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.

Click to meet our Vocal Music instructors >>>

What to Expect

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/Portfolio Requirements:

In Person Audition

1. Prepare 1 memorized 2-5 minute song that showcases various aspects of your voice or style. For example: uptempo, ballad, classical, pop, or Broadway.
2. Perform your song for your evaluator. Please bring sheet music in the key you will sing in or a recording to sing along with. An accompanist or a sound system will be provided.
3. Your evaluator will go through some vocal exercises with you.
4. Expect to have a short interview with your evaluator to discuss your goals as a student and vocalist at Westinghouse Arts Academy.

Online Audition

1. Prepare 1 memorized 2-5 minute song that showcases various aspects of your voice or style. For example: uptempo, ballad, classical, pop, or Broadway.
2. Record your song landscape style in a well-lit room and a plain wall behind you. You should perform with some type of accompaniment, either a piano, guitar, or a backing track, to enhance your performance. See below for an example.
3. Send your recording to ____________ and schedule a Zoom interview with your evaluator.
4. Complete a short interview with your evaluator to discuss your recording and your goals as a student and vocalist at Westinghouse Arts Academy.


2022-2023 Vocal Music Performances
Fall Concert – Instrumental and Vocal students showcased
Holiday Spectacular – Vocal Ensemble set and auditioned solos as time permits Spring Concert – Instrumental and Vocal students showcased

Additional Performance Opportunities
Westinghouse Arts Academy Gala
Monthly Performing Arts Department Studio Class Open Mic Nights
Service Projects


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.

Course Instructors

Anna Very

412-646-1718 Ext. 7034

Anna Very graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education. Certified in K-12 Music Education, Miss Very has taught in both middle and high school settings in North Carolina, American Sāmoa, and north central Pennsylvania. She has taught a variety of music courses, directed multiple musicals, and coached students all the way to state festivals. She also serves as the staff director for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp, a summer camp that provides students from all over the world with an opportunity to work on their chosen art with leading professionals in their field. At Westinghouse, she has dedicated her time to creating a strong vocal program with core values focusing on community, positive and safe spaces, innovative musicianship, and a commitment to excellence.

Required Courses

Vocal Ensemble

There is no better place to hone your voice! This class works to build vocal technique in both classical and contemporary choral styles, personal musicianship, and professionalism in a positive and inclusive environment that fosters a community mindset (4 years)

Vocal Repertoire and Performance Practice

Become a standout singer! Students engage in solo and small group singing performance, working on style acquisition and individuality, furthering professional musicianship and collaboration, practicing meaningful feedback, and any related college/career readiness (2 years for upperclassmen)

Music Literacy

A combination of fundamental skills such as music theory, reading notation, ear training, and sight singing (2 years)

Music History

Hstory course that explores the intersection of music’s influence on world events and world events’ influence on music (1 year)

Introduction to Piano

Learn healthy piano technique, note reading, chord and lead sheet reading, beginning improvisation, and basic accompaniment (1 semester)

20th and 21st Century Techniques

Higher level music literacy, applied piano, guitar, ukulele, computer, and recording music (1 semester)

Songwriting, Composition, and Analysis

Continuation of applied piano, guitar, ukulele, computer and recording music with composition element (1 semester)

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