Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Noemi Lugo


Finding appropriate and unique repertoire for the developing singer is a daunting task and ongoing challenge in the teaching profession. There are limited resources to help guide teachers in selecting varied, yet suitable repertoire that falls outside of the standard Western European musical canon. The early years, ages 17–21, are crucial to establishing a healthy and well-rounded vocal approach to singing, while also introducing the student to a wide variety of music. African-American art song is a great option for developing singers. Repertoire should allow a student to grow musically, vocally, and artistically according to the singer’s specific stage of learning and interests. Selecting repertoire through established criteria that considers the student’s personal and cultural interests (in addition to pedagogical needs) allows for a good foundation to support a healthy vocal development.

Consideration of numerous elements, such as historical, musical, physical, emotional, and vocal characteristics offers a framework for a comprehensive approach in the selection process. In Literature for Teaching: A Guide for Choosing Solo Vocal Repertoire from a Developmental Perspective, Christopher Arneson provides a wonderful base for further study, and application into repertoire selection. Through the utilization of Arneson’s suggestions, I have created a rubric that quantifies key criteria important to the evaluation of repertoire. Through this rubric, a clear evaluation and assigned difficulty level is provided for each song in the collection.

This compilation of songs is only the beginning to a proposed anthology entitled: African-American Art Song for the Developing Singer. Each song offers a historical and pedagogical summary that includes the following: composer and poet biographies, text and translations, basic form, original key and other keys available, performance notes, range, tessitura, suggested voice type, tempo suggestions, difficulty level, and other available editions. This unique anthology of African-American art song offers teachers with a resource that evaluates appropriate repertoire for developing singers, between the ages of 17–21, that is clearly accessible.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)