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Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer (w/CD).

[website] Vocal Workouts for the Contemporary Singer (w/CD), by Anne Peckham. Berklee Press (1140 Boylston St., Boston, MA 02215), 2006. 117 pp. $24.95.

As a modern day voice teacher, it is impossible to ignore the lesson requests coming from young singers whose goal is to be the next "American Idol." Correct practice leads to correct singing in any style, and good vocal technique remains unchanged providing a secure foundation for any singing style to build upon. In this practical companion book to The Contemporary Singer, author Anne Peckham delivers a solid foundation of vocal exercises in an updated format that can lead to healthy singing for anyone.

This practical guide is divided into two sections. The first section provides an explanation of vocal essentials: breathing, vocal care, vibrato, vocal registers, belting, auditions and an outline of the four essential building blocks for vocal training: practice, patience, perseverance and play, Some of the most appealing parts of this first section are the pictures of proper body alignment, body warm-up exercises and the role that listening and imagery play in the application of singing.

With each technical exercise there is an explanation of the technique and its benefits, as well as a printed musical example and aural performance of the exercise. Helpful tips and insights worth highlighting are sprinkled throughout the workbook.

One of the strengths of this workbook is the practice CD that is included for the "Part II" vocal workouts. The relevant accompaniments use changing harmonies, jazz and rhythm instrumentation with traditional vocal exercises. Syncopated warm-ups that start on up-beats and continue on after beats are included, as are exercises using "scat" syllables for the jazz singer. The CD contains a warm-up for all voices, a basic workout and advanced workout for both high and low ranges, and some two- and three-part exercises.

The book should definitely be used under the direction and guidance of a voice teacher, however, because some of the style suggestions should only be applied after pitch and rhythm distinction have been developed. Reviewed by Lucinda Lear, NCTM, Waterloo, Iowa.

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Author:Lear, Lucinda
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book review
Date:Apr 1, 2006
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