The Vocal Jazz Department of JIB is designed to prepare students to be outstanding professional singer/musicians who will take their place in the world of contemporary Jazz. Our goal is to form well-rounded vocal artists with an individual repertoire and their own musical vision. An emphasis on vocal technique ensures that students will be prepared to handle any vocal challenge they encounter. They will work to develop emotional expression and stage presence in Presentation classes, learn movement and the physical expression of rhythm in Dance classes, and become adept improvisors through work in voice lessons and in ensembles. They will have the opportunity to sing in vocal groups that focus on free improvisation, traditional vocal jazz repertoire and/or acapella arrangements. The repertoire studied will cover a wide range of contemporary music including : Jazz Standards, Blues, Brazilian, Modern Jazz and Pop tunes, as well as original compositions.
Prof. Judy Niemack-Prins: Main Subject Voice (technique, jazz repertoire, improvisation), Vocal Ensembles, Choir
Prof. Eleanor Forbes: technique, classical and Broadway repertoire
Annette Goeres: Vocal Therapy, Stage performing
Christian Steyer: Stage performing
Head of Department:
Prof. Judy Niemack-Prins
go to the teachers of this department
Main Subject Voice
Main Subject Voice is at the heart of the JIB curriculum. Working one-on-one with a teacher, the student will build on his or her previous knowledge to achieve a practical understanding of the jazz language. In private lessons, students will focus on vocal technique (breath management, resonance, articulation, placement, register balancing, etc.), improvisation, and, with guidance from their teacher, will prepare a personal repertoire of jazz standards, original compositions and songs from various other genres.
JIB JAZZ VOICES : Vocal Quintet or Octet performing arrangements by: Manhattan Transfer, New York Voices, Michele Wier, Phil Mattson, Take 6, etc.
JIB VOCAL SUMMIT : Exploration of original compositions by Jay Clayton, Kirk Nurock, Judy Niemack, and others, emphasizing free improvisation and highly improvised compositons.
SIGHT-SINGING/ EAR TRAINING: For those who need the support of a classroom situation to raise their level of sight-reading or ear-training, group lessons will be taught, using Judy Niemack’s „Hear It and Sing It!“ and Mike Campbell’s „Sight singing: the complete method for singers“, and various other methods.
This class is required of and open to all JIB students, and will focus on singing repertoire arranged for SATB Voices. Basic vocal techniques will be taught, including how to warm-up, breath management, resonance, blend, and intonation, and students will work on improving sight-reading, vocal improvisation and ensemble singing.
In Presentation class students will learn how to give a meaningfull and authentic performance. The class will focus on awareness of self, space, the other musicians, and the relationship of the performer to the audience, with a goal of creating a powerful performance experience.
Presentation classes for singers will focus on:
1. Physiological aspects of singing, breathing, and speech technique.
2. Interpretation of songs, texts and lyrics
3. The inner source of an authentic presentation.
4. Basic stage craft, lighting and staging
5. Communication with the audience (announcements and/or speaking as part of performance).
Group presentation classes for instrumentalists will adapt this focus according to the needs of the participants.
Phoniatric basis of singing
The subject Vocal Physiology gives the student insight into the anatomy and physiology of the vocal organs and the structures involved in the interaction of the breathing mechanism, the larynx and the vocal tract. In addition, topics to be covered in more detail include the evolution of the human voice, structure and function of the hearing organs, similarities and differences between speaking and singing, vocal registers, the development of different vocal genres and styles, vocal ailments in singers and an introduction to the most important therapeutic practices. Knowledge in these areas facilitates more awareness in the teaching of singing, whether one-on-one, in groups or in choral work.