From Steve Sieck, voice department chair

Welcome entering voice students. In case some of you are wondering about studio placement in the fall, here's the process.

Entry Audition

We rehear all entering majors and anyone else wanting to begin voice study at Lawrence on Wednesday during Welcome Week.  Please be prepared with one song or aria that shows your ability. We are most interested in evaluating your current vocal health and technique, your musicality, and your communicative ability. We will supply an accompanist, but it would be prudent to choose music that can be comfortably performed without a rehearsal.  Be sure to bring a copy of the music for the accompanist.

Studio Placement

First you should know that if we have admitted you to the conservatory as voice majors, any of us would be pleased to teach you.  (Non-majors will be placed on a competitive, space-available basis.) Furthermore, you will have some course work from each of us and can therefore take advantage of the strengths of all. However, for obvious reasons, we have to divide you up among the studios, and in all likelihood only one of us will be your primary voice teacher for your study here.

If you feel you know enough about us to make a studio request (typically on the basis of a teacher recommendation, an alumni connection, some other reliable access to reputation, lesson observations, etc.), please do so as soon as possible, preferably before you arrive in the fall, but in any case before the placement audition. Trying to interview whatever students you can find your first few days here is not a good way to choose your teacher for the next four years, so we discourage that approach. While we cannot guarantee placement, we are usually able to honor such requests. We can promise excellent instruction for everyone. The best way to let us know about a studio request is by letter or e-mail to the department chair (Dr. Sieck) and to the teacher being requested.

If you do not know enough about us to make an informed choice, you needn’t be concerned. (Typically fewer than half make requests.) The voice faculty will determine from your singing and interview the students for whom we feel best suited. We make selections in a "round robin" process after the entry audition.  With either process (your studio request or our selection of you), the vast majority of students establish a healthy, productive working relationship with their new teacher here. If the relationship is not sufficiently productive, after honest but unsuccessful attempts to make it so, we work to facilitate a switch to another studio. Our objective is for everyone to succeed and improve.


Please read the other materials sent to you about music theory, keyboard skills, freshman studies, etc., and do your best to take advantage of the advice offered.  In that way you will come to Lawrence in the fall well prepared to begin your degree work here.  Hard work early on pays big dividends toward your success and enjoyment of this first year.  We are excited to welcome you to campus and begin our work together!  If you have other questions, don't hesitate to write to me at: Be sure to check the choir, opera, musical audition info as well.