Throughout my career as a voice teacher, I have been deeply committed to helping singers achieve their fullest possible potential. I’m also passionate about making sure they’re playing a world-class instrument.
Complete Vocal Fitness: A Singer's Guide to Physical Training, Anatomy & Biomechanics will give your instrument an upgrade.
Your body is your instrument. Its remarkable value is due to its uniqueness, but like any other athlete it’s up to you to optimize it for peak performance because the best teacher in the world can only teach you how to play the instrument you bring to their studio.
- Postural distortions impacting your neck limit range, registration control and resonance.
- Muscular imbalances in your torso impede your ability to fully expand your rib cage and limit breath management.
- Inadequate oxygen consumption interferes with sustaining long phrases.
- Identify and resolve postural distortions.
- Balance strength and flexibility to facilitate full breathing and promote coordinated breath management.
- Improve oxygen consumption to enhance your stamina and ability to sustain long phrases.
- Stabilize your spine and major joints so you can sing with solid technique throughout demanding stage movement.
Musicians of all kinds benefit from understanding the basics of how their instruments work. This book is also a guide to how the vocal instrument functions, offering accessible descriptions of the fundamental components of vocal anatomy – laryngeal function, articulation and resonance – explaining their movements, their interaction with one another, and their integration with the anatomy of breathing and alignment.
In addition to teaching technique, for the past fifteen years I’ve been offering sport-specific athletic training for singers, leading workshops on vocal anatomy and fitness, and contributing articles on the topic to both voice and fitness publications. My book is the culmination of everything I have learned over the years about the biomechanics of alignment, breathing and vocal function, presented in accessible, practical language and enhanced by outstanding photography and anatomical illustrations.
I’m inviting you to be among the first to read it – by donating to this campaign, you can not only participate in the creation of the book itself but also receive your copy below the retail price. I'm anticipating a cover price of $90 for the hardcover version, and retailers like Amazon will charge something in the neighborhood of $87 - but you can reserve yours here, along with my gratitude, for $75. Express assorted further levels of generosity and enthusiasm to receive a signed or even inscribed copy… or leave your indelible imprint by garnering a personal thank you on the book’s Acknowledgements page!
I’m so honored to call Rowman & Littlefield my publisher. They have published many of my favorite books on singing and pedagogy. As an academic publisher they do not have the means to produce photographs and illustrations for an image-heavy book like this, so I’ve launched this campaign to raise funds to compensate the exceptional artists I’ve engaged to add the essential, detailed visuals this topic requires.
Allow me to introduce them.
Sandy Escobar, Anatomical Illustrations
Sandy Escobar is not only an anatomical illustrator but also an occupational therapist, and it has been so wonderful to partner with her on this project. Most of the anatomical illustrations I’ve come across depict unrealistic ideals of symmetry and perfection. Sandy is helping me to portray diverse body types and depict functional as well as dysfunctional versions of the anatomy that is of vital importance to singers. When I look at her drawings, I feel as though I am seeing the vocal instrument with a clarity I have never encountered anywhere else. She is doing a tremendous job of highlighting the muscles, joints and movements involved in the specialized coordination singers cultivate.
Sandy’s drawings illuminate how dramatically singers stand to benefit by resolving postural distortions. Note the positions of the larynx in the two illustrations below. The forward head, internally rotated shoulder and depressed sternum typical of Upper Crossed Syndrome significantly change where the larynx sits and alter the length-tension relationships of the muscles it relies upon for mobility and stabilization. Engage in a fitness program designed to resolve these distortions, and you can also alleviate tension and restore full range of motion for your larynx and articulators.
Daniel Welch, Photographs
Daniel Welch has a wealth of experience in fitness photography and frequently works with opera singers to produce head shots and promotional videos; he is himself an accomplished singer, as well as a tireless advocate for the opera community.
Kirsten and David are long-time fitness enthusiasts who appreciate the way their exercise regimens support their singing. They both hope that our project will inspire you to embark on some sport-specific training of your own.
Michael T. Fry, Cover Art
Michael T. Fry is a sculptor, painter, illustrator and highly regarded art teacher based in Mamaroneck, New York whose Halloween decorations have propelled him to viral fame. Mike’s creative gifts, knowledge of anatomy and sense of humor made him the perfect artist for this project. He offered me two versions of the final cover art, one in graphite and one in ink and watercolor, and I now offer his original art work as the top tier rewards for this campaign.
I have been creating and refining the content in this book for nearly twenty years, but to be truly impactful it must be augmented by artwork of the highest possible quality. By helping me complete this project, you’ll enable me to lead you and singers everywhere to new levels of energy, coordination, and insight into how our instruments function.
Risks and challenges
I am under contract with Roman & Littlefield to produce this book, and my manuscript is nearing completion. Once I have delivered all copy and artwork to the publisher, the project will undergo their editorial and design process. At this time Rowman is projecting a May 2018 publication date.
However, considering the number of illustrations and photographs this book will contain, it is possible that the book will take longer than anticipated to layout. That may cause the publication date to be delayed, and will thus delay the receipt of your book. I will keep all backers updated as the book is prepared for publication.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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