Music is Muscular


Your voice is the only instrument you can’t see. This is what makes the voice so magical. Singing is a journey of self exploration and why.


Your voice is the only instrument you can’t see. This is what makes the voice so magical and also so complicated to “play” as a musician. As a musician, we often rely on a full sensory experience. Guitarists, for instance, rely on the sound of the notes and feel under their hands. Vocal mastery is hard for this reason. When one sense is cut, such as sight, we have to rely more heavily on others such as sound and feel to forge those neuro pathways as learners. Many students come in seeking “voice control”, and really what they are lacking is not the muscular control of the folds themselves, but the discipline to visualize the voice in their minds. There is a conceptulization componenet between mind and body.


The more contemporary the vocal program, the more emphasis there seems to be on the fold level. This, of course, is important and consistent with science. However, classical voice technique focuses more so on the breath and “lean” (better known as appoggiare). The order of importance of these two concepts are heavily debated, but generally, there is an agreed-upon order of operations within the body: the breath (the fuel), the folds (the generator), the resonance/embouchure (the filter). Muscular mastery occurs when these three components can work in conjunction and opposition. The technical term for this is “nonlinear source filtering”. Like any other muscular workout, both strength and flexibility take time to develop and need to be maintained. If you work the process, you will see singing progress.


Throughout the arrangements, Piano for the Vocalist introduces music theory terms based on the real-world examples used in each piece. For example if your song uses parallel motion, the arrangement will point out how the arrangement uses it.

Music theory examples are featured in a different color to draw attention to the sample.

Similarly, many arrangements feature supplemental material with music theory examples like the scale used in the song and Roman Numeral analysis for the piece. This material allows students to take knowledge out of a theory textbook and put it to music they are learning to play and sing.

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