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Diction for Singers Listening Labs


The Online Listening Labs help you bring sample words from the textbook, Diction for Singers, 2nd ed, to life with sounds and interactivity.

There is a student access, where student's listen to a coach, absorb and practice the vocal sounds, and allow students to play back their recordings against the Coach for instant comparisons and feedback.

And there is the teacher access, which allows you to set up classes for students to sign up and to comment on their work in the labs.


The labs must run in fast computers, Mac or PC, that have a sound card, a microphone, a fast Internet connection, and the latest version of Chrome, a free Internet browser from Google. (You can also use Firefox, but Chrome is better.). 

Prequalifying a Lab

Before you can purchase or use a lab, you computer system must pass a prequalifying test. While you can use virtually any computer with a microphone, the listening labs rely on your computer’s audio capabilities. Since there are many different computer configurations and types of audio equipment, we cannot test them all. However, we test your system to make sure it will work, even before you purchase the labs.

The prequalifying test automatically comes on when you either try to purchase or use the lab, which takes a few seconds to complete. Once your machine and setup has been prequalified, you will not need to go through it again, unless you log in from another computer.

Operation of labs

You operate the Diction for Singers Listening Labs by pressing buttons and configuring settings. If you press Record, for instance, the record light will come on automatically at certain times and record your voice; if you press Play, a recording will play.

The labs are “live,” meaning you can press a button or click on the lab at any time and the labs will respond to you without pausing.

Note: You can set up default configurations to suit your preference, and most of the buttons have keyboard equivalences.

Parts of the Lab





To start, pause, or resume a lab, simply press the spacebar or click the start button.

This operation toggles between states: When paused, the lab will start; when started, the lab will pause.

When starting a lab for the first time, the lab automatically starts at the first line and progresses downward. However, at any time, you can click any line and the lab will start at that line and continue downward.



Diction for Singers Listening Labs allow you to work in several ways. Often, you will want to click start and concentrate—alternately listening to a coach and recording your voice—word after word, all without having to click buttons or press keys. You can accomplish this automatic flow by clicking the Auto button. With Auto mode active, the system automatically selects the next line when you complete a line.

At other times, you may want to work with one word at a time, studying it, for instance, before moving through the list of words. You accomplish this by clicking the Manual button. With Manual mode active, the system stops at the end of the line, waiting for you to pick another word.



Like switching the Record/Play buttons on an MP3 player, you can toggle between recording or listening to your own voice.

When record mode is active, anytime the curser moves into the Me column, the system automatically begins recording. The recording light comes on and shuts off automatically, giving you a window of time to record the word. You can give yourself more or less recording time by adjusting the tempo sliders (see below). If you have already recorded a word, the system first asks what you would like to do: record over all; record over only this word; or cancel. If the user chooses “record over all,” the system does not show this notice again: it assumes you mean to practice by re-recording the rest of the words.

When play mode is active, the system plays the sounds, if there are recorded sounds to play. When a line has a recorded sound, in either the Coach or Me columns, a sound icon appears there.


Mouse Clicks

At any time, you can click on the lab to make it play or record, but what it does depends on where you click on the line.

If you click a sound icon in the Coach column, the lab will interrupt what it is doing and play the Coach’s recording and resume from that word.

If you click in the Me column, one of two things will occur: If you have the Record button selected, the lab will turn on the record light and record the word; if Play mode is selected and if you have already recorded a word, it will play your recorded word.

If you click in any of the text columns, the whole line becomes active and operates according to the configuration.


Coach and Me

By default, you always hear the Coach and Me (your voice). Starting from the left to right, you first hear the Coach, then see an animation across the line to Me, whereupon you record or play Me (your voice).

At various times, however, you may want to hear only the Coach or hear/record only your own voice. You can accomplish this by clicking the heading of the Coach or Me columns. If the column is on, the system will turn it off; if it is off, it will turn it on. However, at least one column will be on at all times. So if Me is off and Coach is on, and you click the Coach header, Me will come on automatically.


Tempo Sliders

Usually, as mentioned above, you see the progress of a line: Moving from left to right, the Coach column lights up and you hear and see a sound; an animation moves across the line to the Me column, where it lights up, ready to play or record.

You will find a rhythm to listening and recording, a rhythm you may want to slow down or speed up. You accomplish this by adjusting the sliders located above and to the right of the grid. To speed up or slow down the movement across the line, adjust the horizontal slider above the grid; for movement from line to line (when Auto mode is active), adjust the vertical slider beside the grid.


Next Lab / Previous Lab

When you finish a lab and want to go to the next one, just click the next lab button. If you want to go to a previous lab, click the previous lab button.


My Classes

The Diction for Singers Listening Labs also work within My Classes, an application that allows teachers and students to communicate about the online materials from DictionForSingers.com. These materials include the labs and the future, upcoming tests.

This application follows a simple model: teachers create a class; students enroll in a class.

If you are a teacher, you log in and click My Classes. Select the teacher view and click the button Create Class. When you finish filling out the few fields that describe your class, you can include the required materials, if you desire. When finished, click save and the system generates a key code for your class. You can publish this key code for your students in several ways: print out a document, with instructions or copy html code to place on a relevant web page.

Once your students enroll in your class, you see them appear in your class, seeing at a glance several aspects of their use of the labs: whether each student has accessed the labs; the percentage of the labs each student has completed; whether a student has completed more since the last time you accessed his or her labs; and any messages from the student.

If you are a student, you also log in and select My Classes, choosing the student option. Click Add Class, and enter the code from your teacher. Verify the class and click save.  By enrolling in the class, you give your teacher permission to access your recordings and make comments on them.