About The Book

What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body, Fourth Edition gives singers and teachers a Body Mapping resource—from anatomy and physiology to body awareness—that helps them discover and correct misconceptions about how their bodies are designed and how they function. This book provides detailed descriptions of the structures and movements necessary for healthy and efficient body awareness, balance, breathing, phonation, resonance, articulation, and gesture. Many voice books focus on the anatomical facts, but leave singers asking, “How can I apply this to my singing?” What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body helps to answer that question, providing practical exercises and detailed illustrations.

New to This Edition

  • Updated and revised content throughout the text
  • Bulleted review sections for each chapter
  • New and updated links to recommended videos
  • Information on Biotensegrity and how it pertains to Body Mapping, along with helpful links to resources on the subject
  • An expanded glossary

What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body comes with access to a PluralPlus companion website with audio and video recordings of the exploratory exercises.

This book provides the technical foundation for singers of all styles. The authors do not espouse a single method or attempt to teach singing techniques or styles. Rather, they describe the movements of singing with accuracy and detail so that singers may experiment on their own and communicate with each other in a common language.

About The Authors

Melissa Malde, DMA, is a licensed Body Mapping Educator and performs regularly in opera, concert, recital, and musical theater. She holds degrees from Oberlin College and Conservatory, Northwestern University, the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, and the Hochschule für Musik in Munich, where she studied under the auspices of a German Academic Exchange grant. While in Munich, she won first prize in the Kulturforum Competition. Other honors include winning CCM’s Concerto Competition, the Sudler Oratorio Competition and a Farwell Award in Chicago, and the Brice-Gooter Award at the NATSAA competition. She has presented academic papers, lecture recitals, and clinics nationwide, and is a professor of voice and vocal pedagogy at the University of Northern Colorado.

MaryJean Allen, MM, AD, is a licensed Body Mapping Educator. She is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher (Alexander Technique—over 100 years old—teaches everyone how to become aware of and how to eliminate habits that interfere with fluid, free movement). MaryJean teaches Body Mapping and Alexander Technique workshops at young artist programs, universities, colleges, high schools, and churches. A veteran private voice teacher for over 30 years, MaryJean has students who sing professionally in classical, music theatre, or pop music venues; other students teach voice or choral music. MaryJean holds a Master of Music degree and an Artist Diploma in vocal performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and earned a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance with a minor in piano performance from Oklahoma City University.

Kurt-Alexander Zeller, DMA, is a licensed Andover Educator and has presented Body Mapping workshops at regional, national, and international conferences. He currently serves as Director of Opera and Vocal Studies and as Coordinator of the Division of Music at Clayton State University in suburban Atlanta, Georgia. He is an active performer of early music and concert repertoire but especially enjoys working as a singer and stage director in all forms of music drama. Dr. Zeller holds undergraduate degrees in music and theater from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University and earned his graduate degrees at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. He has completed further studies at the Seattle Academy of Baroque Opera, the Early Music Institute of Indiana University, and the 1995 National Association of Teachers of Singing Internship program.

Table oF Contents

ntroduction by Barbara Conable

How to Use This Book by Melissa Malde

Multimedia List


Chapter 1. Body Mapping, Kinesthesia, and Inclusive Awareness

MaryJean Allen

Chapter 2. The Core of the Body and the Places of Dynamic Balance

MaryJean Allen

Chapter 3. The Singer’s Breath

Melissa Malde

Chapter 4. Creating a Singing Sound

Melissa Malde

Chapter 5. Resonating the Voice

Melissa Malde

Chapter 6. Singing as Communication: Mapping the Structures of Articulation

Kurt-Alexander Zeller

Chapter 7. Physical Expression for Singers

Kurt-Alexander Zeller

Appendix A. What to Do About Performace Anxiety

Barbara Conable

Appendix B. The Scientific Basis of Body Mapping

T. Richard Nichols




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