7724 IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) for Choirs


“If you articulate well, you will sing well.” The IPA provides a common method both for directors to communicate intended sounds to their choir, and for choir members to notate those sounds for later recall. This course will arm you with the necessary tools to use the IPA with your choirs. Different methods of teaching IPA symbols to choral students will be explored, and the impact this knowledge will have on both the individual singers and on the ensemble as a whole will be discussed. By teaching the IPA to your choral students, you too can consistently access the power of precise pronunciation, and elevate the quality of your choirs to the next level.

Instructor: Matthew Schlesinger

Schlesinger,_Matther_Headshot_Fa14Matthew Schlesinger holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Music Education from Western Illinois University, and a Masters Degree from Vandercook College of Music. He is proud to be the Choral Director at Hoffman Estates High School, and is formerly the Choral Director at Plainfield High School, Central Campus. Matthew also continues to perform around the Chicago area with groups such as the Chicago Symphony Chorus (where he has served AGMA union delegate, and has had the opportunity to solo with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in Berlioz's Romeo and Juliet and to cover the role of Cassio in Verdi's Otello), the Oriana Singers, Opera Potpourri and the Grant Park Symphony Chorus. A review by John von Rhein in the Chicago Tribune states that “Matthew Schlesinger wielded the ideal Monteverdi tenor: light, clear, technically solid and musically accomplished.” Even with all of these experiences, his greatest joy in life is spending time with his wife Melissa and two daughters.



MECA Online Course Details
VanderCook Online is powered by Schoology ( Through this learning management system, you'll be able to interact directly with your instructor, students in your classes, and members of the greater VanderCook Online community.

Fall 2020 MECA courses officially begin on Monday, Sept. 21. Soon after you register, you'll be added as a new Schoology user. Be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you are given credentials, simply visit to login. On the morning of Sept. 21, you'll have access to your classroom and course material.

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

You’ll have the opportunity to work at your own pace each week while completing assignments and posting responses to discussion questions. You’ll constantly be interacting with your instructor and classmates online, and working through new material each week. We know how crazy school schedules can get, so our instructors try to make everything as flexible as possible!

Online grades will be reported by mid-October. If you are in need of a transcript please visit the online transcript request page. If you are in need a quick turn around time for your transcript please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).

Click to Register for Fall MECA Courses

Course Information

7724 IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) for Choirs
3 graduate credits
Tuition: $930, due in full with registration.

VanderCook College of Music

3140 South Federal Street
Chicago, IL 60616-3731
(312) 225-6288

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