Vocal Music Program

Find your voice! The Vocal Music program at Westinghouse Arts Academy provides students the opportunity to develop their singing talent in a nurturing and supportive environment. We pledge an uncompromising commitment to quality music instruction and versatile performance while encouraging self-expression and a dedication to the success of the individual as well as the department. Students will find that by the end of their four years at Westinghouse Arts Academy, they will be armed with marketable skills that will bring them success in the music industry and beyond!

In the Vocal Music program, students spend the first two years at Westinghouse Arts Academy learning about the voice, building healthy singing techniques, and practicing musicianship and collaboration. Students can expect to be in the Vocal Ensemble, a class that works on voice building through singing a variety of choral styles in unison and multipart sections. Vocal music students will also take introductory courses that cover music theory, ear training, and music history.

With the basics in hand, Vocal Music upperclassmen are ready to dive deeper into both the voice and music as a whole. Students can begin to take more advanced courses analyzing and practicing modern techniques on instruments such as piano and guitar, exploring computer music and recording technology, and experimenting with songwriting and composition. Students can expect to continue in Vocal Ensemble but also have the opportunity to participate in Vocal Repertoire and Performance Practice, a class that provides individualized vocal instruction in a masterclass-like setting. Here students can cultivate their personal singing style, working toward solo and small group performance.

Learning Objectives

  • To apply healthy and stylistically appropriate vocal production techniques to the choral and solo singing art forms.
  • To apply the ability to appropriately project the combination of elements required for exemplary singing through the rehearsal and performance of experience-appropriate solo, unison, and multi-part literature.
  • To demonstrate an increased level of mastery of music literacy skills.
  • To recognize and analyze more complex musical forms.
  • To continue to develop an appreciation of music of many styles, periods, and cultures by identifying and demonstrating the characteristics and interpretive elements of each being studied.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the skills needed to compose and arrange music.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the skills necessary to improvise melodies, variations, and accompaniments.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between music and the other arts disciplines.
  • To demonstrate critical listening skills in rehearsal and performance as well as in the performance of others.
  • To evaluate performances and demonstrate the skills needed to discern the quality of a performance.
  • To provide extensive opportunities for the enjoyment of active music-making through participation and public performances.
  • To demonstrate individual responsibility to the Performing Arts Department and Westinghouse Arts Academy as an organization through the understanding of the components of a successful performance and participation in a variety of leadership opportunities.
  • To have a comprehensive understanding of the possibilities and opportunities provided to continue to sing throughout life.

Artistic Expectations

All Students will be expected to follow the policies and procedures in our Student Handbook and Performing Arts Handbook, create a respectful and positive learning community, and practice professional musicianship.

Students in Vocal Ensemble and Vocal Repertoire classes can expect to participate in approximately 4 to 6 graded after-school performances per school year.

The Performing Arts Department holds a monthly Studio Class where all Performing Arts students present what they are working on in their disciplinary classes. Vocal Repertoire students can expect to perform at least once per year, and Vocal Ensemble students can expect to perform at the director’s discretion.

Students will also have other opportunities to perform at Westinghouse and the surrounding community with events such as masterclasses, open mic nights, choral festivals, service projects, and fundraisers.

Audition Requirements

Send a video file of your audition, described below, as an attachment to an email, or link to a video on YouTube or a similar platform. Make sure permissions enable anyone with the link or file to watch it.

  • Memorize and sing one song. Your song should showcase various aspects of your voice or style. For example: uptempo, ballad, classical, contemporary, pop or Broadway.
  • Your lyrics must be memorized, and be 2-3 minutes in length.
  • Recorded accompaniment will be accepted at this time. (We have a live accompanist for classes, and also for in-person auditions).

You will also submit answers to a series of questions in writing or a video. 

Required Courses

  • Music Literacy I & II
  • Choir
  • Intro to Piano
  • (1) Introductory Dance Class
  • Show Choir OR Applied Voice
  • Advanced Harmony & Collaboration
  • Songwriting & Music Technology

Vocal Opportunities & Events

2023-2024 Vocal Music Performances
Fall Concert – Instrumental and Vocal students showcased
Spring Concert – Instrumental and Vocal students showcased

Additional Performance Opportunities

  • Masterclasses
  • Monthly Performing Arts Dept. Studio Class
  • Open Mic Nights
  • Service Projects
  • Fundraisers

Clubs Service Organizations

Tri-M Music Society

 A Tri-M Music Honor Society chapter opens up a world of opportunities for students who have already shown themselves to be academically capable and musically gifted. Through performance and community service, they’ll develop confidence, creativity, critical thinking, compassion, and a host of other leadership skills sure to serve them well throughout their life.

Vocal Music Faculty

Jacob Berger

Mx. Jacob Berger graduated summa cum laude from Carnegie Mellon University in 2022 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Music Performance as well as a k-12 music education certification. Mx. B has been studying and teaching voice in the Pittsburgh Area for almost 6 years now and is extremely grateful to be able to share their knowledge with the students of Westinghouse Arts Academy. In the classroom, Mx. B seeks to foster a welcoming and loving learning environment for all students, with a focus on bringing out the inherent musicality that lives within each person’s body. Their teaching takes a full-body kinesthetic approach to musicking and places emphasis on natural gestures and authentic sounds. At Westinghouse, you will find Mx. B teaching courses in vocal music, piano, electronic music production, and more!

Want to learn more, enroll or schedule a tour?