Choral Pedagogy

Third Edition

Robert T. Sataloff, Brenda Smith

Details: 344 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-535-6

© 2013

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Choral Pedagogy, Third Edition, is the ideal text for voice teachers, choral conductors, church musicians, and professional and amateur singers who wish to develop strategies for lifelong singing. It concisely and clearly presents the principles of voice pedagogy from the perspective of both conducting and voice science in a user-friendly fashion, including helpful charts and simple anatomic diagrams. In addition, it offers teaching methods from history and philosophy, medical and voice science, and pedagogical concepts from active musical experts. Special attention is given to the needs of amateur singers and conductors. Topics covered include choral diction, posture and seating, rehearsal practices, and matters of vocal health.

For the third edition, the authors have completely revised the text, updating the medical information and expanding the exercises. They have also added three new chapters:

  • A chapter entitled "Singing in the 21st Century" that considers the vocal/choral demands of the choral repertoire being written in this century.
  • A chapter on teaching young boys to sing written by Vic Oakes, the conductor of the Chattanooga Boys Choir.
  • A chapter entitled "The Value of Lifelong Singing."

With its updates and additions, Choral Pedagogy, Third Edition, is a valuable resource for students of choral conducting, music education, church music, and choral singing.


"...Care has been taken to explain the principles of vocal function in user-friendly language via a series of questions as sub-headings; similarly for the chapter on medical care of voice disorders. A new and extensive chapter on hearing loss offers a clear and accessible exposition of the hearing system, and an informative section on different categories of hearing impairment. A chapter on seating problems is short and sweet but worth attention with its practical (and inexpensive) suggestions for eliciting a more forward sitting posture to avoid back pain and maximise breathing efficiency when seated for rehearsal. The chapter on choral pedagogy and vocal health gives sound advice and specifics on appropriate warm up and cool down exercises for choirs. It is also encouraging to see a chapter on the ageing voice, with suggestions for ways to adapt music, part singing and pitch range for older singers, to keep them active in the choral community. ...I was happy to see a clear directive to conductors of separating the tasks of rhythm and melody in music learning, this advice given in chapters on training for adults as well as children. 

...I particularly liked the chapter on voice building for choirs, which gives a range of exercises for specific situations in response to questions used as sub-headings. There is also a chapter on rehearsal techniques, similarly structured, offering an excellent resource to choral conductors. 

Overall, the book is well-written, clearly structured and packed with information, definitely a useful resource. ..."

Dr. Gillyanne Kayes, in Communicating Voice, The British Voice Association (2014)​​​​​

About the Authors

I. Introduction 
1 Amateur and Professional Choral Singers
2 The Rehearsal Process

II. Vocal Health and Pedagogy 
3 Anatomy and Physiology of the Voice
4 Medical Care of Voice Disorders

Robert T. Sataloff and Mary Hawkshaw

5 Hearing Loss in Singers and Other Musicians

Robert T. Sataloff, Joseph Sataloff, and Caren J. Sokolow

6 The Aging Voice

Margaret Baroody and Brenda Smith

7 Performing Arts Medicine and the Professional
Voice User: Risk of Nonvoice Performance
8 Seating Problems of Vocalists

Richard Norris

9 Historical Overview of Vocal Pedagogy

Richard Miller

10 Choral Pedagogy and Vocal Health
11 Voice Disorders Among Choral Music Educators

Brenda Smith

12 Singing in the 21st Century

Brenda Smith

III. The Vocal Approach to Choral Music 
13 Choral Singing and Children
14 The Young Singer

Vincent Oakes

15 Voice Building for Choirs
16 Choral Singing: The Singing Voice and the Choral Tone
17 Choral Singing Techniques
18 Choral Diction
19 Rehearsal Techniques
20 The Value of Lifelong Singing

Brenda Smith


Robert T. Sataloff

Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS, is Professor and Chairman in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Academic Specialties at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is also Adjunct Professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University; as well as on the faculty of the Academy of Vocal Arts.

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Brenda Smith

Brenda Smith, DMA teaches studio voice, diction and vocal pedagogy at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has been widely recognized for her contributions to the concept of lifelong singing through proper voice care. Dr. Smith is a lyric soprano with special interests in the recital and concert repertoire. In addition, Dr. Smith was translator, collaborator, and assistant to Dr. Wilhelm Ehmann and Dr. Frauke Haasemann, the pedagogues whose work in Germany and the United States developed the concept known as "voice building for choirs". Dr. Smith works regularly as consultant, clinician, and conductor with amateur and professional choirs. She has been associated with the choirs of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Central City Chorus, and the Dessoff Choirs in New York City, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Cathedral Choral Society of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., as well as the choirs of the Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Florida. As an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Smith speaks as a resource for solo singers, voice teachers, and choral conductors.

Dr. Smith has collaborated with Dr. Robert Thayer Sataloff, implementing projects to promote vocal health through the choral experience and has presented her work regularly at the International Symposium on the Care of the Professional Voice, sponsored by the Voice Foundation. In June 2000, Dr. Smith was honored by the Voice Foundation and the National Association of Teachers of Singing as the recipient of the Van Lawrence Award in recognition of her demonstrated excellence in teaching of singing and her active interest in voice science and vocal pedagogy. As the Van Lawrence winner, she traveled to the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden during May 2001 to pursue topics in the acoustics of the voice with Dr. Johan Sundberg. With Dr. Sataloff, Dr. Smith is the author of Choral Pedagogy, now in its 2nd edition, (Plural Publishing, 2006).
She is the translator of Voice Building for Choirs by Wilhelm Ehmann and Frauke Haasemann (Chapel Hill, NC: Hinshaw Music, Inc.; 1980). Dr. Smith is the author of Cantare et Sonare: A Handbook of Choral Performance Practice (Hinshaw Music, Inc, 2006) as well as numerous articles on issues of vocal/choral music pedagogy and performance. Dr. Smith serves as Consulting Editor on Singing Voice for Plural Publishing.
In recent years, Dr. Smith has been active in singing voice research related to the aging process. Currently, she is involved with projects associated with the Center for Arts in Healthcare at the University of Florida. With Professor Ronald Burrichter, she directs a program called "Sing for Life", offering singing voice strategies to Parkinson’s patients and their caregivers. She and Professor Burrichter are consultants to the Oak Hammock Singers, a choral organization at a continuing care retirement community in Gainesville.
She has taught at Westminster Choir College, Dickinson College, Rowan University of New Jersey, and State College of Florida in Bradenton, Florida. As Coordinator of Musical Activities at the German School of Middlebury College in Vermont, Dr. Smith founded and directed the "German for Singers" program, a curriculum combining culture and language study with vocal performance. Dr. Smith holds degrees in vocal performance and pedagogy from the University of Evansville, Westminster Choir College, and the University of Maryland with further study at the Hochschule für Kirchenmusik der Evangelischen Kirche-Herford and the Hochschule für Musik und darstellemde Kunst/Hamburg in Germany.

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ISBN13: 978-1-59756-458-8

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Details: 264 pages, B&W, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

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Details: 144 pages, B&W, Spiral Bound + CD, 8.5" x 11"

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Details: 272 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

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