The Disciplines of Vocal Pedagogy: Towards an Holistic Approach  book cover
1st Edition

The Disciplines of Vocal Pedagogy: Towards an Holistic Approach

ISBN 9781472452498
Published February 29, 2016 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

If classical singers and vocal pedagogues are to be prepared adequately for performance, teaching and co-operation in inter-professional relations, then an holistic education entailing multi-disciplinary study is essential. In this important new book, Karen Sell examines the disciplines pertinent to vocal pedagogy, tracing the lineage of views from the ancient world to the present day. In the process important diverse roots are exposed, yielding differing and even conflicting tonal ideals which have a bearing on the consideration of different singing methods and the interpretation of songs and arias. Ethics and psychology are identified as central to the entire pedagogical process along with the scientific basis of singing: encompassing acoustics, anatomy and physiology, with special reference to the bearing of the latter two upon vocal health and hygiene. A detailed consideration of singing technique is the centrepiece of the book, and an understanding of good technique and scientific awareness is shown to be fundamental to good vocal pedagogical practice. This leads to a discussion on performance and aesthetics, contributing to the education of the fully equipped singer. No study to date has demonstrated the inter-relationships between all these individual disciplines and the ways in which they influence singing pedagogy. Sell’s holistic, multi-disciplinary approach will be of particular benefit to singers and voice teachers, and will also appeal to music educationalists and professionals in cognate disciplines.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Introduction; A history of vocal pedagogy; Ethics, psychology and vocal pedagogy; Science and vocal pedagogy; Voices, tonal ideals, classification and technique; Performance; Conclusion; Appendices; Bibliography; Indexes.

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Dr Karen Sell, soprano, performs and teaches singing and piano, and lectures and conducts vocal workshops and masterclasses in many parts of the world. With qualified teacher status and performance and teaching diplomas in singing and piano from the UK, she has also studied in Canada and the USA. Sell has taught all age groups and levels of ability in schools and higher education, in private practice in the UK and Canada, has published articles and reviews on vocal pedagogy, and is a regular columnist and reviews editor (books and recorded music) of Singing.


'... a most valuable study not only for professional or amateur singers and for voice teachers but also for other performers and music educationalists... This scholarly volume should be on the shelves of every singer and voice teacher and is a must for the libraries of all Music Colleges and Conservatoires.' ISSTIP Journal '... the clarity of Karen Sell's language reflects her wide experience as a writer... a most useful, clearly expressed publication.' Singing 'A valuable addition to the voice pedagogy literature, this concentrated volume deals with the historic roots of voice production, comparative voice pedagogy, the psychology and ethics of voice teaching, tonal ideals, technique, and practical performance concerns. Dr Sell expresses her information in direct, uncompromising language, and offers full verification of her viewpoints by citing acoustical and physiological sources. Highly recommended.' Richard Miller, author of 'The Structure of Singing' (Schirmer, 1986) 'This book certainly gives much food for thought, and presents a considerable range of information and ideas...' The Singer 'Karen Sell's book is really an excellent resource... this is an extremely open and honest discourse on the issues germane to creating and maintaining an holistic approach to vocal pedagogy. it does all it sets out to do....thoroughly researched and copiously referenced... a very comprehensive journey through the world of teaching singing and one that should be of great interest to well-established teachers and a great aid to anyone starting out as a teacher. It gives an enormous amount of information for everyone else associated with vocal education and it will also help singers themselves to understand what it is they are getting themselves into, should they wish a very useful addition to the professional armamentarium.' Communicating Voice '... the advice gleaned from her experience as a teacher is excellent...Voice pedagogy instructors at both the undergraduat