Welcome to Diction For Singers!

The Singer's Voice: Breath The Singer's Voice: Vocal Folds The Singer's Voice: Resonance The Singer's Voice: The Human Voice The Singer's Voice: The Complete Set Beginning the Process:The art of teaching and  learning singing Mastering the Fundamentals: Body, breath, phonation, and resonance Advancing the Technique: The rich tonal landscape, the smooth vocal line, and a vibrant voice Becoming an Artist: Interpretation, performance, and a lifetime of singing Managing Vocal Health: The human instrument Sing! Song & Text for Voice Class

Reviews of Vocal Pedagogy Multimedia Platform Materials

Excellence in Singing is an outstanding, comprehensive five-volume work devoted to the practice of healthy, joyful, technically secure singing. Each volume offers valuable insights, examples and learning tools for singers, teachers, coaches, conductors, directors and anyone interested in the 'art of singing.' Expertly and clearly written, each volume provides an understanding of effective vocal teaching. Particularly outstanding is Becoming an Artist. This volume, as well as the whole series, is fine reference information for all vocal educators.

Robert DeSimone, Director of Opera University of Texas at Austin 


The authors of numerous singing manuals, Caldwell and Wall (voice, Texas Woman’s University) present a remarkable resource for voice teachers, bringing together and building on much of the current and historical theory of vocal technique and training. Singers, coaches, and choir directors will also find much of value if they are not daunted by the quantity of information presented. Each volume includes many vocal exercises and interesting case studies. The first two volumes will be especially useful for beginning teachers. In a field rife with jargon and elusive imagery, the authors share suggestions to improve communication with students. In addition, the sections on teaching anatomy, acoustics, and the science of sound are very detailed. Volume 1 – Beginning the Process, investigates teaching and learning at various levels. Volume 2 – Mastering the Fundamentals, covers breath management, muscle awareness, and the use of resonators. Volume 3 – Advancing the Technique, offers exercises and information of value to the advanced student. There is also an excellent section on teaching belt tone for musical theater students. Volume 4 – Becoming an Artist, addresses important areas for aspiring professionals, including learning a score, preparing texts, and communicating with an audience. Volume 5 – Managing Vocal Health, gives advice on when to send students to a physician and what to expect from a physical exam. Medical procedures for treating various vocal disorders are also discussed. Vocal study is a lifelong process as the “instrument” matures and then ages, and teachers and students work at a wide range of abilities – something this work’s multilevel approach effectively addresses. There are many more concise (and less expensive) books on vocal technique available, but nothing as comprehensive or as potentially rewarding for the serious voice teacher. Highly recommended for academic libraries and large music collections.

Kate McCaffrey, Library Journal


Excellence in Singing is neither tentative nor brief; it spans the breadth of subjects related to teaching voice, from vocal health to stage gestures. . . . [It] is as much about teaching and learning as it is about singing. . . . In addition to the extensive discussion about teaching and learning in the first volume, the authors model good instructional skills by presenting a plethora of pedagogical options for any specific learning goal. Exercises throughout all of the volumes are written in a step-by-step procedure in much the same way that any education student is taught to write lesson plans. The exercises are numerous, varied, and integrated into the vocal repertoire; they lead the teacher through everything from finding a relaxed onset to teaching the belting voice.

Debra Greschner, Journal of Singing


Excellence in Singing is remarkable for its sweeping scope, clear presentation, and effective combination of practical pedagogical advice and inspiring artistic vision. Teachers and performers alike will find it valuable for everything from gaining a more detailed understanding of complex technical problems, to fine-tuning the creative elements of interpretation. Concepts are seamlessly integrated with practice; basic information with sophisticated insight. This is a very usable book, nothing less than an encyclopedic examination of the vocalist's art and craft. 

Roderick B. Menzies, University of Southern California


Excellence in Singing is one of the most comprehensive books on the voice that could be used by vocal pedagogues, by the developing artist, and by the listener who would like to understand a little more about the process and development of a singer. It's clearly written, well-explained, and the closest one may come to discussing the development of an artist without knowing each individual. The detailed illustrations are particularly useful and beautifully presented. It's a pleasure knowing that book is made available to the public. 

Martina Arroyo, Metropolitan Opera, New York Distinguished Professor of Music, Indiana University-Bloomington


Excellence in Singing is impressive in its scope. Ten years in the making, this five-volume instructional tome is an ambitious undertaking that takes teacher and student deep into the singer’s craft. With extended pedagogical chapters followed by corresponding exercises, the books are geared toward singers and instructors looking to expand their repertoire of teaching learning tools…The series, to its credit, includes explorations of all physical and artistic aspects of singing, rather than limiting its focus strictly to vocal technique. Volume Two: Mastering the Fundamentals gets down to the brass tacks of singing, offering useful, basic exercises…. Volume Three: Advancing the Technique explores in great detail, sophisticated concepts of tone, resonance, and transitions among registers, with an even more impressive array of exercises and a well-conveyed and unbiased section on musical theater “belting” for the female singer. The many valuable ideas and exercises in Volume Four: Becoming an Artist provide the sort of refresher from which even advanced teachers and students will benefit. In addition to skill builders in musical interpretation, these exercises include many of the same dramatic tools an actor might use. Volume Five: Managing Vocal Health discusses behaviors, substances and medical conditions that can cause vocal problems, explains potential treatments and offers several case studies of working singers responding to crises in vocal health. 

Joanne Sydney Lesser, Reviewer Opera News


  a valuable resource for cultivating the vocal artists of the next generation, and for inspiring people of any age to fulfill their musical dreams. As educators, parents, students, and other concerned citizens strive to keep music a priority of our educational system, tools like Excellence in Singing are essential to encouraging and developing the artistic expression that makes us fuller individuals and a stronger society. Sweeping in its synthesis of teaching approaches, scholarly in its scope, but understandable to the average reader, this five-book series is a must-read for teachers and students.


Michael Greene, President/CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences, Inc., best known as the GRAMMY Awards


The scope of Excellence in Singing is all-encompassing, embracing every aspect of the singer’s artistic odyssey from the initial stages of preparation through the life-long commitment to maintenance of vocal health. In text and stunning graphics, both physio-acoustical and interpretative processes are thoroughly and clearly outlined, making optimum use of the latest data available to us from the domains of voice science and artistic scholarship. I shall look forward to including this five-volume source of vocal and artistic wisdom in my own personal library, and will see to it that it joins the holding of our library here at Michigan.

George Shirley, Joseph Edgar Maddy Distinguished University Professor of Music


The Excellence in Singing series provides a sweeping view of what it means to be a singer and an effective teacher of singing in this century. The five volumes offer profound and practical insights into the psychology of teaching, the structure of the vocal instrument, the technical development of that instrument, the singer’s artistic development, and the health of the voice. This remarkably comprehensive series will be of invaluable use in voice studios and pedagogy classes, and will be treasured by all of those who are passionate about the singing voice. 

Marvin Keenze, Professor of Voice and Pedagogy The Westminster Choir College of Rider University


Every human culture has its own specific way of singing and of learning how to sing. But there’s something universal that Excellence in Singing is pointing out through its five volumes: the singing process is not just about the technical skills; it’s an activity that requires the participation of the whole body and personality. Learning how to sing is not just about practicing scales all day long, it’s also about feeling the meaning of the songs, controlling your body sensations. For me, the main quality of this work is that it always keeps in mind the whole picture and provides wide information on the many aspects of the learning process. 

Angelique Kidjo, Recording Artist, World Music


Hitherto, the science of acoustics has seemed rather dry to me, especially when dissecting the human voice. But no more. Joan Wall’s expert narration is aptly matched to Robert Caldwell’s script and illuminating animation of air molecules and echoes and resonances. I came away feeling that I had effortlessly achieved a degree of understanding that has eluded me for many years.”

 “The Vocal Folds videotapes explain how the sounds of the singing voice originate and outline the basic principles of training. Simple but quite accurate colored drawings of the larynx are animated to show the way the parts work together. The narrative is lucid, beautifully spoken, perfectly timed and technically accurate, yet easily understandable to the non-specialist. 

Raymond Fink, Author, The Human Larynx: A functional Study of Laryngeal Biomechanics, Professor of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine


. . . a very useful teaching tool. The film does an admirable and beautiful job of explaining the interactions between the voice source signal and the resonance system. Mr. Caldwell should be highly commended.

Robert T. Sataloff, M.D., D.M.A., Director, Jefferson Arts Medicine Center Professor, Otoloaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery


I have studied the superb films by Robert Caldwell and Joan Wall. All are truly outstanding. The Vocal Folds explains how the sounds of the singing voice originate and outlines the basic principles of training. Viewers will gain new respect and a sense of wonder at nature’s masterpiece of engineering, the human larynx. The fiberoptic View is a truly unique, revealing, and highly moving document. The laryngologist’s fiberoptic magic gives the viewer an astoundingly vivid inside look into the singing larynx. The virtuosity of a talented, trained soprano is heightened to an unprecedented pitch by vision of the inner-most secret of her being—the source of her glorious voice. The commentary is beautifully done. 

The information is accurate, brilliantly presented, and appropriate for undergraduate students. The stunning MRIs, overlaid with animation, offers an unparalleled view of the articulators and a wealth of insight into vocal sound production. All in all, this DVD series provides excellent teaching aids for use in beginning courses on speech and singing production.

The series of five films produced on the singer’s voice provides excellent teaching aids for use in courses in vocal pedagogy and in communication sciences and disorders. The information is accurate, simply presented, and appropriate. The colorful graphics and animation provide dynamic demonstrations of respiration for sound production and of laryngeal anatomy and physiology. All in all, this series provides excellent teaching aids. 

Fred Minifie, Department of Speech and Hearing University of Washington


I have enjoyed watching your instructional videos on the singing voice. I have used them in many lectures for singing teachers, voice researchers, and other groups. The functioning of the breathing apparatus during phonation and, in particular, during singing seems hard to grasp by most such voice experts. However, after having watched this film, their understanding of the breathing mechanism seemed much clearer. I warmly recommend these videos to people.

Johan Sundberg, Professor of Music Acoustics Kungle Tekniska Hogskolan Author, The Science of the Singing Voice


Breath is an excellent resource for voice pedagogy classes and for teaching beginning voice students or choir members the basics of good breathing techniques. The high-quality graphics should do much to eliminate many misconceptions about breathing for singing. A valuable addition for your school or library. I have enjoyed watching your instructional videos on the singing voice. I have used them in many lectures for singing teachers, voice researchers, and other groups. The functioning of the breathing apparatus during phonation and, in particular, during singing seems hard to grasp by most such voice experts. However, after having watched this film, their understanding of the breathing mechanism seemed much clearer. I warmly recommend these videos to people.

James McKinney, NATS Journal of Singing