Journal of Singing Featured Articles:
Prepared for the Kennedy Center festival
American Voices, hosted by Renée Fleming

Journal-of-Singing.jpgJournal of Singing is the official journal of National Association of Teachers of Singing, providing current information regarding the teaching of singing as well as results of recent research in the field. A refereed journal, it serves as an historical record and is a venue for teachers of singing and other scholars to share the results of their work in areas such as history, diction, voice science, medicine, and especially voice pedagogy. Journal of Singing is published five times annually (Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec, Jan/Feb, March/April, May/June). Richard Dale Sjoerdsma, Editor-in-Chief


 (44 Total Articles)

1. Once more with Feeling: The Crossover Artist's First Steps in Making an Emotional Connection with a Popular or Jazz Song 

Cooper, Gloria

Date: 2003 November

For the uninitiated, getting the popular/jazz style stylistically right can be a major challenge. It is the goal of the article to answer those questions and provide teachers and coaches with some practical suggestions.


2. From Classical to Pop: A Case Study

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2000 January

At all times, the teacher must continually remind the singer that a style consists of much more than just sound. Style is formed by vocal technique, characterization, use of language, point of view, traditional expectations of the audience, and perhaps most importantly, the desire to tell a story honestly and entertainingly.


3. POP Goes the Classical!

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2013 January


4. Country Pedagogy

Edwin, Robert

Date: 1991 May

If pedagogues can utilize classical vocal technique as a means to aid an end, rather than an end unto itself, then they should find country singers very willing and cooperative students of voice.


 5. How Can Voice Teachers Help Students Who are Considering Vocal Fold Surgery? 

Cleveland, Thomas F.

Date: 2001 November

The article addresses the several concerns that might confront the singer in vocal fold surgery. Helpful and very informative.


6. Constructing Exercises that Enhance the Management of the Interdependence of the Vocal Folds and Breath Management in Singing 

Cleveland, Thomas F.

Date: 2001 September

It has long been the hallmark of a fine teacher to assign proper vocalises to the student. From a scientific perspective, the messa di voce, staccato and sustaining long phrases are discussed.


7. A Physiological Description of a Debilitating Singing Style 

Cleveland, Thomas F.

Date: 1999 November

The article describes the inappropriate habitual vocal fold approximation used by many singers in various styles, and discusses certain aspects of this approximation.


8. Voice Pedagogy for Aging Singers (Including the Author) 

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2012 May


9. What’s Going On on Broadway?

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2009 September

Broadway, like our universe, continues to expand. There are old shows from the “Big Bang” of the Great White Way in the nineteenth century, and in succeeding years, a ceaseless parade of new shows. Many of these new shows reflect the popular culture and music of the day. For teachers of singing with students involved in music theater at any level, a knowledge of both traditional and contemporary Broadway singing styles and the voice technique needed to support these styles is absolutely necessary.


10. Belt is Legit

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2007 November

Belt is slowly gaining credibility as a viable and legitimate vocal art form worthy of medical and scientific study, pedagogic support and critical artistic review.


11. These are Not Your Great Grandfather’s Vocalises

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2006 September

In recent years, several nonclassical contemporary commercial music based pedagogy books have found publication. These often include CDs with vocal exercises and songs, and are primarily self-help publications. Several publications are reviewed at length.


12. Audition Repertoire Choices: More Than Just Voice

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2006 May

Good repertoire choices for auditions is the thrust of the article. Bad repertoire choices are catastrophic. One never gets a second chance to make a first impression. The teacher does the career-minded students a great service in channeling them toward their personal and artistic strengths.


13. Contemporary Music Theater: Louder Than Words

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2005 January

As Broadway continues to distance itself from classical or “legit” singing styles, the classically trained singer will have fewer venues in which to sing and will have even more difficulty adapting to the ever-changing vocal demands of the roles, especially in light of the current emphasis on high belt and belt-mix singing.


14. Belting: bel canto or brutto canto?

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2002 September

The music community continues to struggle with defining, performing, and teaching vocal sounds that fall outside the parameters of classical or “legitimate” singing.


15. A Broader Broadway

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2003 May

The article provides a review of musicals and vocal styles on Broadway at this date. The discussion of the four basic vocal categories, traditional legit, contemporary legit, traditional belt, and contemporary belt is particularly interesting.


16. The Dumbing-Down of Classical Singing

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2002 January

We are living in musically ambiguous times as lines between vocal styles continue to blur. The author, for one, is troubled by the blurring, and feels quality classical singing may be victimized in the process.


17. Working with “Mike”

Edwin, Robert

Date: 2001 November

The use of the microphone and amplification for the singer is discussed. Comprehensive. A must read.


18. Why Do Classically Trained Singers Widen Their Throat? 

Titze, Ingo R.

Date: 2012 Novembe


19. Formant Frequency Shifts for Classical and Theater Belt Vowel Modification

Titze, Ingo R.

Date: 2011 January

Titze gives the ongoing discussion of belting technique a much-needed scientific perspective. Based on a study conducted in Salt Lake City at the Summer Vocology Institute in 2010, this preliminary report is to be followed by later publication of more data. In this installment Titze concludes, “there is little difference in the way males and females approach vowel modification in the G4-D5 range, but the modifications are highly dependent on singing styles.” [pp. 311-312]


20. In Support of Contemporary Commercial Music (Non-Classical) Voice Pedagogy

American Academy of Teachers of Singing

Date: 2008 September

Periodically JOS publishes selected pronouncements issued by the American Academy of Teachers of Singing. This paper postulates a cogent argument and a philosophic basis for a Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) voice pedagogy.


21. A Classical Pedagogue Explores Belting

McCoy, Scott

Date: 2007 May

With the collaboration of Robert Edwin, the author designed an experimental study to learn more about the vocal registration called belting. Almost all of his preconceptions of belting were false. He had expected to see obvious physical signs of vocal distress, but he was wrong. Prior to this study, he had neither a valid tonal concept of contemporary belting nor a correct understanding of the physical processes involved in its production. He writes that he still does not know how to teach someone to belt, but that he can now better appreciate the final product.


22. Comparing Belt and Classical Techniques Using MRI and Video-Fluoroscopy

Popeil, Lisa S.

Date: 1999 November

The article is based on a presentation given at the Voice Foundation's 1999 “Care of the Professional Voice” Symposium in Philadelphia, and compares belt and classical vocal techniques using the above mentioned modalities on one subject.


23. A Comparison of Breath Management Strategies in Classical and Nonclassical Singers: Part 1

Cleveland, Thomas F.

Date: 1998 May

Experience has shown us that classical and nonclassical singers use different breath management strategies during singing. It has been difficult to quantify the movements and discern their importance to the management of breath in singing. Recently several new studies have given us additional insight.


24. A Comparison of Breath Management Strategies in Classical and Nonclassical Singers: Part 2

Cleveland, Thomas F.

Date: 1998 September

Defines several fundamental terms, i.e., vital capacity, inspiratory capacity, expiratory capacity, expiratory reserve volume, and residual volume, related to breath management and explores how singers in different styles employ these capacities during singing.


25. A Comparison of Breath Management Strategies in Classical and Nonclassical Singers: Part 3

Cleveland, Thomas F.

Date: 1998 November

Defines several fundamental terms, i.e., vital capacity, inspiratory capacity, expiratory capacity, expiratory reserve volume, and residual volume, related to breath management and explores how singers in different styles employ these capacities during singing.


26. Reality Check! Training for an Operatic Career 

White, Robert C., Rosenberg, Lenore

Date: 2007 November

The dialog between the two authors is about the realities of becoming an opera singer and the education needed to do it. Rosenberg is Associate Artistic Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera, and music administrator of the Spoleto Festival, U.S.A. White has taught voice in New York since l968.

27. The Syntax of Voice Technique

Miller, Richard

Date: 2001 September

In responding to a question concerning simplification of vocal terminology, the author suggests that is far easier, far simpler, and far faster to present recognizable physical and acoustic facts about the singing voice, and it is far more honest if built on a structure of accurate information.


28. (1) A Performer Meets the Three Graces and (2) Balancing Technique and Literature

Miller, Richard

Date: 2002 March

(1) The “terrifying experience” of the singer is discussed, and (2) a convincing argument to maintain a balance between technical exercises and the performance of the literature is made.


29. “Dear Diary...” Body Monitoring Techniques for Singers

Nix, John

Date: 1998 March

Body monitoring through the use of diaries is a means to many ends. For the athlete, diaries can assist in fine-tuning training and avoiding overtraining-related illnesses. For the singer, diaries can help explain some of the reasons behind short term changes in quality and function.


30. Healthy Vocal Technique and the Performance of Early Music

American Academy of Teachers of Singing

Date: 1994 November

The highly acclaimed academy suggests that “straight-tone” singing for extended periods, or the deliberate alteration of a natural vibrato can be injurious to vocal health and the natural progress of young voice students.


31. Let's Build a Straw Man! (The Technique versus Artistry Debate)

Miller, Richard

Date: 1989 May

It is time to forego the foolish partnership that comes from trying to divide vocal pedagogy into opposing camps labeled “science” and “art.” It is simply not the case that current vocal pedagogy is becoming “scientific” to the deterrent of artistic expression.


32. Vocal Tract Resonance in Singing

Sundberg, Johan

Date: 1988 March

Formants are of paramount significance to voice and vowel quality. The two lowest formants decide what the vowel quality is going to be. The higher formants determine much of the

personal voice characteristics, including voice classification.


33. Breathing Behavior During Singing

Sundberg, Johan

Date: 1993 January

The article presents the picture of phonatory breathing in singing that emerged from the author's research. Quite definitive and highly recommended.


34. The Choir Issue, Part 1

McCoy, Scott

Date: 2011 January

McCoy's training as a choral conductor and his acknowledged status as scholar of voice pedagogy make him the ideal person to negotiate the controversies surrounding the overlapping domains of technique in choral singing and technique in solo singing. This first installment in the series focuses on vibrato; high tessitura and vowels; and stamina in lengthy rehearsals. McCoy believes that choral directors and singing teachers can work together on the many issues this subject raises, noting that “we all have the ultimate goal of making beautiful music.” [pp. 297-301]


35. Pedagogic Truth in the Age of YouTube

McCoy, Scott

Date: 2011 May

McCoy explores some of the beneficial uses of YouTube with regard to voice pedagogy, but also notes the importance for teachers to “help...students separate the facts from the fiction.” [pp. 549-550]


36. The Effect of Hormones on the Voice

Kadakia, Sameep; Carlson, Dave; Sataloff, Robert T.

Date: 2013 May


37. Acoustics: What We Need to Know About Our Environment

Sataloff, Robert T.

Date: 2010 March

While we are trying to learn new ways to preserve voice and optimize hearing, singing teachers should also make every effort to create environmental conditions that will allow our students and audience to enjoy the best possible auditory perception with the least possible phonatory effort. We should consider supporting acoustic awareness among all teachers and helping to increase public awareness concerning the importance of room design for conversational efficiency and comfort.


38. Controversies and Confusions in Diagnosing Laryngopharyngeal Reflux

Sataloff, Robert T.

Date: 2010 May

The problem of reflux has become well known among singing teachers. It is worthwhile for singing teacher to recognize that diagnosis and treatment of reflux in singers and other otolaryngology patients remain more controversial than we would like. Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) represents a complex spectrum of pathophysiology, diagnostic challenge and therapeutic controversy. Patient management can be optimized only through excellently designed studies with rigorous inclusion criteria, involving close collaboration among laryngologists, gastroenterologists, research scientists, and reflux surgeons.


39. Finding a Voice Doctor and Voice Care Team

Heman-Ackah, Yolanda; Sataloff, Robert T.; Hawkshaw, Mary J.; Divi, Venu

Date: 2008 May

The article reviews the typical training and qualifications of the professionals associated most commonly with voice care teams. Since there is a paucity of expertise, the article is written to provide teachers with guidelines to help them recognize and select voice care professionals with state-of-the-art expertise. Patients with voice disorders are served best by a comprehensive voice team that coordinates the skills of professionals trained in various disciplines. It is important for health care professionals to assemble interdisciplinary teams and to affiliate with arts medicine specialists and other disciplines to provide comprehensive care for voice patients.


40. How Do I Maintain Longevity of My Voice?

Heman-Ackah, Yolanda D.; Satalofff, Robert T.; Hawkshaw, Mary J.; Divi, Venu

Date: 2008 March

The authors write that maintaining longevity of the voice involves attention to training and proper hygiene of the vocal folds throughout one’s career. Daily stretching, attention to diet and hydration and, the use of proper voice technique in all vocal situations are essential components of prolonged vocal health.


41. The Child’s Voice: A Closer Look at Pedagogy and Science

Skelton, Kevin D.

Date: 2007 May

The article seeks to present the facts of vocal fold development as they are now understood, and then hypothesize what this implies for practical application in the voice studio. A brief introduction to the first major study on the child’s voice is included. This is followed by a brief comparison of voice mutation of male and female voices. Finally, a chronology of vocal fold development from prepuberty through adolescence to adult is given.


42. Choral Pedagogy and Vocal Health

Smith, Brenda; Sataloff, Robert T.

Date: 2003 January

Choral pedagogy, the newest academic field in performing arts medicine, addresses the need for choral conductors to be better informed about vocal health. Recently, several authors have studied the special issues of choral conducting that can strengthen voices rather than injure them.


43. Imagery in Early Twentieth-Century American Vocal Pedagogy

Freed, Donald Callen

Date: 2000 March

The purpose of the study was to investigate the use of imagery in early twentieth-century textbooks on singing and vocal pedagogy, in order to trace some uses of imagery in American vocal pedagogy and compare them with images identified as current usage.


44. McPedagogy

Miller, Richard

Date: 1993 March

The quick-fix fails to take into account the two basic principles of technical instruction: diagnosis and prescription.