Vocal Exercises For Choirs (Group Warm Ups And Rehearsal Tips)

choral <a href=vocal heat ups” width=”300″ top=”300″ srcset=”×300.png 300w,×150.png 150w,×768.png 768w,×100.png 100w, 800w” data-lazy-sizes=”(max-width: 300px) 100vw, 300px” src=”×300.png”/>Getting a whole choir to heat up collectively shouldn’t be all the time straightforward.

Most singers will need to warm-up on their very own and this could not essentially be discouraged.

However warming up collectively as a gaggle, along with any particular person warm-up workouts, is extremely useful.

When making a warm-up routine for a choir, it is very important enable the expressive, free voice to come back out.

Particularly with younger singers.

Usually, a wholesome voice will emerge naturally and it’s best to remain out of the best way and let that sound emerge.

My expertise with the workouts beneath is that they handle the dictum: do no hurt. The sound that I hear from this vocal process is obvious, in tune, free, and pleasing. Singers are inspired to sing individually with a sensitivity to the group sound.


Choral vocal Heat Ups

When warming up your choir, begin with the physique as an entire, then transfer on the the breath, the nostril and the vocal chords.


Heat Up The Physique

choir warm ups examples

Earlier than anything, you might want to put together the physique for singing. The next workouts accomplish this.

  • Stand quietly. Take a “solar breath.” As you inhale by means of the nostril (to the depend of 4) elevate your arms, maintaining shoulders comfortably relaxed. If you’ll be able to achieve this, contact your arms over your head. Exhale by means of your mouth to the depend of 4 whereas progressively decreasing your arms. Over time improve the depend to six after which 8. As you turn out to be comfy with the train, add a 4-count maintain on the high of the inhalation.
  • Gently shake your wrists. Flop your wrists in entrance of you. Shake your arms extra vigorously as if making an attempt to get water off them.
  • Roll your shoulders in a round method up and again.
  • Prolong one arm in entrance of your physique fingers pointed up. Pull gently to free the wrist. Level the fingers down. Pull gently to free the wrist. Repeat with the opposite arm. (Additionally good for conducting.)
  • Clasp your arms collectively behind your head. Gently pull down in your head whereas exhaling. (Warning: These with neck accidents, take care with this train or keep away from it fully.) Elevate your elbows and head whereas inhaling by means of the nostril. Repeat slowly 3-4 occasions.
  • Flip 90 levels to the proper, going through the again of your neighbor singer. Rub the shoulders of the individual in entrance of you. Flip round and repeat the method.
  • Lastly, stand quietly with arms relaxed at your sides. Take a full breath whereas bringing your arms overhead. Preserve shoulders comfortably down and relaxed. As you exhale, decrease your arms, maintaining sternum elevated and shoulders down. Your posture is someplace between the standard “teen stoop” and the stereotypical “army inflexible.” The physique is now awake and able for efficient singing.

These workouts are a number of from the numerous efficient workouts that singers can do to prepared the physique for singing.

They often work nicely in shut quarters and are designed to carry a state of readiness to the physique with particular consideration to stress-free muscle mass within the neck which connect to the laryngeal cartilages. Freedom and readiness are the problems: free the voice and prepared the physique.


Put together The Breath For Singing

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As soon as the physique is alert and has been energized by means of bodily warm-up train, it’s time to get up the breath. These following workouts are efficient at doing so.

  • Place your palms on the underside of the rib cage, fingers crossing the stomach and touching in entrance. Breathe low and deep, observing that the fingers separate as the results of an efficient inhalation. Hiss, lengthy and sustained, maintaining the rib cage and sternum elevated.
  • Inhale and hiss, 5 occasions staccato.
  • Inhale and hiss, twice staccato after which sustained.
  • Inhale and sing on a snug pitch in mid-voice, “Sah-sah-saaaaaaaaaaaah.” (sing twice brief after which sustained.)
  • Inhale and sing on a snug pitch in mid-voice two staccato pitches, “Sah-sah” adopted by a sustained five-pitch scalar passage (5-4-3-2-1) on “Saaaaaaaaaaaaah.” Repeat a number of occasions, every time a half step decrease, remaining usually in mid-voice vary.
  • Maintain your hand up in entrance of your face fingers unfold. Think about that every finger has a candle lit on the finish. Blow out the candles one after the other with 5 staccato breaths.
  • Toss an imaginary ball to somebody throughout the room. As you throw, exhale with a hiss.
  • Toll an imaginary bell. As you inhale by means of the nostril, attain up. As you exhale audibly by means of the mouth, pull down on the imaginary bell rope.

(These workouts come from the Ehmann/Haasemann e-book listed beneath.)

The intent of those vocalizes is “vocal-ease.” Breath stream must be uninhibited and instantly linked to the sound.

The stream of breath could also be imagined as water pouring forth freely from a backyard hose. The sound on the breath is as a leaf on the stream of water, carried effortlessly and fully linked to the stream of water.

Observations About Respiratory

  • By no means plan to make use of all your breath. The singer who sings to the final milliliter of breath might nicely have finished so on the expense of introducing rigidity into the voice or physique, to not point out a probable sacrifice of expressive singing. The “final gasp” of breath isn’t linked to simply produced sound, and it’s usually unmusical.
  • The problem with respiratory shouldn’t be who can sing the longest phrase, though it definitely is a objective of vocal pedagogy to extend the size of phrase that may be sung. The first situation with respiratory is to maintain a clean, constant stream of sound all the time linked to breath.
  • Younger voices could also be naturally breathy. Don’t be overly involved about breathiness in younger singers. Take heed to the sound that’s produced “below” the breathiness. vocal maturity might resolve the issue.
  • Keep away from holding again the breath. Give the breath into the phrase. Holding again the breath to “reserve it” for the top of the phrase might result in vocal rigidity and erratic voice-breath connection. Paradoxically, the extra breath you give to the phrase, the extra breath you must give.
  • Coordinate the breath with vocal onset, in order that the sound is neither breathy nor tight.
  • If the sound is just too breathy, strive “narrowing” the vowel idea, singing a really rounded [u] for instance. (Keep in mind–level #3 above–that younger voices could also be naturally breathy
  • If the vocal onset is tight, use an aspirated consonant [h] to help vocal manufacturing. Fairly than [a] sing [ha]. Step by step cut back the depth of [h] within the sound till the [h] is barely imagined, not audible.
  • Preserve the physique in its upright and prepared posture. (See beneath: appoggio)
  • Oversupport may cause as many vocal issues as undersupport.
  • For posture: “sing within the place of respiratory––breathe within the place of singing.”
  • Take a simple, silent breath.
  • Yawning is regular: it’s possible you’ll end up yawning rather a lot at first and asking: “Why do I yawn after I sing?”, however that is completely regular and nothing to fret about.
  • Breath holding might improve lung capability, however won’t improve breath administration.
  • If the vocal onset or launch is jagged or erratic, transfer the hand in an upward sweeping movement to encourage a clean onset or launch of sound.
  • If the vocal launch is tight or constricted, hold the throat open after phonation; think about that you’re persevering with to sing, even after you could have launched the sound.

The Italian idea of appoggio is roughly translated as “assist,” however appoggio is way more: a dynamic stability of stomach and thoracic muscle motion, coordinated with vocal onset (phonation), which permits cooperative (antagonistic) coordination among the many muscle mass. Its options are:

  • an elevated sternum, by no means slumped
  • ribs expanded and maintained, as a lot as attainable, within the “expanded” place throughout exhalation
  • shoulders, neck, and head relaxed
  • torso secure within the epigastric and umbilical areas
  • relaxed glottis


Put together The Nostril for Singing

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Now that the physique is prepared and energized for singing and the breath has been vitalized, it’s time to put together the nostril.

The Italian maxim goes one thing like this: “Put some nostril within the sound with out the sound being within the nostril.” Just about everybody agrees that, within the bel canto type, nasal singing is averted. The converse can be true: “cut-off nasality” is to be averted.

Nasal sound has a twang that’s usually misplaced in classical singing. Then again, the sound of “cut-off nasality” is boring and monochromatic, flat (not in pitch however in resonance). In a balanced voice there’s some nostril within the sound, however the sound shouldn’t be nasal.

A superb check is to sing and pinch the nostrils. If the sound doesn’t change in any respect, there isn’t a nasality within the sound: it has “cut-off” nasality. If the sound adjustments rather a lot, there’s a nasal twang: it has an excessive amount of nasality.

If the sound adjustments barely, then the stability might be proper. It is a tough idea to show. Studio voice lecturers use a wide range of methods to get the correct mix of nasality within the voice.

In a choral setting I’ve discovered that the easiest way to “get up the nostril” is thru a buzzing vocalize. Ask the singers to carry the lips gently collectively as if buzzing [m]. Place the tip of the tongue simply behind the higher tooth as if singing [n].

Hum utilizing this mixture of [m] and [n]. Experiment in mid-range with random buzzing sounds, single pitches and mild glissandos. Use the buzzing “pet whine” in higher register as a way of creating nasal placement and as a way to attach with head register.

As soon as singers are comfy with buzzing, introduce this vocalize: 5-3-4-2-1 (sol-mi-fa-re-do) in main mode and in a snug mid-voice vary. Hum the primary 4 pitches and maintain the ultimate pitch on the vowel [a]. Repeat a number of occasions a half step decrease every time, however remaining in a snug vary.

One other helpful vocalize on the identical pitch sample (sol-mi-fa-re-do) or a extra prolonged sample (sol/mi – fa/re – mi/do – re/ti – do) is [ni-ne-na-no-nu] sung whereas doing light round gestures along with your arms in entrance of the physique as if lovingly stroking a cat.

Observations about Resonance

  • A resonator is a secondary vibrator, not able to initiating pitch, however able to altering the amplitude and timbre of the pitch for higher or worse. If the voice doesn’t sound good or if it isn’t projecting nicely, it could be as a result of the resonators aren’t nicely adjusted.
  • Resonance adjustment (the tuning of the cavities of the mouth and throat) is usually most successfully finished by means of vowel modification. For instance, if the [ah] vowel is just too shiny, modify it to [aw].
  • If the resonating cavities (primarily mouth and throat) aren’t tuned to the pitch from the vocal folds, then the vocal folds should “pressure” the air cavity to vibrate, relatively than vibrating in sympathetic resonance with the voice. Pressured resonance is inefficient for singers; sympathetic resonance is the objective.


Heat Up The Voice

After you have animated the physique, initiated constant breath stream, simply linked breath to sound and energized the nasal placement, it’s time to prolong the vary of the vocalizes to awaken the total vary of the voice.

There are quite a few vocalizes that successfully obtain the objective of vocal extension. The 2 that I exploit most steadily with choirs are these:

  1. This arpeggio: do-mi-sol-do-ti-sol-fa-re-so sung on these syllables: [u – – – a – – – -]. The ascending arpeggio is on [u] and the descending arpeggio on [a]. On the identical time transfer your arms in an enormous “rainbow” arch, starting in the course of your physique and radiating outward.
  2. The scalar passage: 1-2-3-4-5—1-2-3-4-5—1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 on these syllables: [si – – – o], [si – – – o], [si – – – o – – – – – – – – – – – -]. On the primary 5 pitches, every time make a small circle with the arms in entrance of the physique; on the 9-notes scalar passage make an enormous circle with the arms, once more radiating outward. Be aware: this train might not be as efficient if sung too rapidly.


  • There’s something about motion of the physique that exerts a constructive affect over the sound that’s produced, energizing it with freedom and connection to the breath.
  • When the voice is “chilly,” it’s best to start the vocal warm-up with descending vocalizes in mid-range. This process, particularly with inexperienced singers, will extra persistently ship vocal sounds which might be freed from rigidity and on pitch.


Make The Choir Sound Lovely

choir exercises

After you have animated the physique, initiated constant breath stream simply linked to sound, energized the nasal placement and prolonged the vary of the vocalizes to awaken the total voice, it’s time to concentrate on vocal magnificence. Discover the order: vocal magnificence is the final essential vocal part to be addressed.

The train that I exploit most frequently for fantastic thing about sustained singing is a single pitch in mid-voice, first hummed pianissimo after which sung with gradual crescendo on a succession of vowels that grows more and more brighter: [u – o – a].

If the vowel is actually unified, someplace within the [a] an overtone (or generally two) emerges on account of the vowel unification. When this occurs, the choir is actually singing in tune.

For optimum sound, suppose on this order:

  • Breathe
  • sing
  • Maintain
  • Launch

For optimum resonance, encourage the next:

  • A comfortably low larynx
  • A excessive velum
  • Balanced nasal placement
  • Relaxed lips
  • Relaxed tongue

For lovely sound and optimum resonance, use the next:

  • the look of nice shock in your face
  • the look of hopeful anticipation
  • the start of a smile
  • the looks of inhaling a nice aroma, equivalent to a rose

Doing all of those workouts every single day will in all probability require 10-Quarter-hour and it’s possible you’ll not have that a lot time in rehearsal. I usually use a 20-25% rule of thumb for vocal warm-up and sight-singing workouts. In case your rehearsal is 50 minutes, take at least 10 minutes for vocal and musical workouts.

Discover a plan that works for you and keep it up. Slight variations from each day are good, however on the whole hold the routine the identical; in the long term that may produce probably the most constant outcomes.

Analysis has demonstrated the worth of singing every single day. The vocal train doesn’t should be complicated: straightforward buzzing within the bathe or easy scalar passages within the automotive on the best way to work are efficient; definitely extra in depth vocalizing is required for extra rigorous singing. The advantage of buzzing is holistic: in some way we really feel extra built-in and grounded.


Traits Of A Good Choir Voice

choral exercise

  • Pitch-centered. Singers can and will sing to the middle of the pitch.
  • Free. Good singing feels and sounds easy; pointless vocal rigidity is launched.
  • Lovely and resonant. Workouts that encourage a comfortably low larynx, a excessive velum, “ahead” placement, relaxed lips, and relaxed tongue will contribute to a naturally lovely sound.
  • A delightful vibrato. In Seashore’s basic definition, “A superb vibrato is a pulsation of pitch, often accompanied with synchronous pulsation of loudness and timbre, of such extent and charge as to present pleasing flexibility, tenderness, and richness to the tone.” Pitch fluctuation in a wholesome vibrato is a few semitone with about six undulations per second. A vibrato that’s too speedy is named tremolo; one that’s too gradual is a wobble. Vibrato is a consequence relatively than a way. When the voice is free, breath-centered, pitch-centered and resonant, vibrato emerges; it isn’t taught. Vibrato is an indication of a wholesome voice. In Miller’s view it’s acceptable to name consideration to unhealthy vibrato, so {that a} singer might right it.

A lot debate amongst singers, singing lecturers, and choral conductors has centered on the subject of vibrato. I imagine it’s attainable for good choral union and vibrato to peacefully coexist (seek the advice of recordings of The Robert Shaw Chorale or the Swedish Radio Choir with Eric Ericson conducting as examples).

Straight-tone singing to the purpose of “laser-like” vocal manufacturing (as I’ve heard in some choirs) is unhealthy and ugly. Likewise, a vocal free-for-all wherein singers are allowed to do something and every part with vibrato doesn’t yield probably the most passable choral sound.


A Be aware About Mix

A refrain learns to sing collectively to the extent that members of the refrain have developed unified ideas of pitch, vowel, diction, rhythm, articulation, dynamics, stability and timbre. In rehearsal I encourage all singers to:

  • sing exactly the identical pitch.
  • sing exactly the identical vowel.
  • sing precisely the identical rhythm (with particular consideration to consonants).
  • sing a unified articulation: staccato, legato, marcato, or tenuto
  • sing a unified dynamic stage.
  • Be delicate to the necessity to stability all voice elements.
  • sing with a unified timbre, shiny or darkish.


Ideas For Basic Well being

  • Cardio conditioning assists vocal conditioning. Once you train, you oxygenate the capillaries all through the physique, together with the larynx, and singing is enhanced. Warning: Seek the advice of a health-care skilled earlier than starting a program of cardio train.
  • Hydration assists good singing. A water bottle is an effective companion.
  • Keep away from dehydrating substances: antihistamines, alcohol, and caffeine.
  • Eat meals that target the dietary pyramid: excessive on fibrous fruits, complete grains, and greens; low on “unhealthy” carbohydrates and “unhealthy” fats. Far more on this article on a singer’s food plan.
  • Take a great multi-vitamin complement.
  • Keep away from meals that produce mucous, milk merchandise particularly.
  • Communicate at an optimum pitch in your vocal well being. The voice might be broken if talking pitch is just too low or too throaty. Extra on this article on avoiding vocal injury.
  • Heat-up the voice day by day. A couple of descending vocalizes, buzzing and singing (maybe within the automotive on the best way to work) will assist prepared the voice for a day of instructing.
  • Whispering is tough on the voice.
  • Keep away from clearing your throat, a really tough expertise for the vocal folds.
  • If you’re not nicely, keep dwelling and relaxation. Don’t train whereas unwell or vocally impaired.
  • Keep away from getting a chilly, an annoyance to the overall inhabitants, lethal for a singer. Keep away from touching your eyes and nostril as these are good conduits for an infection. Wash arms steadily, particularly throughout chilly season.


Some Ideas Of vocal Coaching

  • Don’t badger the sopranos about vowel colour in excessive vary. Due to the mounted formant precept, all vowels in ladies’s voices have a tendency towards [a] in higher vary.
  • Probably the most tough singing is piano or pianissimo. The following most tough singing is fortissimo. Most singing, particularly in creating voices, is finest at mezzo forte.
  • Ideally singers need to coordinate the voice from high to backside in a single seamless passage. All singers have two primary registers: heavy and light-weight, usually known as chest voice and head voice. Coaching the voice to provide this seamless passage usually requires bringing the lighter manufacturing or head voice down into the decrease voice and, conversely, taking weight out of the sound as you progress from heavier manufacturing, or chest voice, into the higher voice. Usually, descending vocalizes work finest to attain this stability of vocal registers.
  • Usually males have to be inspired to make use of the falsetto vary. They draw back from it as a result of the sound shouldn’t be manly.
  • Usually ladies have to be inspired to make use of the chest mechanism. They’re reluctant to sing in chest voice as a result of the sound shouldn’t be candy sufficient.
  • Keep away from the phrases “break” or “carry” to explain the shift in vocal registers. Use as a substitute “vocal passage” or passaggio. In line with Miller, the primo passaggio is on the high of the pure talking voice; the secondo passaggio is on the high of the “yell” register, the place the voice passes to falsetto. (His textual content on pp.115-126 incorporates a really thorough chart of vocal classifications and passaggi.)
  • The phrase “cowl” is usually used to explain the passage of the male voice into the higher vary. Traits of canopy embrace vowel modification (towards extra closed vowel formations); a spacious pharynx, excessive velum, and low tongue (described above below “optimum resonance”); a lowered larynx, and larger air & air stress. Keep away from a compelled lowered larynx (as in a deep yawn). The idea of “cowl” virtually defies description and is finest explored within the arms of an skilled trainer of voice. See beneath (Ideas for Rehearsal) for an outline of a way for unifying registers within the male voice by means of descending falsetto workouts. It is a safer method to make use of in group conditions.
  • These consonants are most favorable for creating vocal resonance: [m] and [n]
  • These consonants are most favorable for helping vocal onset: [h], [s] and [f]
  • To sing “downside” consonants––[l] and [r]––consider [l] as a light-weight [d], substituting, for instance, “addeduia” for “alleluia.” Produce [r] with the flip of the tongue or with a substituted [d], singing “vedy” instead of “very,” for instance.
  • “Tongue trills” will carry freedom within the tongue. “Lip trills” simulate the motion of the vocal folds and help with vocal onset and vocal freedom.


Ideas For Choir Rehearsal

  • sing the phrase from finish to starting. It will construct your confidence to complete the phrase with out dropping breath.
  • sing the piece from finish to starting to construct confidence within the conclusion of the piece.
  • On the first rehearsal of a bit, begin with that part of the piece that you simply discover most lovely, most expressive, or most fun.
  • At live performance time the main focus should be on expression, not method. Rehearsal builds vocal (and choral) method. The singer in live performance who focuses on method dangers boring the viewers.
  • In creating agility, start with easy workouts and proceed to extra complicated.
  • Of the numerous methods that I’ve encountered for singing passagework (the melismas in Handel’s Messiah, for instance) the one which I like finest is a flippantly produced [nah]. The perfect, after all, is to sing the passages clearly and on the breath, “like pearls on a string.” Beginner singers are sometimes challenged to take action. In my expertise rehearsing such passages on [nah] produces readability with out sacrificing vocal well being. The [nah] should not be audible to the viewers. It’s the accountability of the conductor to educate the refrain as to what’s an excessive amount of and what’s not sufficient. Some singers could also be inspired to sing the passages with [nah] whereas others might sing the pure vowel.
  • One method for mixing the male voices in a choral setting is to ask the lads to sing a descending main scale starting in falsetto. First ask the ladies to sing a descending A Main scale, starting on A=440. Then ask the lads to sing with the ladies at pitch (males in falsetto). Lastly ask the lads to sing alone. Starting with the assist of the ladies might encourage the inexperienced tenors and basses to experiment in a vocal vary that’s unfamiliar to them. Mix and pitch can be mutually supported with this train. On the level of vocal passage from falsetto to go voice, add an additional measure of breath, not breath stress, to ease the transition.
  • If the top voice is the underdeveloped register in males, the chest voice is in females both underdeveloped or used solely. For these ladies who use chest voice solely, some commit the Cardinal Choral Sin: singing tenor. Most each choral conductor who has carried out inexperienced or creating choirs has sooner or later requested ladies to help the tenors in singing their half. That’s not a criminal offense, as a result of a lot of the tenor line lies comfortably within the alto vary a number of the time. The crime is asking, or permitting, ladies to sing tenor solely, creating solely the chest voice to the exclusion of the top voice. Nonetheless, the converse can be true: Some ladies by no means use the chest voice and thus lose a robust vocally expressive a part of the voice. Chest voice is a authentic register, and so long as the voice shouldn’t be pushed excessive utilizing solely the chest register, it’s protected and efficient to make use of this register. All ladies, sopranos included, must be inspired to develop the entire voice: head and chest registers. The one hazard is when chest voice is pushed too excessive within the vary, usually agreed to be a pitch round f’.
  • The strategy of “choral roving,” assigning singers to maneuver to a special vocal line, has been used successfully to create stability in a choral ensemble. Permitting baritones to sing tenor sometimes, altos to sing tenor sometimes and sopranos to sing alto sometimes shouldn’t be solely good musical coaching, it makes for a greater choral sound, so long as the voice continues for use in a wholesome method. I’ve upon uncommon event moved tenors to baritone and tenors to alto, and, even rarer, altos to soprano. I’ve by no means requested basses to sing soprano.
  • Conducting gesture impacts the sound that you simply get: legato, tenuto, staccato, marcato. For those who ask the choir to sing legato, decide that your gesture shouldn’t be marcato.
  • Prepare on this order:
    1. Tune a single pitch.
    2. Tune a short descending scale, sol-do.
    3. Tune an prolonged, quicker scale.
    4. Tune a sustained chord.
    5. Tune a collection of chord adjustments.
    6. Tune a phrase.
    7. Tune a tune.

You possibly can’t sing a tune in tune till you sing a phrase in tune. You possibly can’t sing a phrase in tune till you’ll be able to sing a scale in tune. You possibly can’t sing a scale in tune till you’ll be able to sing a pitch in tune.

For those who really feel that the choir is singing with a usually wholesome sound, however intonation remains to be an issue, strive simplifying the musical calls for based on the instructed order above.


vocal Heat Ups For Choir: Ultimate Ideas

This was a heavy article. Most likely the heaviest on this web site. However we wished to provide the most complete article on choir workouts attainable.

Even when there are far too many workouts right here in your specific scenario, we hop you not less than discover a number of helpful heat ups, and so forth. amongst them.


Urged Studying

  • The Choral Heat-Ups of Robert Shaw
  • Choral Heat Ups on the Voice Science Works web site
  • Choose ‘n’ combine warm-ups for choirs on the Whole Choir Assets web site
  • Ehmann, Wilhelm and Frauke Haasemann. Voice Constructing for Choirs. Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw, 1982. — THE textual content for group vocal methods.
  • Miller, Richard. The Construction of Singing: System and Artwork in vocal Approach. New York: Schirmer, 1986. — Wonderful descriptions of vocal issues & instructed vocalises.
  • Doscher, Barbara. The Practical Unity of the Singing Voice. Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1988. — Wonderful descriptions of vocal perform.
  • Vennard, William. Singing: the Mechanism and the Technic. New York: Carl Fischer, 1967. — Wonderful, although extremely technical.
  • Alderson, Richard. Full Handbook of Voice Coaching. West Nyack, NY: Parker, 1979. — Much less technical dialogue.

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