About The Book

The Vocal Athlete, Second Edition and the companion book The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer, Second Edition are written and designed to bridge the gap between the art of contemporary commercial music (CCM) singing and the science behind voice production in this ever-growing popular vocal style. This textbook is a “must have” for vocal pedagogy courses and speech-language pathologists, singing voice specialists, and voice teachers. Heavily referenced, this text is ripe with current research on singing science as it relates to the CCM voice. In addition to general singing science, The Vocal Athlete is the first book of its kind to address the unique vocal and physiologic demands of commercial singing from a sound scientific and pedagogical standpoint. Historical review of classical vocal pedagogy is interwoven and transitioned to current pedagogy of CCM. Anyone who trains singers will gain insight into the current research and trends regarding the commercial music artist.

The text distinguishes itself from other pedagogy texts by incorporating current peer reviewed literature in the area of CCM and its studio application. Also unique to this text are chapters on body alignment, traditional and holistic medicine, the lifecycle of the voice, and the physiology of belting.

New to the Second Edition

  • New medical chapter on Common Pathologies in Vocal Athletes
  • New comprehensive chapter on Perception, Aesthetics, and Registration in the Commercial Vocal Athlete
  • Extended sections in Motor Learning and Exercise Physiology chapters
  • Updated references throughout
  • Access to a PluralPlus companion website with PowerPoint lecture slides

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.

About The Authors

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.

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.

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements

Contributors

 

Section I.  Structure & Function of the Voice

Chapter 1. The Singer’s Body: Alignment, movement, and Intention

Introduction

Kinesthetic Awareness and the Somatic Rolodex

Tension versus Release

Tensegrity

Posture and Alignment

Assessing Posture and Alignment

Beyond Posture

Body Mapping

Yoga

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 2. Respiratory Kinematics

Historical Overview of Respiratory Pedagogy

Contemporary Respiratory Pedagogical Training

Respiratory Pedagogical Summary

Anatomy and Physiology of the Respiratory Mechanism for the Singer

Respiratory Kinematics for Vocal Athletes—What the Research Tells Us

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 3. Laryngeal Anatomy, Physiology, and Function During Singing

Introduction

Role of the Larynx

Basic Laryngeal Anatomy and Physiology

Review of Nerve Supply to the Intrinsic Muscles

Microstructure of the Vocal Folds

Vocal Fold Vibration

Phonatory Onset

Vibrato

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 4. Neurologic Control of Voice Production

Working from the Top Down: From the Singer’s Brain to the Singer’s Body

Central Nervous System

Peripheral Nervous System

Autonomic Nervous System

Summary of Neuromotor and Neurosensory Pathways for Voice Production

Musical Performance Anxiety and Emotional Aspects of Singing

References

 

Chapter 5. Resonance and Vocal Acoustics

Introduction

Resonators and Resonance

Focus and Placement

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 6. Perceptions, Aesthetics and Registration in the Commercial Vocal Athlete

Introduction

History and Evolution of Vocal Registers

Registration as a Laryngeal Event

Registration ad a Vocal Tract/Timbre Event

Registration Transitions in Classical and Musical Theater Vocal Athletes

Voice Typing in Musical Theater Vocal Athletes

Summary

References

 

Section II. Vocal Health and Fitness

Chapter 7. Impact of Phonotrauma on Vocal Health and Singing

Introduction

What Is Phonotrauma?

Risk for Phonotrauma

Impact of Phonotraumatic Behaviors on Voice and Singing

When Is Vocal Rest Indicated?

Voice Rest and Vocal Fold Surgery

Wound Healing Physiology

Vocal Rest Versus Vocal Exercise

Vocal Load and Phonotrauma

Management of Phonotrauma

Behavioral Intervention

Direct Voice Therapy

Medical and Surgical Management

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 8. Common Vocal Pathologies in Vocal Athletes: A Medical Perspective

Robbi Kupfer

Introduction

Muscle Tension Dysphonia

Other Laryngeal Disorders

Evaluation and Diagnosis of Vocal Pathology: What to Expect During a Visit?

Treatment

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 9. Multidisciplinary Care of the Vocal Athlete

Leda Scearce

Introduction

The Voice Care Team

The Voice Evaluation

Roles and Responsibilities of the Voice Care Team

Collaborative Interaction and Decision Making

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 10. Laryngeal Reflux: What the Singer Needs to Know

Adam D. Rubin and Cristina Jackson-Menaldi

Introduction

Symptoms

Complications of Reflux

How Do I Know if I Have Reflux?

Treatment

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 11. The Singer’s Guide to Anesthesiology and Voice

Samuel A. Schechtman and Andrew Rosenberg

Introduction

Basics of Anesthesia

Procedures that Require Airway Devices

Singer Concerns

Other Common Airway and Vocal Tract Complications and Preventive Considerations

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 12. Life Cycle of the Voice

Overview

The Pediatric Performer: Considerations for Vocal Performing in Children Through Adolescence

Aspects of the Aging Voice and the Nonclassical Singer

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 13. Medicine, Myths and Truths

Introduction

Medications and the Voice

Reflux Medications

Herbal Supplements and Vitamins

Chapter Summary

References

 

Section III. Vocal Pedagogy for the 21st Century Vocal Athlete

Chapter 14. History of Classical Voice Pedagogy

Overview

Classical Vocal Pedagogy

Early Vocal Pedagogues

Chapter Summary

References

Appendix 14–A. Classical Vocal Pedagogy Resources

 

Chapter 15. Belting: Pedagogical Considerations

Introduction

Increasing Demand for Commercial Pedagogy and Belting

Overview of History and Pedagogical Approaches for Belting

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 16. Physiology of Belting: Research and Theory

Introduction

Belting—Perceptual Research

Laryngeal Muscle Activity and Action during CCM Singing

Voice Source Information on Belting

Formants and Harmonic Findings/Singers Formant/Formant Tuning

Intensity Findings

Vibrato Findings

Timbre/Spectral Slope Findings

Nasality Findings

Registration Findings

The Science Behind the Singing: Inertance and Compliance Theories

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 17. Exercise Physiology Principals for Training the Vocal Athlete

Introduction

Muscle Fibers and Laryngeal Function

Skeletal (Limb) Muscles

Muscle Fuel

Basic Training Principles for Exercise Science

Research on Exercise Science for Voice

Application of Exercise Physiology Principles for Training Vocal Athletes

Vocal Warm-Ups

Voice Fatigue

Monitoring Vocal Effort

Chapter Summary

References

 

Chapter 18. Application of Motor Learning Principals to Voice Training

Introduction

Motor Performance Versus Motor Learning

Stages of Motor Learning

Establishing Training Goals

Structuring a Lesson

The Forgetting Hypothesis

Feedback and Cueing

Reducing Learner Dependency

Implicit versus Explicit Learning

Directing Learners’ Attention

Chapter Summary

References

Chapter 19. The Art of Perfection: What Every Singer Should Know About Audio Technology

Matthew Edwards

Introduction

The Roots: Wax Cylinder Recordings

Modern Recording Methods

Live Performance

Opera

Listening Levels

The Equipment Behind the Product

Signal Processing

Live Sound Systems

Teaching with Audio Equipment

Chapter Summary

References
Index

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