Communication and Media Studies 146

COMS 146: Media Performance

Credit Hours: (3) Three hours lecture/performance

Performance demonstrated and practiced through a variety of media in studio and field settings. Personal coaching provided on the basis of audio and video recordings, analysis and feedback.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course will focus on one narrow aspect of oral communication--the human voice and the formation of the specific sounds of our language. The course takes two distinctive paths. First, students will deal with the actual mechanics or skill of voice and speech production. Second, students will be given several opportunities to practice what they have learned through such activities as performing a television newscast, weathercast, and commercial. By combining the lecture with the performance, the student will be better able to speak more effectively after receiving instructor and peer criticism. Although this course will slant toward the broadcast industry, other students wishing just to improve their voice and articulation will benefit. The major areas of voice and diction which will be considered in this course are as follows:

1. Identifying the articulators
2. Respiration and responsiveness
3. Volume and variety
4. Timbre and tone
5. Timing and interpretation
6. Understanding the IPA symbols
7. Preparing for a career in broadcast news
8. Weather and sportscasting
9. Television and film acting
10. Sales delivery


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

This course will include lecture, demonstrations, and performance. The conduct of this course will be designed to make students more aware of their own voices thus making students active participants in their own learning.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

This course has both academic and performance goals. The goals are reflected in the lectures, discussions, and exercises conducted in the classroom.

  • On the theoretical level the student will learn how human sound is produced, how the vocal mechanism is structured and how that structure works.
  • Additionally, the student will learn how to gain more control over the final product--their own voice and speech sounds. With daily practice the voice will gain more strength and flexibility.
  • The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), a set of diacritical marks to use in improving articulation, will be learned.
  • This will allow the student the opportunity to learn how all the sounds of the English language are formed and some problems that occur in various formations. With help from the instructor, the student will have their own pronunciation habits evaluated and use media performance materials to approach proficiency in Standard American English and thereby acquire further communication competence.


Assessment Measures

Graded assignments will be used to assess student understanding of the materials covered in class.

(1) Midterm and final examinations will test student understanding of the principles of voice and diction.
(2) Video and audio taped performances will test students' abilities and understanding of the principles of the broadcast voice.


Other Course Information

Videotaped performances may utilize actual or make-shift props and sets to simulate the actual broadcast setting. Guidelines on how to prepare for that first job in the media will also be discussed.


Review and Approval

Joe Flickinger, Chair