Over several decades it has been my privilege to meet with singers and teachers in weeklong courses devoted to the art of singing, in which the correspondence of efficient physiologic and acoustic function to artistic expression is considered in detail. Half of each day is devoted to systematic technique, the remainder to master classes in communication. Several thousand teachers, students, and professional singers have participated. To ensure sequential information, and to avoid interruption of master class performances, observers are asked to write out questions as they occur to them. Questions are then codified and discussed in question-andanswer sessions at the close of the week. These inquiries often go to the heart of vocal pedagogy, pointing out watersheds that separate voice-training systems. This book deals with a number of them—some briefly, some in detail.
Recurring topics have been selected from more than fifteen hundred written questions. They deal with both technique and artistry. Falling into specific categories, they consider a single topic from several angles. I have tried to tailor my responses to the specifics of each question. Associated issues are assembled within overall categories; related questions have been joined together. Technical areas considered involve breath coordination, laryngeal function, resonator-tract response, resonance balancing, voice categorization, voice registration, linguistic articulation, vibrancy, matters of style, the enhancement of artistry and communication, pedagogic and professional attitudes and concerns, and healthy voice production. In answering variations on similar themes, for clarity and completeness, it has occasionally been necessary to revisit important facets of information.