Auditions for Class Voice or Voice Lessons

If you are interested in registering for either Class Voice (weekly, 5 students, 75 minutes) or Voice Lessons (weekly, individual, 60 minutes), you will need to sing for the faculty in order to receive a registration PIN. The two days of voice auditions occur during the first 3 days of classes each semester; see actual dates at Duke Music auditions.

1.  Sign up for an audition on the bulletin board beside 075 Biddle.
2.  Fill out a Voice Audition Information Form on both sides to turn in before your audition (available on the 075 bulletin board).
3.  Bring music for the accompanist to play your song, necessary because you will be singing with piano accompaniment in your lesson or class. Check for scores in the Music Library or go to musicnotes.com to buy/download the music you need.  We prefer to hear something simple with piano accompaniment. 
4.  Auditions are in 075 Biddle. 
5.  You will be notified
 of audition results in 48 hours.  Instructors will provide your lesson time and registration permission (PIN).  Please register before your first lesson or class.

FEES The semester fee for MUS 101-2 Class Voice and MUS 208 Voice Lessons will be added to the student account by the Bursar.  Fees are non-refundable after drop/add ends, as specified by the University.  Fees are waived for music majors; International students may be eligible for waiver or aid; financial aid does cover voice class or lesson fees.  Graduate students must work out registration and fees with your graduate office.

Fall 2020 Practice Room Guidelines and Protocols

MUS 101-2 VOICE CLASS (GROUP of 5) Quarter course.  Graduate level MUS 502-2.
Weekly, 75-minute group lessons focused on basic technique for voice in a master class setting, accompanist provided. Students will perform song literature appropriate to the individual skill level. Instructor consent required.

MUS 208 VOICE LESSONS (INDIVIDUAL) Half course. Graduate level MUS 608.
Weekly, 60-minute individual private instruction for undergraduate students of varying levels, accompanist provided. Instructor consent required. 

    **If you entered Duke Fall 2019 or after, please note this new curriculum requirement. Students who are taking individual applied music lessons in the Music Department are required to take two academic music courses under the following circumstances:

  • Students have to complete one academic course (1 course credit) by the end of the fifth semester of lessons. 
  • Students have to complete the second academic course (1 course credit) by the end of the seventh semester of lessons. 
  • Students who take lessons on multiple instruments or who switch between instruments will only have to complete the requirement once. The requirement does not double.

MUS 115S VOCAL DICTION Half course. Graduate level MUS 515S. (Prerequisite for MUS 401)
Introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) with a focus on diction for singing in English, Italian, French and German.  Students will be required to sing in class.  This is a time-saver for anyone taking lessons.  You are highly encouraged to take this course at your earliest opportunity.  Only offered in the fall.

MUSIC MINOR A minimum of 5.5 course credits are required for the Minor.
MUSIC MAJOR in performance
Pathways to Music Major
Graduating with Distinction


Sandra Cotton
Susan Dunn
Ted Federle
Penelope Jensen
Elizabeth Linnartz

Performing Opportunities

Studio Voice Class. At the discretion of the instructor, MUSIC 208 and MUSIC 401 students may be asked to attend performance classes where students sing for each other. The instructor works with students for the benefit of the class.
Combined Studio Voice Class. On several Tuesdays of the semester these classes will be held from 5:00-6:00 PM in Bone Hall (058 Biddle). MUSIC 208 and MUSIC 401 students are required to perform in Combined Studio Voice Class each semester.

MUS 401 RECITAL Advanced Study in Music Performance. One course.  ALP
Open only to sophomores, juniors, and seniors possessing an exceptional technical and interpretative command of a musical medium. Requires either a half-length recital at the end of each semester of study or a full-length recital at the end of the second semester. In the latter case, a brief performance before a jury of music department faculty is required at the end of the first semester. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: previous registration in private instruction in applied voice at Duke, audition, consent of instructor, and completion of or concurrent enrollment in Music 115S. Instructor consent required. 

MUS 213.1 OPERA THEATER.  Half course. Graduate level 613.1.
Duke Opera Theater aims to educate and introduce Duke students to opera through a wide variety of performance opportunities, including staged scenes, complete operas, concerts of operatic literature, revues of classic Broadway, material from the Great American Songbook, and collaboration with the Duke Jazz Ensemble in staged Swing programs.  Opera Theater alumni have gone on to pursue careers in music, teaching and performing in the U.S. and around the world.  Instructor consent required. Contact Prof. David Heid to audition.       

Duke Symphony Orchestra Concerto Contest. The annual concerto contest auditions provide an opportunity for students to audition for and be selected to perform a concerted work with the Duke Symphony Orchestra. Audition dates are announced in the fall at least two months before the auditions. The winners’ performances occur in the spring semester. Contact the Orchestra Music Director or your instructor for further details.

Choral Music. See the Music Department webpage for information on the Duke Chorale. See the Duke Chapel Music website for information on the Duke Chapel Choir, Vespers Ensemble, and Evensong Singers.

Jazz.  Contact Dr. John Brown to audition for the Duke Jazz Ensemble or Duke Jazz Combos.

Other Resources

PRACTICE ROOMS  The Department of Music is housed in Mary Duke Biddle Music Building, which provides 20 practice rooms with grand pianos.  On West Campus, 8 practice rooms are located on the third floor of McClendon Tower, accessible to students with a Duke ID.

VOICENOTES  Anyone at Duke may sign up for the VoiceNotes listserv to be notified of performances, tickets, rides and events of interest to singers.  Voice students will receive important announcements via this newslist.  You may sign up using your @duke.edu preferred email address at https://lists.duke.edu/sympa/subscribe/voicenotes.

DUKE MUSIC LIBRARY on the upper floor of Biddle Music Building holds printed vocal music of all genres, as well as online databases of songs and performances, and many recordings in various media.  

SUMMER FUNDING FOR ARTS PROGRAMS & PROJECTS  The Benenson Award has funded voice students attending summer voice programs abroad or in the United States, as well as a project to provide music to dementia patients in a Durham nursing home.

DUKE VOICE CARE CENTER A clinic in Duke Hospital on West Campus, the Duke Voice Care Center combines the expertise of a team of health care professionals and voice specialists to determine the cause of your voice problem and develop an integrated plan to improve your voice. If you are experiencing laryngitis, hoarseness, or other voice-related problems and want to see a doctor, talk to your Duke voice instructor or call (919) 681-4984 for an appointment.  Be sure to explain that you are a singer.