Cover image for Power performance for singers : transcending the barriers
Power performance for singers : transcending the barriers
Emmons, Shirlee.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Oxford University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xvi, 320 pages ; 24 cm
Reading Level:
1140 Lexile.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
MT892 .E55 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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To perform well in today's highly competitive world where technical skills have been advanced to an unprecedented degree, a singer must be able to handle incredible pressure within the performing arena; his or her ability to deal with this stress will often determine whether he or she willsucceed. Why, then, do singers with less technical skill sometimes out-perform stars? Why do some stars suddenly stop performing? What is that mysterious factor that makes an electric performance? Consistent, competent performances do not depend solely upon superior vocal skills, nor are they amatter of luck. On the contrary, the best performances result from a combination of mental attitude, concrete performing skills, and excellent technical skills in that order. Yet most singers have never had the opportunity to acquire the essential skills that make for a successful career. Written as a self-help manual for singers at all levels of expertise, Power Performance for Singers is designed to teach performing artists, and especially singers, how to experience elite performance at their level. The skills outlined in this book will help singers use what they have, to enjoytheir voices during performance, and to perform consistently to the best of their present ability.

Author Notes

Shirlee Emmons is a prominent New York City voice teacher and has taught at Columbia, Princeton, Boston, and Rutgers Universities. She is author of Tristanissimo (1990) and The Art of the Song Recital.Alma Thomas is an accredited sports psychologist who works with British sports stars in all fields, as well as dancers, singers, actors, lawyers, politicians, and international tennis and golf players.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Emmons (a prominent voice pedagogue) and Thomas (a sports and performance psychologist) offer advice on how to achieve peak performance unhampered by fear of failure. They discuss learned techniques of physical relaxation and awareness of the body and surroundings that establish confidence, optimistic attitudes, and positive thinking. Although intended for performers at all levels of accomplishment, the setting of goals, numerous exercises, written self-evaluations, and mental challenges (right /left brain activities) are directed chiefly to the anxiety-ridden professional. The authors deal with singers who suffer diverse forms of stress; reports on successes are largely anecdotal. Topics include the power of successful performance, mental toughness, competition auditioning, teacher/student relationships, coachings, physical well-being, memorization, performance anxiety, distractions, burnout, mental rehabilitation, and postperformance evaluation. The authors append 20 worksheets. The bibliography draws heavily on sports-research sources. Useful primarily to professional singers and teachers searching for performance reassurance. R. Miller Oberlin College

Table of Contents

Part I The Power of Performance
1 This Thing Called Performance
2 The Characteristics of Peak Performance
3 What is Mental Toughness?
Part II Preperformance
4 The Performance Cycle: Plans and Routines
5 The Self and Performance: You, the Person You, the Performer
6 Physical Well-Being and Relaxation
7 Setting Goals
8 Developing Self-Confidence through Positive Thinking
9 The Art of Concentrating
10 Distractions
11 Dealing with Anxiety
12 Imagery in Performance
13 Memory
14 The Coach's Place in Singer's Preperformance Work
Part III Performance
15 Exploring and Planning ""Meaning"" for Performance
16 The Audition and the Competition
17 The Song Recital and the Staged Performance
18 The Coach's and/or Accompanist's Place in Singers' Audition, Competition, and Performance Work
19 Fear in Performance
Part IV Postperformance
20 Postperformance Management
21 Staleness and Burnout in Performers
22 Mental Rehabilitation following Vocal Injury or Illness
Afterword: Getting Your Act Together, the Ultimate Solution
Appendix 1 Exercise Forms
Appendix 2 Teaching Points