The School of Theatre at Penn State launched an MFA in Voice Pedagogy for Musical Theatre in 2011, the first ever of its kind in a university setting. The program joins an expanding cohort of graduate degrees in theatre and musical theatre and interacts dynamically with our undergraduate BFA in Musical Theatre.
The MFA in Musical Theatre Voice Pedagogy is a three year course of study and offers a unique kind of teacher training designed to prepare voice teachers to meet the demands of 21st century musical theatre singing while still honoring our rich vocal heritage. It is a terminal degree consisting of 60 credit hours shared between music and theatre and includes weekly classical and musical theatre voice lessons, sequential pedagogy classes, supervised studio teaching, acting, theatre voice, speech and movement classes, the repertoire and history of musical theatre and opera and private piano. During the summer after the first year of study, all graduate students attend a 5-week intensive in London, seeing shows and taking classes. Additional international study is supported and encouraged. There are also ample opportunities to perform in both our musicals and our operas.
The individual paths leading to the MFA will vary and be tailored to each student according to experience and aptitude. Our first graduate, finishing her degree Spring 2013, was Christy Turnbow. Christy is now on the musical theatre voice faculty at Montclair State University in New Jersey. In the fall of 2014, she served on Penn State’s musical theatre voice faculty as a sabbatical replacement.
Our most recent graduate, Jared Trudeau teaches at CAP 21 Conservatory and in his private studio in NYC. Next year's graduates, Carrie (CJ) Greer, and Don Marrazzo, are extremely promising young pedagogues with bright futures ahead of them.
There is no tuition for the program. All graduate students receive a half-time (20 hours per week) assistantship with a stipend. Part of every assistantship includes teaching BA Theatre majors.
Visit our School of Theatre page for information on the application process.