So You Want to Sing for a Lifetime:
A Guide for Performers
By Brenda Smith
During the 21st century, there has been a paradigm shift regarding singing and aging. The older generation is remaining active longer and wishes to continue to participate in the life-giving, fully athletic activity of singing as long as possible. Singing can be a healthy, invigorating activity in the lives of people of every age. Singing “from cradle to grave” is possible if each singer and singing teacher adjusts the expectations regarding tone quality, range, agility, and stamina with each season of life. Every singer is aging daily. Changes begin early and persist throughout life. This book explains how to address the spectrum of issues that insure a healthy, long life of singing. The strategies presented here will help singers maintain a youthful, vibrant voice. The text offers advice to singers, voice teachers, choral conductors, church musicians, and classroom music teachers regarding repertoire choice and exercise regimens. In collaboration with medical professionals and a vocal pedagogue, the author presents systematically the steps to be taken from childhood through adulthood.
So You Want to Sing for a Lifetime includes guest-authored chapters by Scott McCoy and Wendy LeBorgne as well as Dr. Robert T. Sataloff, MD. The book should serve as a useful guide to amateur and professional singers, music educators, choral conductors, church musicians, and private voice teachers. It is intended to give everyone the opportunity to understand the voice and its potential as the mirror of one’s soul throughout life.
So You Want to Sing for a Lifetime contains chapters on the basics of singing (relaxation, posture, breathing, and resonance) and how to teach these basic skills at every age. Since most singers develop their basic skills through amateur choral singing, the book includes strategies to insure healthy choral experiences for children, young adults, and older singers. The discussion of age and size appropriate singing includes matters of vocal and physical development and repertoire as well as considerations of appropriate performance expectations and venues. The author suggests a pedagogical philosophy intended to prepare each singer to answer the question “what if?” regarding life changes and vocal growth. The book contains practical examples of exercises and lists of repertoire suited to each age groups as well as suggestions for negotiating individual musical obstacles. The reader will be equipped with tools to keep the voice healthy. These tools include physical conditioning as well as vocal training. The book will help each singer and teacher anticipate the ever-changing kaleidoscope of vocal timbres that accompanies the aging process. The book describes the benefits of lifelong singing as a means of remaining physically, spiritually, and musically “in the game.”
Series: So You Want to Sing
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
May 2018 • 200 pages
978-1-5381-0400-2 • Paperback • $37.00 • (£24.95)
978-1-5381-0401-9 • eBook • $35.00 • (£23.95) (coming soon)