Introduction

Healthy vocal production is necessary for everyone in the teaching field. Vocal Techniques courses help develop the singing voice as well as support general vocal production. Speaking or singing for several hours a day is taxing on the voice and learning to use breath support during these actions will help the voice withstand the demands of teaching. However, no voice is immune to overuse or misuse. Developing healthy habits are important to vocal longevity. Understanding how to use the voice and what to be aware of when vocal fatigue starts to set in is crucial to vocal health and stamina.

The purpose of this text is to teach instrumental music education students about vocal production as it applies to solo singing. Beginning with a foundational understanding of breathing and alignment (posture), singers will learn about the vocal instrument (anatomy), how to create a clear, pleasant, tone (phonation and resonance), pronounce words clearly (articulation and diction) and how singing can be related to the study of their major instrument.

Through exploration of their own unique instrument, students will learn to apply many of their major techniques to singing, and learn what techniques may hamper their vocal progress. They will gain confidence by singing for each other in small groups, in front of the class, and in a final recital. Learning to sing a solo from memory and communicating with an audience will help students gain poise and confidence, which translates into a more confident teacher.

This text will also discuss the application of the techniques of vocal production as they pertain to teaching young singers. Most music education students are licensed to teach K-12 music and regardless of whether they have an instrumental or vocal focus, much of elementary teaching is rooted in singing. New instrumental music education graduates may find themselves teaching elementary music or choir in their first years. Having a general understanding of the voice will set them on the right track.

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