• Solo/Ensemble Analysis Requirement


    Below is a list of things to do to prepare for solo/ensemble. 

    All items starred (*) should be done/answered and handed in to Mr. Gephart by January21. 

    All of this material should be done for EVERY PIECE YOU ARE PERFORMING.


    You are responsible to know your music by the end of 1st semester.  You will have until then to either sing it for Mr. Gephart or to video record yourself singing it.  


    Practice Copy Preparation - The practice copy is your most important tool, mark it, highlight it, be neat, notice everything written in the score 

                    *1.  Write solfege and rhythms into your music


                    *2.  Analyze and highlight the articulation and dynamics

    o    Accents

    o    Staccato

    o    Tenuto

    o    Dynamics - words and symbols

    o    Tempo markings

    o    Music terms - highlight and define

    o    Repeat markings

    o    Breath marks


    More Music Preparation - How is the music put together, what can you notice that will help you to learn it more easily?  Look for patterns. 

                    *3.  Form

    o    Look for large repeating sections and label (ABA,  AAAA,  ABAB,  ABCA, etc)

    o    Example - The A section is measures 1-24, this repeats again in measures 36-60, the B section is measures 25-35

    o    Look for repeating rhythms or melodic patterns, write these out

    *4.  Accompaniment - Look at and listen to the piano part, what role does this play in your song?

    *4a.  Where do you feel the climax of the music is?  Is there more than one?  How do you feel the music leads up to  

            this point?



    Text Analysis - Communicating the text is one of the most important jobs one has as a performer  

                    *5.  Write out the text separately and answer the following questions

    o    Who are you?

    o    Who are you singing to?

    o    What are you saying?

    o    Why are you saying it?

    o    Where are you?

    o    How does it make you feel?  

    o    What should your audience get out of this song?  

    *5a  Highlight important words/syllables within the text, mark where you feel the climax of the text is.


    *5b.  Translations - If song is in a foreign language you must do a word for word translation, DO NOT rely on the

            translation found in the score.

    o    Language teachers

    o    Internet

    o    Resources in music

    o    Friends







    Putting it all together - How do the text and the music work together and influence each other?

    *6.  After studying the music and the text, talk about how the music enhances the text.  Think about all of the things  

           you have previously written.   (Key, dynamics, form, accompaniment, articulation in relation to text)


    *7  How should what you have found influence your performance?

    o    Musically

    o    Diction

    o    Visually  

    o    For musical theatre, write down the costuming, props, etc. you will use in your performance

    Composer/Historical analysis - Many resources on line or in libraries

                    *8.  Composer

    o    Dates

    o    Where from?

    o    Style

    o    Important contributions


    *9.  Genre

    o    Folk Song

    o    Aria (from Opera or Oratorio)

    o    Art Song

    o    Spiritual



                    *10.  Write an introduction to your performance.  The form of this introduction should be:


                    "Hello, My name is (our names are) __________from Port Washington High School, my (our)                                                       accompanist today will be__________.  I (We) will be singing  (Title of song) by (composer and lyricist). 


    During the next section of your introduction, you should talk about the following if applicable.


                                                    a) if in a foreign language give a brief translation

                                                    b) If a part of a larger work, put the piece in context. (set the scene)


                    Begin the last portion of your introduction with something like the following:                      


                                                                    "One thing that I find interesting about this song is..."

                                                                    "Something to listen for as I'm singing is..."


    In this section avoid the word "like".  Also, try to be very specific, you have done  a lot of work on this piece, sound like it.  Really give the audience something to listen for.  YOU ARE THE EXPERT ON THIS PIECE!!!  let your introduction show that.  Don't just talk about the text by itself, if you mention the text, explain what the music does to bring it to life, or something else that ties it to the piece as a whole.


    For musical theater selections I would switch the order of the second two sections, so that your "setting the scene" leads directly into your performance. You must give the context of the song in the musical as well as some character  analysis in your introduction.





    How to practice your piece

                    *11.  Develop an action plan to work on your piece from this time to solo/ensemble.                                                         

            Address the following in your plan:

    o    what parts do you need  to work on?

    o    Are you getting a learning CD?

    o    what singing techniques do you need to work on?

    o    how are you going to practice?

    o    when will you get together with you accompanist?

    o    when are you going to have the piece memorized?

    o    how will you practice performing  the piece?


    12.  Practice with solfeg


    13.  Practice with rhythm counting

                    14.  Practice singing the piece on a neutral syllable (la, loo, bum, etc.)

                                    how can you vary it to make the music interesting?   (mark this in your music)

                                    have someone listen to you, are you really doing what you are trying to do?

                    15.  Identify and practice the difficult vocal passages, problem solve and ask for help

                    16.  Learn piece one phrase at a time - don't just keep singing the entire song

                    17.  For ensembles - LEARN INDIVIDUAL PARTS BEFORE GETTING TOGETHER!!!


                    18.  Practice piece for others, let them give you feedback!


                    19.  Let Mr.Gephart  help you!


                    20.  Practice a little bit, often. 15-20 minutes a day will get you a long way!


                    21.  Keep a record of your practice.  I have included a practice log for you to keep.