About The Book

The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer, Second Edition is a compilation of voice exercises created and used by well-known voice pedagogues from preeminent colleges, established private studios, and clinical settings. The exercises focus on various aspects of contemporary commercial music (CCM) including bodywork, mental preparation, registration, and much more.

New to the Second Edition

  • 20 new singing exercises
  • Updated and expanded exercises, figures, and references throughout
  • Access to a PluralPlus companion website with audio and video files to enhance understanding of exercises

Wendy D. LeBorgne and Marci Daniels Rosenberg join the VocalFri Podcast to talk about The Vocal Athlete, a landmark voice pedagogy text that was the first of its kind to fully incorporate contemporary and musical theater singing pedagogy alongside classical voice pedagogy in a fully evidence based manner. Listen here.

Related Textbook

The book is designed to accompany the textbook, The Vocal Athlete, Second Edition, a first of its kind in singing science and pedagogy developed for singers of all styles with a particular emphasis on CCM.
The Vocal Athlete text and workbook are invaluable tools for anyone who uses or trains the singing voice or works with CCM singers.

About The Authors

Marci Daniels Rosenberg, BM, MS CCC-SLP is a singer and clinical singing voice specialist at The University of Michigan, Vocal Health Center specializing in rehabilitation of injured voices.

Wendy D. LeBorgne, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a voice pathologist, a singing voice specialist, and director of the Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis and Rehabilitation and The Professional Voice Center of Greater Cincinnati. Additionally, she holds an adjunct faculty position at Cincinnati College-Conservatory. Dr. LeBorgne’s original, peer-reviewed research on the performing voice has been published in multiple scientific journals and she presents nationally and internationally on the professional performing voice. Dr. LeBorgne teaches workshops and master classes on vocal health and belting at major music schools and conservatories throughout the United States. Her clients can be found on local and national stages as well as TV and film. Dr. LeBorgne also maintains an active professional performing career.

Table Of Contents





Section I. Preparing the Singer’s Mind and Body

Introduction and Overview

Chapter 1. Exercises for Mental Focus     

Centering the Breath

Barbara J. Walker

The Voice Scan

Robert C. Sussuma


Dialogue with Your Voice

Joanna Cazden


Your Voice in Real Life: A Vocal Exploration Through Laughing and Crying

Jeremy Ryan Mossman


Mental Focus and Vocal Preparation

Martin L. Spencer


Scale of Vocal Effort

Marci Daniels Rosenberg



Chapter 2. Physical Stretches and Alignment       

Body Movement to Achieve Vocal Freedom

Sarah L. Schneider


Semi-Supine with Spinal Jiggle and Pelvic Bowl Slosh/Slide

Marya Spring Cordes


Freeing the Neck and Shoulders

Marina Gilman


Balancing Your Head

Marina Gilman


Climbing the Ladder

Caroline Helton


Anterior Chest Openers to Improve Posture

Jill Vonderhaar Nader


Lower Back Expansion

Sarah Maines


Postural Alignment, Core Strength, and Breath Support

Suzan Postel


Re-Organizaing the Entire Vocal Tract

Robert Sussuma



Chapter 3. Stretches and Exercises for Breathing

Physical Stretching for Optimal Rib Cage and Respiratory Muscle Expansion

Erin N. Donahue and Wendy D. LeBorgne


Finding the Abs

Joan Melton


Breath Management Strategy for Vocal Percussion

Bari Hoffman Ruddy and Adam Lloyd


Breathing Body Release Visualization

Suzan Postel


Breath Stamina Exercise for Aging Singers

Barbara Fox DeMaio




Chapter 4. Stretching and Relaxation for Tongue and Jaw        

Jaw Exercises for Singing

Miriam van Mersbergen


Jaw Opening/Tongue Tension Isolation

Miriam van Mersbergen


Reducing Jaw Region Tension and Cramping

Walt Fritz


Tongue Stretches for Singers

Maria Cristina A. Jackson-Menaldi


Staccato and Legato Tongue Release

Tracy Bourne


Increasing Vocal Resonance by Decreasing Facial Tension

Catherine A. Walker


Guy-La Tongue Release and Flexibility

Edrie Means Weekly




Section II. Training the Hybrid Singer      

Introduction and Overview

Chapter 5. Vocal Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs     

The Motor Boat

Caroline Helton



Marci Daniels Rosenberg


Descending 5-Tone on Lip Trill

Norman Spivey


Middle Voice Palate Stretch

Beverly A. Patton



Thomas Francis Burke, III


The Gargle Exercise: Calibrate and Condition

Jennifer C. Muckala


Straw Phonation to “Floaty” /u/ for Vocal Cool-Down

Kari Ragan


Vocal Cool-Down Exercise for the Hybrid Singer

Renee O. Gottliebson


Lifting the Palate

J. Austin Collum, Emily Dunn, and Bari Hoffman Ruddy




Chapter 6. Laryngeal Strength and Coordination           

Connecting the Voice to the Body and Breath

Stephanie Samaras



Katherine McConville


Messa di Voce for Musical Theatre/CCM Singers

Mary Saunders Barton


Cup Phonation: A Semioccluded Vocal Tract Exercise

Marci Daniels Rosenberg


The Elusive Whistle Register: Hanging Out Up High

Jonelyn Langenstein and Brian E. Petty


Finding Efficient Vocal Fold Closure with Glottal Fry and Creaky Voice

Amelia A. Rollings



Chapter 7. Registration and Vocal Tract Modification   

Head Voice Stability

Sarah Maines


Head Voice in the Passaggio

Beverly A. Patton


You Send Me

Kathryn Green


Pinball Wizard

Kathryn Green


Released Vocal Regulation

Martin L. Spencer


Swing Arpeggio

Michelle Rosen


Speech-Like Arpeggios

Norman Spivey


Sustained (2nd, 3rd, 5th, and Octave) Glide

Bari Hoffman Ruddy and Adam Lloyd


Accessing “Mix”

Jeannette L. LoVetri


Vocalizing the Speaking Mix

Mary Saunders Barton


Four Exercises for Simple Speech

Beverly A. Patton


Register Transition Exploration

Aaron M. Johnson



Sarah L. Schneider


Meow Mix

Kelly M. Holst


Fix It in the Mix

Starr Cookman


Slidy aa’s

Lisa Popeil



James Curtis and Brian E. Petty


A Three-Part Exercise for Bright Vowels in High Tenor Voices

Billy Gollner


Belt Tactics: Physical Cues for Success

Ann Evans Watson


The Three Birds

David Harris and Laurel Irene




Chapter 8. Training Vocal Styles   

Bratty Twang

Norman Spivey


Closed Position for High Conversational Music Theater

Benjamin Czarnota


Woah Yeah!

Patricia M. Linhart


Belted “Hey”

Joan Ellison


Belt High Notes Like Oprah Winfrey

Jennifer DeRosa


Blissful Belting

Joan Lader


Layla and the Canadian Surfer—Belting in Four Easy Steps

Chris York


Boom Ba Chicka

Matthew Edwards


Phrase Shifting

Marcelle Gauvin


R&B Riff Exercise

Jeffrey Evans Ramsey


Multiple Personalities Vocal Exercise

Wendy D. LeBorgne


Register Isolation for Choral Singers

Edward Reisert


Light Chest Mix for Mixed Choir

Thomas Arduini


Acting Through Song: Discovering Connections to Express Ourselves Clearly as Artists

Naz Edwards


The Ultimate Rock Sound

Sheri Sanders


Verbal Diadochokinesis Exercise for Postmenopausal Women and Aging Male Voices

Barbara Fox DeMaio


Creating the Logical 16-Bar Audition Cut

Robert Marks


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