Welcome to Voice at Duke!  We offer both small group voice classes (MUS 101) and individual lessons (MUS 208).  Enrollment happens the first week of classes after you have auditioned for us.

Taking Voice Class

MUSIC 101-2 VOICE CLASS (5-student limit) Quarter course.
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.
*Please see below for information on the extra fee for this class and associated Financial Aid policy.

Registering for Voice Classes
Before registering for MUS 101-2 students must obtain a personal identification number (PIN that enables registration) by auditioning for faculty. If you might be interested in individual lessons, sign up for in-person MUS 208 auditions and you will be placed where we feel you will be most successful in either lessons or classes. Auditions for only Voice Class are held virtually during the week before the first day of class each semester. If you are placed in voice class, you will receive a permission number and you will register before Voice Class begins in the second week of classes.

Voice Class Auditions
Elizabeth.Linnartz@duke.edu about your interest in Voice Class. Two to three weeks before the start of the semester you will receive an email detailing the audition process. At this time you will be able to schedule an online audition, taking place on Zoom the day or two before FDOC (first day of classes). If you are placed in the class, you will receive a PIN to register by the end of the first week of class.

Taking Voice Lessons

Weekly, 60-minute individual private instruction for undergraduate students of varying levels, accompanist provided. Instructor consent required.
*Please see below for information on the extra fee for this class and associated Financial Aid policy.

Registering for Voice Lessons
Before registering for MUS 208 students must obtain a personal identification number (PIN that enables registration) by auditioning for the voice faculty.  If you receive placement in voice lessons, your professor will use your official class schedule to assign your voice lesson time between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Thursday. This complicated process involves the class schedules of professor, accompanist, and all students in the studio. You will receive a PIN to register by the end of the first week of classes.  Lessons begin the second week of classes.

Voice Lesson Auditions

  • Voice Auditions usually occur on the second day of classes.
  • SPRING 2024 Voice Auditions will take place in Baldwin Auditorium on East Campus on Thursday afternoon, January 11, 2024. 
  • Click here to sign up for SPRING 2024 voice auditions. Please be aware that you 1. fill out an Audition Information Form, 2. submit your official class schedule (screenshot), and 3. sign up for an audition time. 
  • Please sign up for the earliest audition time you can manage. 
  • You must bring sheet music for your song to the accompanist at your audition. We must hear you sing with piano.
  • Students who have symptoms of illness or who are traveling on audition day should contact Elizabeth.Linnartz@duke.edu.

The University charges an additional fee for class or private lessons, non-refundable after drop/add, and the current amount is always listed at https://music.duke.edu/lessons.


  • The private lesson fee (MUS 208) is waived for declared music majors.
  • “If you receive need-based grants from Duke in your financial aid, any fees associated with the courses you are taking and that are charged to your Bursar bill can be covered by financial aid.  We will automatically update your aid to cover the fees once the drop/add period for the term has ended.”  https://financialaid.duke.edu/forms-resources/faq/all-current-student-faqs#covers
  • International students should inquire about waiver or aid.
  • Graduate students must ask your department if they cover your fee. 


MUSIC 115 VOCAL DICTION Half course. (Prerequisite for MUSIC 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. **Fulfills Academic Music course policy.

**Policy Update: Effective Fall 2021, for all students who entered the program Fall 2020 or later

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.  **MUS 115 VOCAL DICTION does fulfill this requirement although it is a half-credit course.
  • 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.

Combined Studio Class
Held in Bone Hall (058 Biddle) from 5:00-6:00 p.m. on several Tuesdays of the semester, these classes are required attendance for students enrolled in MUSIC 208 and MUSIC 401, except when you have an official class conflict.  

Performing Opportunities

MUSIC 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. 

MUSIC 213.1 OPERA THEATER. Half course.
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 Prof. 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 15 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 here using your @duke.edu preferred email address.

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, many recordings in various media, and study aids for voice students.

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.