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Voice & Opera at CE

Private Lessons | Vocal Pedagogy | Skills Classes | Vocal Chamber Music
Opera & Musical Theatre

Welcome to the SCE Voice Program

NEC's reputation for fine performance is legendary.  So it is no surprise that many adult learners question whether they "measure up" to study with us.  To all of these singers I say "Welcome to the NEC School of Continuing Education"!

With the advent of critical discoveries in voice science, training that was once reserved only for the "talented few" now serves the broader community of singers, allowing us to effectively address the deficits of the amateur, and continue to sharpen the skills of the professional.

Starting with the initial interview at NEC, fundamental skill sets are carefully scrutinized and training is begun.  Core skills relating to effective tone production, dynamic control, and range development form the bedrock of the singer's training.  Singers learn the critical tools to maintain vocal health and vigor, then through numerous courses and performance opportunities, explore diverse music styles, languages and musical challenges.

Whether you are a professional, semi-professional or amateur singer, we have the tools to help you take your performance to the next level.

Welcome to the SCE!


Mark Lee
Voice Department Chair

Masterclasses & Recitals

Students enrolled in private lessons at NEC are eligible to participate in voice workshops, masterclasses and numerous recitals.

Past events have featured a wide variety of performers, coaches and voice scientists. These trainings enrich the student experience, and encourage a fuller discourse with our own faculty about all aspects of the artistic experience.

SCE Voice Dept Events 17-18:

Department Recital: 10/28, 7pm Brown Hall
Chamber Collaborative Concert: 11/18, 8pm Brown Hall
Cristi Catt Workshop: 11/15, 8pm Pierce Hall
Department Recital: 12/10, 3pm Pierce Hall
Elizabeth Anker Workshop: 1/31, 8pm Pierce Hall
Department Recital: 3/17, 7pm Brown Hall
Jean Danton Workshop: 4/4, 8pm Pierce Hall
Department Recital: 5/19, 7pm Pierce Hall

Private Lessons

Individualized voice lessons form the backbone of the Conservatory Model. Through one-on-one mentorship and coaching, students explore both traditional and modern technical strategies and diverse musical repertoire.

Beginning and Intermediate level singers

Following a Placement Audition/Interview with our Voice Chair, students are placed with a voice teacher who will serve as their guide, and who can help them establish a technical foundation and conquer their vocal challenges. (We recommend students consider their first lesson with their new teacher as a “Trial” lesson, and to fully discuss their personal goals for study, as well as any vocal challenges, to ensure that the placement is a good “fit”.) CURRENT FACULTY

Professional / Pre-professional Singers

For the more experienced, SCE Voice provides Individualized Skill Assessments. Whether a singer seeks an independent evaluation of their skill sets as a benchmark for their continued work, or needs help targeting a specific technical issue, an Individualized Assessment is an important new option for the Professional singer. Following assessment, singers are provided with clear, objective feedback about their current skill set. Where desired, this may be followed with targeted training to address any specific deficits identified. The important distinction—training is not based upon “starting from scratch”, but simply targets the weak skill set and strives to integrate the solution into the singers current framework. Training sessions are scheduled as needed.

For more information, or to schedule a Placement Interview or a Professional Assessment, contact the Continuing Education Office at 617-585-1701 or

Vocal Pedagogy

Voice Pedagogy for the 21st Century: Systems of Vocal Production

Mark Lee, Instructor
Thurs 5:30-7:30pm
2 Credits: $1450
Non-credit: $980

Designed for Voice Teachers, Choral Directors, Voice Coaches, and any professional who trains singers in varied styles of musical performance, this course seeks to provide modern practitioners of the vocal arts with new and innovative teaching strategies. The content is based both upon successful traditional methods as well as new and emerging voice science paired with an understanding of body mechanics.
Singers are increasingly called upon to perform an ever wider range of repertoire in order to maintain a performance career. And this trend, while challenging for the performers themselves, is also a considerable challenge for the professionals who help them keep their voices healthy and strong. In addition to the wider variety of vocal effects being requested by directors, singers also need skills that allow them to perform effectively in both solo and choral contexts. To achieve these goals, singers must have access to timely and effective advice without the need to re-structure their entire technical foundation.

Voice Pedagogy for the 21st Century is designed to address the evolving needs of the active singer. Through extensive observation and discussion, coursework, and drawing upon resources in the areas of body mechanics, exercise physiology, phonology and acoustics, teachers explore innovative models for addressing new challenges—solutions that allow for targeted, specific interventions that do not require singers to “start from scratch” to accommodate a new genre or style.

Interview required prior to registration. SCE Voice may invite promising graduates of this course to participate in a year-long Teaching Internship at the SCE.

Contact for more information or to schedule an interview.

Skills Classes

Strong vocal skills are the foundation of all artistic singing, and include both a clear understanding of how the voice works and how to sing accurate rhythms and pitches. These Vocal Skills courses are designed to build specific skills and remove challenges that improve performance.

Body Mechanics and Awareness for Singers:
Yoga & Alexander Technique


Cristi Catt and Clara Sandler, Instructors
Wed 6:30-7:30pm

Fall and Spring Semesters
1 credits: $725
Non-credit: $490                                                                                                

This class will explore key concepts related to singers' needs in vocal production via two mind-body modalities: Yoga and Alexander Technique. The course will include presentations on the anatomy of the larynx and the breathing mechanisms; exploration of muscle coordination and strengthening of postural muscles; a yoga singer series developed by Catt; and Alexander Technique principles on coordination and integration. The mind-body modalities will be explored both in their unique ways and also in an integrated approach in order to provide building blocks and vocabulary on how the body works and to help participants identify and clear habitual tensions.
This class is for those seeking a foundation to compliment or prepare for vigorous musical training, Voice Teachers who would like to enhance their pedagogy training as well as Choral Conductors andVocal Coaches who would like to learn more about the mechanics of singing through these disciplines.  Instrumentalists  interested in this course should be open to singing, and will be able to bring their instruments when appropriate.
Email: or

Sight-Singing for Singers

Mark Lee, Instructor
Mon 7:00-8:30pm
1.5 Credits: $1075
Non-credit: $725

Singers who understand staff notation and can easily sing basic rhythms and find pitches on the keyboard are systematically taught to develop their sight-singing skills. Students are given regular drills in recognizing and singing all intervals. They also become fluent with all key signatures, learning to sight-sing accurately in all major and minor keys. Students are expected to attend class regularly and spend two to three hours a week with out of class preparation.

Bach Arias for Singers & Instrumentalists


Elizabeth Anker, Instructor
Wednesdays 7:30 - 8:30 pm
1 credit: $725
Non-credit: $490

Begins: February 7th

This course explores the works of Johann Sebastian Bach through performance and study. Through coaching, rehearsals, presentations by the instructor, guests and students, listening, reading and writing assignments students will gain confidence in performance practice. In a master class format, students will learn issues of Baroque style, ornamentation, language and performance practice, with an emphasis on developing ensemble skills. There will be a performance at the end of the semester. Open to all singers, all strings and wind players (oboe, flute, recorder, bassoon, trumpet) and keyboard players who have an interest in organ and/or harpsichord.

Prerequisite for singers: Familiarity with singing German.

Opera & Musical Theatre

SCE Music Theatre Workshop


Mark Lee, Instructor
Mon 8:30-10:00pm
1.5 Credits: $1075
Non-credit: $725

This course focuses on the preparation and performance of works from Musical Theatre, from Gilbert & Sullivan through Stephen Sondheim, right up to the modern Broadway stage.  Repertoire includes solos, duets, trios and ensemble pieces.  Through in-class coaching and rehearsal, students explore essential concepts of voice production*, stage presentation and movement, and character development.  The course culminates in a public performance.  

*N.B.   Since much of the repertoire after 1960 involves some degree of "belt" technique, for students performing this literature this course includes careful technical training in achieving authentic belt quality while ensuring vocal health.

Students should be able to read music, and to learn their parts outside of class time.  Decisions relating to repertoire selections and the Final Performance are at the instructor's discretion.


Summer Session Continuing Education Opera Studio

Daniel Wyneken, Chair & Music Director
Janice Giampa, Stage Director

Participants: The School of Continuing Education Opera Studio offers an exciting opportunity for serious singers to receive operatic and stage training in the standard operatic repertoire. This three-week intensive program offers musical coaching and scene preparation, acting and movement, aria staging, and audition techniques, culminating in two public performances of opera scenes at New England Conservatory. Auditions: Will be held in May or by appointment. Two memorized arias are required. Contact Daniel Wyneken at 617-298-0269 for more information and an audition time. Please go to the Summer Session Opera Studio page for more details.