Recommended Reading

I’ve focussed on books for this list but there are a WEALTH of great articles available in publications such as Journal of Voice, Journal of Singing, and online blogs.

Vocal Pedagogy, Technique and Science

Dynamics of the Singing Voice


Dynamics of the Singing Voice discusses the physiological, psychological, musical and emotional aspects of the voice, particularly as they relate to singing but also to speaking. The book provides a greater understanding of how the voice works and the many factors involved in singing as well as an objective discussion of singing without reference to specific techniques.

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Singing and Teaching Singing: A Holistic Approach to Classical Voice


Chapman’s philosophy of teaching combines three main facets: Holistic, Physiological, and Incremental. The Holistic segment emphasises that the act of singing involves the whole person (that is, body, mind, spirit, emotion, and voice). The Physiological segment stresses teaching based on the anatomy, muscular function, and the effects of muscular interactions. Finally, the Incremental section shows that singing can be broken down into manageable components, and that these components have a natural hierarchy which eventually interact and interlock. Chapman’s teaching model provides a framework to master one element at a time, with the resulting effect of a complete and integrated mastery of technique.

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The Estill Voice Model: Theory and Translation

Estill, Steinhauer & McDonald Klimek

The first official resource on Estill Voice Training available to the general public, this book explores the scientific foundation of the Estill Voice Model with basic anatomy and physiology for each Figure, translation of the Estill terminology for the artist and clinician, and significance for vocal living and performance.

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Singing and the Actor


Singing and the Actor takes the reader step by step through a practical training programme relevant to the modern singing actor and dancer. A variety of contemporary voice qualities including Belting and Twang are explained, with exercises for each topic.

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Your Voice: An Inside View


Your Voice: An Inside View is among the most widely used texts in pedagogy classes in the United States and abroad. You will find a wealth of new information about resonance, voice analysis, and voice registration, along with a new chapter on vocal health and hygiene by Dr. Lucinda Halstead, MD. The text is supplemented by dozens of new videos, images, and multimedia examples.

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The Structure of Singing: System and Art in Vocal Technique


Combining the physical, technical, and artistic aspects of singing, the author applies current findings in medicine, acoustics, phonetics, and speech therapy to the singer’s needs. The text demonstrates the scientific basis of exercises and vocalises, covering all major areas of vocal technique.

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The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer

Rosenberg & Leborgne

The Vocal Athlete 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. Also included is a CD of the singing exercises to further enhance understanding of techniques and skills used in training this type of singer.

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The Science of the Singing Voice


The Science of the Singing Voice—illustrated with over a hundred instructive and significant diagrams and drawings—thoroughly describes the structure and functions of the vocal organs in singing, from the aerodynamics of respiration through the dynamics of articulation.

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Anatomy, Physiology, and Alignment

Awareness Through Movement: Easy-to-Do Health Exercises to Improve Your Posture, Vision, Imagination, and Personal Awareness


Feldenkrais provides a modern-day, practical program for the perennial ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body. Exercises for posture, eyes, imagination, and more will simultaneously build better body habits and focus new dimensions of awareness, self-image, and human potential.

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The Use of the Self


After almost completely losing his voice, Alexander pioneered a method of improving the ‘use’ of his body musculature in all positions and movements and cured his vocal problems without medical aid. He moved to London and established a school, publishing several books and achieving success with the Alexander Technique.

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What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body

Malde, Allen & Zeller

What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body 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.

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Audition Technique and Approach

Mastering the Audition: How to Perform Under Pressure


Drawing on some fascinating, cutting-edge research into how the brain copes and responds in high-stress situations, Mastering the Audition looks closely at the effects of fear, at our flawed ability to assess or really know ourselves, at what really drives us, and at what it really takes to master the audition experience.

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The Brain That Changes Itself: Stories of Personal Triumph from the Frontiers of Brain Science


In this revolutionary look at the brain, Doidge provides an introduction to both the brilliant scientists championing neuroplasticity and the people whose lives they’ve transformed. From stroke patients learning to speak again to the remarkable case of a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, The Brain That Changes Itself will permanently alter the way we look at our brains, human nature, and human potential.

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The Inner Game of Music

Green & Gallwey

The Inner Game of Music is designed to help musicians overcome obstacles, help improve concentration, and reduce nervousness, allowing them to reach new levels of performing excellence and musical artistry.

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The Enraged Accompanist's Guide to the Perfect Audition


From the unique perspective of the pianist’s bench, Gerle demystifies the audition process, from how to put together your book and speak to an accompanist to the healthiest and savviest ways to approach the audition marketplace and your career. By better understanding the dynamics of professional auditions, you will learn to present yourself in the strongest, most castable way while remaining true to your own special voice the one that, in the end, will get you the job.

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Vocal Wisdom: Maxims of Giovanni Battista Lamperti


Giovanni Lamperti (1839 -1910) was an Italian singing teacher and son of the singing teacher Francesco Lamperti. This is the only book that G Lamperti ever wrote on his method.

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Great Singers on Great Singing


Hines interviewed 40 singers, a speech therapist, and a throat specialist to provide this invaluable collection of advice for all singers. This collection includes the commentary of Domingo, Gedda, Horne, Nilsson, Pavarotti, Sutherland and many others.

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Singing in Musical Theatre: The Training of Singers and Actors


This insider’s look into the unique demands of musical theatre performance establishes connecting links between voice training for the singer and drama school training for the actor. See how different teachers approach six aspects of voice training: alignment, breathing, range resonance, articulation, and connection.

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The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment


Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, “the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.”

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Character Studies

A great resource of broadway and off-broadway musicals, interviews, and the inside scoop on artists and tours is They offer ‘character studies’ presented by artists getting ready for roles on Broadway. There are many but below are a selection of my favourites.

Kelli O’Hara: Anna in The King and I

Kelli O’Hara preparing for a performance as Anna in The King and I. I particularly love that she is doing her own make-up and speaks about her connection to the role she is playing.

Rachel Tucker: Elphaba in Wicked

Rachel Tucker preparing to be Elphaba in Wicked. Her process of arriving early, doing a physical warm up, and then settling into her character while keeping it “fresh” is a testament to her professionalism.

Amy Spanger: Mrs Wormwood in Matilda

Amy Spanger becoming Mrs Wormwood in Matilda. Note her physical warm up at the start and transformation through hair and make-up (most of which she does herself). A deliberate and mindful process that puts her into the role.

Jelani Remy: Simba in The Lion King

Jelani Remy talks about his transformation into Simba for The Lion King. His reference to his colleagues as ‘family’ and reflections on his journey to centre stage demonstrate his humility and balance as a performer.

TED Talks

There are many great TED Talks on different subjects that pertain to us as growing individuals in an evolving creative industry. These are my top picks but the site is worth a look for further videos that inform and inspire.

Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and might have an impact on our chances for success.

Your Elusive Creative Genius

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius.

How I Started Writing Songs Again

Sting’s early life was dominated by a shipyard—and he dreamed of nothing more than escaping the industrial drudgery. But after a nasty bout of writer’s block that stretched on for years, Sting found himself channeling the stories of the shipyard workers he knew in his youth for song material. In a lyrical, confessional talk, Sting treats us to songs from his upcoming musical, and to an encore of “Message in a Bottle.”

The Power of Vulnerability

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathise, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.

The Transformative Power of Classical Music

Benjamin Zander has two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realise our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections.

Flow, the Secret to Happiness

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi asks, “What makes a life worth living?” Noting that money cannot make us happy, he looks to those who find pleasure and lasting satisfaction in activities that bring about a state of “flow.”