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Managing Vocal Health: The human instrument

Additional Information

Authors Robert Caldwell
ISBN 1934477410
Length 174 pages
Price $41.00
Kate McCaffrey

“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 dis used. 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.”
Library Journal

book for vocal health care

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  • book for vocal health care

A voice is only as good as its health—and, especially in training, where the voice is inherently stressed, there is no more important set of distinctions to notice and respond to than maintaining vocal health. In Managing Vocal Health, a text written by a variety of professionals (otolaryngologists, speech therapists, singers), you guide your students on a tour of what can go wrong, how to notice the difference, and what to do to take care of their voices. The media components of the platform completely come into play in understanding the health of the voice, where diagnosis make sense with visualizations from 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. All of it adds to a sense of mastery.

Table of Contents

This text begins with a discussion of vocal health and moves quickly into the issues of maintaining vocal health—such matters as hydration, sleep, even a chart of prescription drugs and their effects on the voice. Who would have thought how ibuprofen can affect the voice?

The discussion goes on to include vocal fatigue and healthy practicing and performing, including keen observations on warming up. These discussions help you give your students a well-rounded view of taking care of their voices while they train—a benefit made much more relevant with the integrated media views of the voice.

The text then moves into how to know when something is wrong, when to refer a student to an otolaryngologist, when to wait, what to expect when you do, and how to prepare for the doctor.

It discusses the many different kinds of examinations and what they reveal. It explores the range of vocal problems, their causes, and the different therapies and surgeries that are available for them—all important information for vocal pedagogy students to know.

What follows in the final third of the text are eight case histories, fully developed, from a wide range of voices and careers, including an outdoor theater performer; a studio, stage, and lounge singer; a musical theater performer; a rock band singer; an adolescent singer; a classically trained singer; a multitalented entertainer; and an operatic superstar. Each case describes the evaluation, the interventions, and the return to performing. With such a wide variety—typical of singers in almost always unique careers—you give your students an informed, well-written, and relevant set of stories to hold in mind, grounding them in rich awareness of vocal health while teaching voices.


To see how Managing Vocal Health fits into the larger multimedia platform, click on 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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