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on March 10, 2008
This is one of the best books on vocal pedagogy ever written. I just got this edition in order to have the CD which I hadn't purchased with the first edition I had bought. The CD pinpoints vocal faults clearly. However, the sound quality of the recording is LOUSY. And to top it all off, this edition is really a reprint of the 1994 revised issue. So far so good, but the quality of both the paper and the printing is awful: on some pages the printing is REALLY blurry. If you can get the 1994 edition, do it, for it is much easier to read.
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on March 26, 2007
I loved this book. I own 6 other books on the training of singers but this new acquisition is the BEST. It is short and to the point which tells me the author knows what he is talking about and gets down to business. It is filled with practical ideas for choir directors in working with members individually on their voices. He follows the same teaching sequence I was taught years ago - breathing, phonation etc.; and I have used it successfuly to help my singing and other singers for years. Each vocal fault is clearly identified and many suggested exercises are provided to help the singer overcome their vocal faults to produce the best sound possible. I have been singing in church choirs since childhood. I am also a choir director at my church. I learned several things that were helpful to me personally. I was able to put the teaching immediately into practice; and it improved my tone immediately (thought I was above average in ability to begin with). I was able to take each topic and boil the main teaching down to a sentence or two to help identify vocal faults; and then I wrote a sentence or two on the fixes! This make a good cheat sheet or quick reference to use during choir practice. Wonderful book!! Would highly recommend it to church choir directors or vocal trainers!
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on January 4, 2013
I am a novice voice teacher but, to date, this has been the most helpful book for me regarding technique. I read to help me with teaching but found a few great perspectives that have inspired my own singing as well. I have the CD and haven't even gotten around to listening to it yet, yet have begun reading the book a second time. I got out my classic Richard Miller "the structure of singing" and found that he discusses many of the same concepts in a way that is less helpful and relevant for communicating practical help to my amateur, high school, students. For example, McKinney uses such simple, clear (non-technical) verbiage such as "breathing out muscles" rather than "muscles of expiration" which gives helpful ideas/tools of communication for my students.
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on November 24, 2008
Finally! McKinney does not cover only vocal faults but pedagogy in general. He covers topics in a wonderful way, without ever talking down to the reader, as other pedagogues do. Also, his method of explanation works for any kind of singer, not just classical singers. This book is wonderful! I'm so glad I found it.
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on November 5, 2008
I walked into Vocal Pedagogy class in the fall of 1984 at Southwestern Baptist Seminary to discover the author of the required text would also be my professor. Dean McKinney was already an expert in the field and considered a "voice teacher for voice teachers." His newly published text made his knowledge instantly available to all. During the semester he walked us page by page through the book, gave hands on demonstrations, and frequently brought in singers to demonstrate correct and incorrect techniques.
As a full time Minister of Music in a Baptist Church, I work with children, teens, and young, median, and senior adults in various choral settings. Twenty-five years later my signed copy of this book is always nearby, providing quick reference for any vocal situation I need assistance with.
This book is not only valuable to voice teachers, but to choral directors of any age group. I highly recommend it.
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on August 20, 2012
Everyone who has read this book will agree it's full of valuable information for teachers with practical solutions for some tetchy vocal problems. There's only one thing missing. Nowhere does the author go into detail about the ever prevailing problem of pitch correction. In all of these singing manuals I've read, none of them have addressed this problem other than to suggest warm ups before the lesson and the occasional scale practise. The reality is very different however and correcting pitch problems, no matter how small, is an area which is sorely neglected in vocal tutorials. Most people with pitch problems don't respond well to echoing pitching and interval drilling. If they did, they wouldn't have a pitch problem. This book has everything covered off beautifully, except for this one. Sadly we need to keep searching the shelves to find the solution.
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on August 3, 2015
The CD offers trained singers imitating vocal faults, not singers who actually have these faults. Thus it's limited in its ability to clearly illustrate these particular vocal problems as the recorded voices are too refined to accurately portray problems as would be found through the daily work of a vocal teacher or choir director trying to help nonprofessional singers. Overall though it's a concise book that should be considered along with other serious, anatomically informed approaches to vocal pedagogy.
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on February 13, 2013
I have found this book very informative. Clear and concise it covers all aspects of vocal teaching.The summary of each section clearly listed at the end of each section is especially helpful and time saving. I recommend this book to those interested in improving their voice and to vocal teachers interested in refreshing their knowledge.
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on December 17, 2012
This was a perfect idea for a gift for my husband. He teaches vocal students and is always looking for ways to teach technique and to help them with a variety of vocal issues. When I saw this I thought that it was not only useful, but something he'll enjoy reading.
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on September 26, 2013
This is a good book, however it tends to lean more toward "formal" vocal training for those that are singing in choirs, doing acapella stuff, or musicals. Very academic approach to singing, as opposed to a "working mans" vocal coach. Still some good ideas to be had in here, but really is geared toward vocal instructors and the like. If you are a live musician, then I would recommend "Set your voice free" by Roger Love.
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