Cover image for The professional vocalist : a handbook for commercial singers and teachers
The professional vocalist : a handbook for commercial singers and teachers
Lebon, Rachel L., 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Lanham, Md. : Scarecrow Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xiv, 146 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
MT855 .L43 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Breaking into the world of professional singing can present even the most talented singer with new problems and concerns. In this useful book, Rachel Lebon guides the aspiring singer through the unfamiliar world of commercial singing, from the physical processes of voice, to effective microphone technique and proper studio protocol. The purpose of this handbook is two-fold: to provide practical suggestions that will prepare the student/vocalist for professional singing opportunities, and to present a pedagogical approach that specifically addresses the vocal needs of a singer within the commercial music world. The first section of the text is directed to the aspiring commercial vocalist. It begins with a discussion of the voice as a musical instrument, including discussions of healthy speech patterns, maintaining the voice, and good vocal hygiene. The book also contains resources concerning the mechanics of lead sheets and music preparation, key selection, transposition, and strategies to develop distinctive vocal style and interpretation. Descriptions of the performance context of "club dates," recording sessions, and professional auditions are provided as well. The second section of the helpful handbook is directed toward the voice teacher and aspiring singer, and is devoted to developing confident vocal techniques for singing in commercial idioms. It includes a range of issues from breath management and articulation, to stress release and warm-up exercises. A rewarding aid to singers faced with the continual challenges of the modern, professional singing world.

Author Notes

Rachel L. Lebon is Coordinator of Jazz Voice at the University of Miami.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

How do you prepare for a "gig"? Choose and use a microphone? Learn pop and contemporary vocal styles? What of those who aspire to perform outside the classical tradition? Lebon, coordinator of jazz voice at the University of Miami, draws on extensive formal and practical training to provide succinct answers to these questions and more. Lebon's intentions are "to provide specific, practical suggestions that will prepare the student/vocalist for professional singing opportunities." Suggestions abound on vocal hygiene, performance preparation, microphone techniques, musical theater pedagogy, and, perhaps most importantly, preparation for success. While articles on any one of these topics are plentiful, no single source covers them all. This book is therefore a one-of-a-kind resource for both teacher and student. Recommended for public, academic, and music libraries.√ĄJanet Brewer, Murray State Univ. Lib., KY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Whereas historic voice-pedagogy literature is devoted to classical vocalism, the greatest number of professionally engaged singers is currently found in entertainment and commercial circles--a large segment of which is termed "the untrained professional." Teachers of singing, voice coaches, speech therapists, and otolaryngologists express concern that pop styles of singing may be detrimental to vocal health, and they search for means to modify potentially abusive behavior. Lebon (Univ. of Miami) devotes part 1 of her book to this task, offering basic information on voice acoustics and physiology, microphone technique, performance-literature choices, and audition procedures. Part 2 includes specific information useful to the commercial singer, the music-theater performer, and the belter. On the controversial topic of belting (the subject of her 1986 dissertation), Lebon cites authors S. Boardman, T. Cleveland, R. Edwin, J. Estill, C. Osborne, H. Schutte and D. Miller, and J. Sullivan, among others. This reasoned approach to contemporary entertainment and commercial vocalism ought to prove useful to those involved with popular-singing techniques. R. Miller; Oberlin College

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Part 1 Preparing to Be a Professional Singer
1 Cearning about your Instrumentp. 3
Understanding Your Voicep. 3
Refining Your Speaking Voicep. 12
Maintaining Your Voicep. 22
2 Preparation for Performance: The Mechanicsp. 29
Microphone Techniquep. 29
Key Selection: Choosing the Ideal Key for a Songp. 41
Lead Sheets and Songbooksp. 44
Critical Listeningp. 47
3 Performance "On the Gig"p. 51
The "Club Date,"p. 51
The Recording Sessionp. 63
Auditions: Musical Theatrep. 72
Part 2 Teaching the Commercial Singer
4 Teaching the Microphone Singerp. 81
Student-Teacher Interactionp. 81
The First Lessonp. 82
Lesson Formatp. 84
Vocal Exercisesp. 86
5 Musical Theatre Pedagogyp. 107
Objectivesp. 107
Repertoirep. 108
Common Weaknesses of Aspiring Singersp. 109
Beltingp. 109
6 Coda: Preparing yourself for Successp. 125
Preparing Yourself for Success in Your Chosen Professionp. 125
When You've Decided to "Go for It,"p. 126
Appendicesp. 129
1 The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)p. 131
2 Vowels and Diphthongsp. 132
3 The Categorization of Consonantsp. 134
Referencesp. 135
Annotated Bibliographyp. 137
Indexp. 141
About the Authorp. 146