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Advancing the Technique: The rich tonal landscape, the smooth vocal line, and a vibrant voice

Additional Information

Authors Robert Caldwell and Joan Wall
ISBN 1934477380
Length 580 pages
Price $72.00
Karen Murphy

“As one who grew up with music educators, I find Excellence in Singing to be of great interest on several levels. It is, of course, instructive and includes an underlying attitude of respect and joy in the teacher/student relationship. Equally important, it is also beautiful in its choice of words and in the images it creates. The writers’ voices are supportive, encouraging, expansive, sensitive and colorful, well-informed, organized, clear and imaginative, engendering an intense involvement in the learning/teaching process. On a broad level, this series is full of original thinking, which one can apply to any number of life’s situations and challenges. I can’t imagine a more exciting tool for helping a teacher or singer achieve excellence than to use this series.”
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book for vocal exercises and technique

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  • book for vocal exercises and technique

Advancing the Technique, a tome over 600 pages, guides you through nearly every advanced topic in vocal pedagogy. The main benefit is its comprehensiveness, clarity, and unification of many different methods.

Table of Contents


It covers two levels of teaching and learning to sing: Coordinating the parts that control the voice” and “conditioning the parts that control the voice.” These refer to the same parts outlined in Breath, Vocal Folds, Vocal Tract, Resonance, and The Human Voice, which gives you smooth continuity from the much-loved media material to hands-on teaching material.

In the same essay-with-exercises layout, the authors plot the features of the voice—the major passage, lifts, tessitura, and so on—on what they call a map of the tonal landscape. From teaching how to classify a voice, to teaching vowel modification and smooth register transitions, to teaching formants and vowel tracks, this tool greatly simplifies your work in areas of advanced pedagogy. A map for a generic soprano, mezzo, contralto, tenor, baritone, and bass are attached to the inside of the book covers.

In addition, the map allows you to connect the anatomy, physiology, aerodynamics, and acoustics described in the media and other texts to actual pitches for actual voices—the same two-part theory and practice concept that underlies the whole platform.

Continuing to give you a comprehensive teaching tool, the authors help you guide your students through all issues concerning a smooth vocal line. It lines up the two-register, three-register, and ten-register views of teaching—and their constituent exercises—showing how the concepts and pedagogical approaches correspond to the same map. It extends these traditional approaches through unique pitch, timbre, and dynamic level approaches described directly by voice science. This frees you to cover all the bases, as well as offer new concepts.

The text then helps you guide your students in how to condition a voice. Leaning on exercise physiology, you give your students a deep understanding of how to structure rehearsals and daily practice and how to work through the issues of singing legato, agility, long phrases, sostenuto, messa di voce, extended range, power, and endurance—all issues of learning to sing over time.

Overall, this volume helps you teach full and rich classes in advanced pedagogy, while letting your student go even deeper with the text, which will function as an easy to get around reference long into the future. The well-organized concepts help elucidate the otherwise complicated and often confusing issues of terminology, approaches, male and female voices, registers, and vowel tracks.


To see how Advancing the Technique fits into the overall multimedia platform, peruse the following links:

overview of the pedagogy multimedia platform

organization of the pedagogy multimedia platform

reviews from across the multimedia platform

why multimedia?

sample chapter 8 “Breath” (from Mastering the Fundamentals)

sample clip of “sound at the vocal folds” (from The Human Voice)

sample clip of “formants” (from The Human Voice)


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