Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and otolaryngology.


The Vocal Athlete

Co-Authors: Wendy D. LeBorgne, Marci Rosenberg
328 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 7 x 10"
Release Date:


The Vocal Athlete and the companion book The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer are written and designed to bridge the gap between the art of contemporary commercial music (CCM) singing and the science behind voice production in this ever-growing popular vocal style. This book is a must have for the speech pathologist, singing voice specialist, and vocal pedagogue. Heavily referenced, this text is ripe with current research on singing science as it relates to the CCM voice.

In addition to general singing science, The Vocal Athlete is the first book of its kind to address the unique vocal and physiologic demands of commercial singing from a sound scientific and pedagogical standpoint. Historical review of classical vocal pedagogy is interwoven and transitioned to current pedagogy of CCM. Anyone who trains singers will gain insight into the current research and trends regarding the commercial music artist. Specifically, promotion and maintenance vocal wellness unique to the high demands of the CCM artist are provided for career longevity. Readers are provided additional resources on the multidisciplinary roles relative to managing vocal injury for this high risk group of singers.

The Vocal Athlete distinguishes itself from other pedagogy texts by incorporating current peer reviewed literature in the area of CCM and its studio application. Also unique to this text are chapters on body alignment, traditional and holistic medicine, the lifecycle of the voice, and the physiology of belting.

The companion book The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer is a practical array of vocal exercises and techniques described by experienced CCM vocal pedagogues. This book comes with a CD of the singing exercises to further enhance understanding of techniques and skills used in training these singers. (Learn more about The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer).

These books are invaluable tools for anyone who uses or trains the singing voice.


  • Barbara Fox DeMaio Caprilli, DMA, Assistant Professor of Voice University of Central Oklahoma, Artistic Director American Singers' Opera Project, NC, DMA Vocal Pedagogy Shenandoah Conservatory (August 16, 2014):
    "I will be using ''The Vocal Athlete'' for my Vocal Pedagogy class in the Spring. For many years I have been looking for a book that was the right combination of vocal science and classical pedagogy, yet at the same time an accessible read for the college classroom. This is the book; indeed, I have the feeling that this will become the go-to Vocal Pedagogy textbook for many years to come. The book is one of the first to address the unique challenges of the modern Contemporary Commercial Music field, but there is also an extensive chapter on the history of classical Vocal Pedagogy. This book has it all; and don't forget the workbook which is full of very useful exercises for the modern voice studio, indispensable for your students as they begin to teach."

  • Charlie Gilbert, The SAVI Singing Actor (September, 8, 2014):
    "With the publication of The Vocal Athlete, singers and voice teachers now have access to a remarkable, unprecedented collection of resources. The breadth and comprehensiveness of this two-volume set are remarkable… The phenomenon of the “hybrid singer” has led to the proliferation of a “hybrid teacher”… Early responses suggest that this kind of teacher will find “The Vocal Athlete” to be an incredibly valuable resource, a compendium of some of the best and most current thinking in the field, complemented by a thoughtful review of the scientific literature. … [The companion] workbook and CD provide both teachers and students with the opportunity to explore some of the best practices of the world’s top pedagogues..."

  • Patricia Boehm, PhD, Professor of Music, University of Mount Union (November 2014):
    "I find the tables and illustrations extremely engaging and useful for allowing us to have the mind/body/spirit discussions with our singers. In addition, the chapters that are specific to wellness for singing in Section II are also powerful and support the profession’s turn toward ministering to the whole body as the singing instrument."

  • Deborah Winter, Director of Voice Workshop, Voice Workshop (April 9th, 2015):
    "An essential purchase for anyone who is serious about vocal pedagogy! This is a well written, formidably researched and thought provoking text. It’s a comprehensive journey through anatomy, physiology, acoustics and vocal health all of which are expertly applied to the world of CCM. It provides a wealth of research and astute analysis in terms of application and relevance to teaching. It also offers an abundance of references and ideas for further reading and research. The authors dedicate two highly informative chapters to belting, dispelling the myths surrounding this contentious and misunderstood vocal quality. It explains the vocal configuration in depth and is of value to both seasoned professionals as well as those new to belting.This book is an important addition to university reading lists as well as the bookshelves of teachers of singing. It is accompanied by a spiral-bound application and technique manual which effectively relates theory to practice. This easy to access text will sit neatly in the vocal studio and is brimming with teaching ideas and exercises all of which are presented in a methodical format. It’s easy to dip in and out of or use as a systematic teaching strategy that is rooted in scientific research. Accompanied by a demonstration CD, this resource really does have it all!"


Primary Subject: Singing and the Performing Arts
Secondary Subject: Voice
Secondary Subject: Speech-Language Pathology / Voice and Voice Therapy
Audience Level: Academic


Section I. Structure and Function of the Voice

  • Chapter 1. The Singer’s Body: Alignment, Movement, and Intention
    • Introduction
    • Posture and Alignment
    • Assessing Posture and Alignment
    • Beyond Posture
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 2. Respiratory Kinematics
    • Introduction
    • Historical Overview of Respiratory Pedagogy
    • Contemporary Respiratory Pedagogical Training
    • Respiratory Pedagogical Summary
    • Anatomy and Physiology of the Respiratory Mechanism for the Singer
    • Respiratory Kinematics for Vocal Athletes—What the Research Tells Us
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 3. Laryngeal Anatomy, Physiology, and Function during Singing
    • Introduction
    • Role of the Larynx
    • Basic Laryngeal Anatomy and Physiology
    • Review of Nerve Supply to the Intrinsic Muscles
    • Microstructure of the Vocal Folds
    • Vocal Fold Vibration
    • Phonatory Onset
    • Vibrato
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 4. Neurologic Control of Voice Production
    • Working from the Top Down: From the Singer’s Brain to the Singer’s Body
    • Central Nervous System
    • Peripheral Nervous System
    • Autonomic Nervous System
    • Summary of Neuromotor and Neurosensory Pathways for Voice Production
    • Musical Performance Anxiety and Emotional Aspects of Singing
    • References

  • Chapter 5. Resonance and Vocal Acoustics
    • Introduction
    • Resonators and Resonance
    • Focus and Placement
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

Section II. Vocal Health and Fitness

  • Chapter 6. Impact of Phonotraumatic Behaviors on Vocal Health and Singing
    • Introduction
    • What Is Phonotrauma?
    • Risk for Phonotrauma
    • Impact of Phonotraumatic Behaviors on Voice and Singing
    • When Is Vocal Rest Indicated?
    • Voice Rest and Vocal Fold Surgery
    • Wound Healing Physiology
    • Vocal Rest versus Vocal Exercise
    • Management of Phonotrauma
    • Behavioral Intervention
    • Direct Voice Therapy
    • Medical and Surgical Management
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 7. Laryngopharyngeal Reflux: What the Singer Needs to Know
      • Adam D. Rubin and Maria Cristina Jackson-Menaldi
    • Introduction
    • Symptoms
    • Complications of Reflux
    • How Do I Know if I Have Reflux?
    • Treatment
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 8. The Singer’s Guide to Anesthesiology and Voice
      • Andrew Rosenberg
    • Introduction
    • Basics of Anesthesia
    • Procedures that Require Airway Devices
    • Singer Concerns
    • Airway and Vocal Tract Complications
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 9. The Life Cycle of the Singing Voice
    • Overview
    • The Pediatric Performer: Considerations for Vocal Performing in Children Through Adolescence
    • Aspects of the Aging Voice and the Nonclassical Singer
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 10. Medicine, Myths, and Truths
    • Introduction
    • Medications and the Voice
    • Reflux Medications
    • Herbal Supplements and Vitamins
    • References

  • Chapter 11. Multidisciplinary Care of the Vocal Athlete
      • Leda Scearce
    • Introduction
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

Section III. Vocal Pedagogy for the 21st-Century Vocal Athlete

  • Chapter 12. History of Classical Voice Pedagogy
    • Overview
    • Chapter Summary
    • References
    • Appendix 12-A. Classical Vocal Pedagogy Resources

  • Chapter 13. Belting Pedagogy: An Overview of Perspectives
    • Introduction
    • Increasing Demand for Commercial Pedagogy and Belting
    • Overview of History and Pedagogical Approaches for Belting
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 14. Belting: Theory and Research
    • Introduction
    • Belting—Perceptual Research
    • Laryngeal Muscle Activity and Action during CCM Singing
    • Voice Source Information on Belting
    • Formants and Harmonic Findings/Singers Formant/Formant Tuning
    • Intensity Findings
    • Vibrato Findings
    • Timbre/Spectral Slope Findings
    • Nasality Findings
    • Registration Findings
    • The Science Behind the Singing: Inertance and Compliance Theories
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 15. Exercise Physiology Principles for Training the Vocal Athlete
    • Introduction
    • Muscle Fibers and Laryngeal Function
    • Skeletal (Limb) Muscles
    • Basic Training Principles for Exercise Science
    • Research on Exercise Science for Voice
    • Application of Exercise Physiology Principles for Training Vocal Athletes
    • Vocal Warm Ups
    • Voice Fatigue
    • Monitoring Vocal Effort
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 16. Application of Motor Learning Principles to Voice Training
    • Introduction
    • Motor Performance versus Motor Learning
    • Stages of Motor Learning
    • Establishing Training Goals
    • Structuring a Lesson
    • The Forgetting Hypothesis
    • Feedback and Cueing
    • Reducing Learner Dependency
    • Directing Learners’ Attention
    • Chapter Summary
    • References

  • Chapter 17. The Art of Perfection: What Every Singer and Voice Teacher Should Know about Audio Technology
      • Matthew Edwards
    • Introduction
    • Audio Engineers and the Art of Perfection
    • Recording in the Early 20th Century
    • Modern Recording Methods
    • Live Performance
    • Opera
    • Listening Levels
    • Understanding Modern Recording Technology
    • Signal Processing
    • The Basics of Live Sound Systems
    • Teaching with Audio Equipment
    • Chapter Summary
    • References


Related Titles

The Vocal Athlete

The Vocal Athlete

Co-Authors: Marci Rosenberg, Wendy D. LeBorgne

144 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Spiral Bound, 8.5 x 11"