this relates to singing in harmony as we continue to visualize harmony singing in notation.


Paragraph summary of what was covered in class

We began by singing through a little bit of “Paper Moon” by Nat King Cole. We then moved onto learning some new warm ups and arpeggios derived from the C major scale. Through this, we used the notation of the C scale as a visual aid to help us understand about construction of the triad, the 3 notes that make up a chord. We worked on arpeggio warm-ups using different syllables.

Assignment for next week

Be able to sing comfortably through an arpeggio that moves chromatically up the scale. Read through and sing the first two verses of the lead vocal part for “Nowhere Man”.

How to Practice this at home

Listen to the piano recording attached and sing along. Make sure to use good breathing technique between phrases.

Charts + Sheet Music + Diagrams

NOWHERE MAN (LEAD VOCAL)

Maryruth BarnettComment