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Coaching different vocal styles

As a vocal coach in an international high school in Europe, I am faced with trying to address different vocal styles in private classes. My background is "bel canto", but I have to help high school students learn to sing in the musical or jazz ensemble with appropriate, healthy vocal production, while adopting a sound that works in those situations. I would LOVE to hear some suggestions for worthwhile materials, either books, DVD's, whatever.....that address the technical issues of healthy vocal production in pop, jazz and musical theatre settings. NO seminars over here, folks, so any thoughts, names of GOOD materials, clinicians, etc., would be VERY helpful! Gracias, Nancy Rodemann
Replies (7): Threaded | Chronological
on December 14, 2010 11:50am
Hello Nancy,
In my Vocal Pedagogy class, we read the following book, which I thought was extremely well done:  "Learning to sing non classical music" by Ronald Combs and Robert Bowker.  There is a section where they show the pop notation for one song in many different styles (pop, jazz, blues, country and rock).  The book is excellent for voice teachers and goes into wonderful details about what each styles entails (how rhythm, ornamentation and vocal quality are treated in each different style).  If you can get the CD that is also available for sale I think, that's even better.
Good luck!
on December 14, 2010 12:41pm
Hi, Nancy. Steve Milloy here. I co-wrote a book called "Popular Voiceworks" (published by Oxford University Press) that addresses these issues. I would also check out the website The teachers on this website come from a bel canto background and produce many videos, tutorials, etc. to address singing in popular styles in a healthy fashion. "Mastering Mix" is a favorite of mine and I use exercises from it regularly with myself and my students. 
Hope this helps!
Steve Milloy
on February 9, 2012 9:18pm
Hi! If you care to respond to a question about the Singing Success method. I've looked at a bunch of YouTube video, and it all looks like pretty sound instruction. But I'm also aware that Brett Manning has said that classical methods don't work for the pop singer, despite what most classical teachers say all the time, and yet there are a LOT of classically-derived concepts in the videos. I'm wondering what's the thing that actually separates his methods from most classical teachers?
Thanks so much.
Amy Saari
on December 14, 2010 5:08pm
I would recommend looking into the research and publications of Jeannette Lovetri.
Jeannette LoVetri, a singer and vocal pedagogue in New York, has developed a methodology she calls "Somatic Voicework", which is a pedagogy for preparing singers for pop, jazz, musical theatre, rock, other works, Contemporary Commercial Music or CCM.  Jeannette is a retired coloratura soprano who has made research in to vocology and its application to CCM singing her specialty and the focus of her teaching. 
She also specializes in working with children who are performing on Broadway or in non-professional musical theatre, and is the Voice Specialist for the Brooklyn Youth Chorus since its inception in 1992.  She gives teacher training seminars every summer, and many voice professors who find themselves teaching musical theatre or commercial voice majors have attended her pedagogy workshops..
Since you're located in Europe, you might also look into the Roy Hart International Arts Centre in Maléargues, France, which holds workshops in voice training for the theatre and for vocal work beyond bel canto.  Their website: 
best of luck,
Nancy Curry
on February 11, 2012 8:26am
My experience with Roy Hart technique is that it seems to work okay for male voices but can be destructive for female voices.
on December 15, 2010 10:35am
Thank you all so very much! I will check all of your suggestions out. This is exactly the kind of info I needed. Feliz Navidad y prospero año nuevo desde Madrid! Nancy Rodemann.
on January 4, 2011 11:26pm
I too, second, the 'other' Nancy's post regarding Jeannette LoVetri.  She does a week long workshop in Virginia during the summer at Shenandoah Conservatory.   I took the class with her as well as private lessons with her and she is just absolutely amazing.  Check out their website: 
Hope this helps!
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