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Singing In Theater

Musical Theater

For singers and actors, whether professional or amateur, proper vocal training can make all the difference to outstanding performances. Familiarize yourself with all that proper vocal training entails, from warm-up exercises to physiology, from finding a coach to tuning your "instrument".

Warm Up

A "warm-up" is just as important for singers as it is for athletes. You wouldn't run a marathon without getting your muscles loosened up and the blood pumping. In the same sense, your physiological vocal apparatus needs to go through some preparatory exercises before you get into your usual practice routine.

Tips

Ask five singers for their top tip, and you're likely to get five different answers. However, a few tips do regularly appear on "top ten"-style lists. For example, most serious singers avoid shouting, whispering or otherwise straining their voices.

Vocal Health

Vocal HealthVocal health may include many components. For optimal health, you should practice good vocal hygiene, avoid strain or "vocal overuse" and follow some simple practices, like staying hydrated.

  • Vocal Health Information - This informational booklet from Duke University Voice Care Center outlines basic information for vocal health.
  • Vocal Health Center - The Vocal Health Center website of the University of Michigan Health System offers tips, common diagnoses and links to relevant interdepartmental resources for singers.
  • NASM-PAMA Advisories on Neuromusculoskeletal and Vocal Health - This collection of articles from the National Association of Schools of Music gives an overview of the overlapping considerations of vocal and neuromusculoskeletal health.
  • The Professional Voice - The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai provides vocal health resources tailored for professionals.
  • Vocal Health Articles - The Boston Singers' Resource provides a compendium of in-depth articles on vocal health for singers.

Voice Training

Vocal HealthVoice training may be appropriate for singers, whether for professional preparation or simply for fun. Finding a good vocal coach comes down to both the teacher's expertise and your own preferences for particular vocal training methods.

Other Resources

Vocal HealthWhile there's no substitute for vocal training in person, you can also deeply improve your singing and speaking abilities through online resources. Many professional organizations, schools and non-profits offer in-depth materials to the public, free of charge.

  • 10 Resources for Teaching Music - This article offers useful tips for singing students as well as teachers.
  • Big Big Sing - These practical steps can help you start up a choir.
  • The Orchestra Sings - Carnegie Hall offers a hub of online resources for aspiring singers and musicians.
  • Sing London - This non-profit organization organizes large-scale, interactive sing-alongs in public places.
  • Online Vocal Pedagogy Resources - The Johns Hopkins Music Entrepreneurship & Career Center offers a list of resources covering vocal topics such as proper posture, technique, associations, and warm-ups.
  • Vocal Coaching Articles - These "Editor's Pick" articles cover specific themes in vocal training.
  • Tips on Popular Singing - An article written by famed singer Frank Sinatra, in collaboration with his vocal teacher, John Quinn.