One Size Doesn’t Fit All: Tailored Training for Contemporary Commercial Singers
Singers of non-classical styles have urgent need for a pedagogy that fits their genre, one that recognises that produced vocal tone, registration and sound qualities inherent in their commercial singing differ greatly from accepted, western classical-music standards. As vocal longevity is reliant on the singer finding a vocal balance in whatever genre or style they sing, the prevailing "one size fits all" philosophy is fraught with danger. By effectively ignoring genre and style the philosophy leaves the singer with a single option for vocal training that runs with a rigid adherence to western classical tradition alone. Research of healthy vocal technique in classical singing has provided bountiful information for that significant genre. However, its unabridged application to contemporary commercial styles may lead singers to avoid training that they consider irrelevant or worse, to develop a vocal technique that is inappropriate and deleterious to their vocal health. Diverse and less than optimum performance environments, specific characteristics of vocal production, style-driven vocal effects and embellishments, are a reality for contemporary commercial singers and must be recognised, addressed and managed through a training system that is engaging and genre relevant. The purpose of this chapter is to bridge the classical and non-classical divide by contrasting the individual elements of technique and style-driven vocal production of the two genres. I propose that with some modification to accepted thinking and practice, it is possible for voice teachers to develop an effective pedagogy which recognises the realities of contemporary commercial performance.
Perspectives on Teaching Singing: Australian Vocal Pedagogues Sing Their Voices
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