Please forward this error screen to 185. For instrumental technique, see Musical technique. Vocal pedagogy is the study of the art move the pedagogical system of training and education of children science of voice instruction.
It is used in the teaching of singing and assists in defining what singing is, how singing works, and how proper singing technique is accomplished. Vocal pedagogy covers a broad range of aspects of singing, ranging from the physiological process of vocal production to the artistic aspects of interpretation of songs from different genres or historical eras. Human anatomy and physiology as it relates to the physical process of singing. All of these different concepts are a part of developing proper vocal technique. Not all vocal teachers have the same opinions within every topic of study which causes variations in pedagogical approaches and vocal technique.
Within Western culture, the study of vocal pedagogy began in Ancient Greece. Scholars such as Alypius and Pythagoras studied and made observations on the art of singing. The first surviving record of a systematized approach to teaching singing was developed in the medieval monasteries of the Roman Catholic Church sometime near the beginning of the 13th century. With the onset of the Renaissance in the 15th century, the study of singing began to move outside of the church.
It was not until the development of opera in the 17th century that vocal pedagogy began to break away from some of the established thinking of the monastic writers and develop deeper understandings of the physical process of singing and its relation to key concepts like vocal registration and vocal resonation. Voice teachers in the 19th century continued to train singers for careers in opera. Manuel Patricio Rodríguez García is often considered one of the most important voice teachers of the 19th century, and is credited with the development of the laryngoscope and the beginning of modern voice pedagogy. Mathilde Marchesi was both an important singer and teacher of singing at the turn of the 20th century. The field of voice pedagogy became more fully developed in the middle of the 20th century. Appelman and Vennard were also part of a group of voice instructors who developed courses of study for beginning voice teachers, adding these scientific ideas to the standard exercises and empirical ways to improve vocal technique, and by 1980 the subject of voice pedagogy was beginning to be included in many college music degree programs for singers and vocal music educators.
More recent works by authors such as Richard Miller and Johan Sundberg have increased the general knowledge of voice teachers, and scientific and practical aspects of voice pedagogy continue to be studied and discussed by professionals. There are basically three major approaches to vocal pedagogy, all related to how the mechanistic and psychological controls are employed within the act of singing. Some voice instructors advocate an extreme mechanistic approach that believes that singing is largely a matter of getting the right physical parts in the right places at the right time, and that correcting vocal faults is accomplished by calling direct attention to the parts which are not working well. There are four physical processes involved in producing vocal sound: respiration, phonation, resonation, and articulation. Although these four processes are to be considered separately, in actual practice they merge into one coordinated function. With an effective singer or speaker, one should rarely be reminded of the process involved as their mind and body are so coordinated that one only perceives the resulting unified function. Many vocal problems result from a lack of coordination within this process.
A labeled anatomical diagram of the vocal folds or cords. In its most basic sense, respiration is the process of moving air in and out of the body—inhalation and exhalation. Breathing for singing and speaking is a more controlled process than is the ordinary breathing used for sustaining life. The controls applied to exhalation are particularly important in good vocal technique.
Phonation is the process of producing vocal sound by the vibration of the vocal folds that is in turn modified by the resonance of the vocal tract. Various terms related to the resonation process include amplification, enrichment, enlargement, improvement, intensification, and prolongation, although in strictly scientific usage acoustic authorities would question most of them. There are seven areas that may be listed as possible vocal resonators. Research has shown that the larynx, the pharynx and the oral cavity are the main resonators of vocal sound, with the nasal cavity only coming into play in nasal consonants, or nasal vowels, such as those found in French. This main resonating space, from above the vocal folds to the lips is known as the vocal tract. Many voice users experience sensations in the sinuses that may be misconstrued as resonance. Articulation is the process by which the joint product of the vibrator and the resonators is shaped into recognizable speech sounds through the muscular adjustments and movements of the speech organs.
These adjustments and movements of the articulators result in verbal communication and thus form the essential difference between the human voice and other musical instruments. Singing without understandable words limits the voice to nonverbal communication. Unlike active articulation, passive articulation is a continuum without many clear-cut boundaries. The places linguolabial and interdental, interdental and dental, dental and alveolar, alveolar and palatal, palatal and velar, velar and uvular merge into one another, and a consonant may be pronounced somewhere between the named places. Interpretation is sometimes listed by voice teachers as a fifth physical process even though strictly speaking it is not a physical process. The reason for this is that interpretation does influence the kind of sound a singer makes which is ultimately achieved through a physical action the singer is doing. Vocal sounds are divided into two basic categories-vowels and consonants-with a wide variety of sub-classifications.
Voice Teachers and serious voice students spend a great deal of time studying how the voice forms vowels and consonants, and studying the problems that certain consonants or vowels may cause while singing. Describing vocal sound is an inexact science largely because the human voice is a self-contained instrument. Another problem in describing vocal sound lies in the vocal vocabulary itself. There are many schools of thought within vocal pedagogy and different schools have adopted different terms, sometimes from other artistic disciplines. This has led to the use of a plethora of descriptive terms applied to the voice which are not always understood to mean the same thing. The singing process functions best when certain physical conditions of the body exist.