The Vocal Athlete.

Second Edition

Wendy D. LeBorgne, Marci Daniels Rosenberg

Details: 393 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-163-6

© 2021 | Available

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The Vocal Athlete, Second Edition and the companion book The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer, Second Edition 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 textbook is a “must have” for vocal pedagogy courses and speech-language pathologists, singing voice specialists, and voice teachers. 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.

The text 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.

New to the Second Edition

  • New medical chapter on Common Pathologies in Vocal Athletes
  • New comprehensive chapter on Perception, Aesthetics, and Registration in the Commercial Vocal Athlete
  • Extended sections in Motor Learning and Exercise Physiology chapters
  • Updated references throughout
  • Access to a PluralPlus companion website with PowerPoint lecture slides

Wendy D. LeBorgne and Marci Daniels Rosenberg join the VocalFri Podcast to talk about The Vocal Athlete, a landmark voice pedagogy text that was the first of its kind to fully incorporate contemporary and musical theater singing pedagogy alongside classical voice pedagogy in a fully evidence based manner. Listen here

Related Workbook

The companion book, The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer, Second Edition is a practical array of vocal exercises and techniques described by experienced CCM vocal pedagogues. This workbook features access to a PluralPlus companion website with singing exercises to further enhance understanding of techniques and skills used in training these singers.

The Vocal Athlete text and workbook are invaluable tools for anyone who uses or trains the singing voice or works with CCM singers.


"This comprehensive book provides an in-depth understanding of the vocal mechanism, specific care of the body and instrument, and the science behind the voice. It is organized into logical sections and the chapters cover key areas of interest, which makes it easy to skip to a desired topic. ...It is intended as a guide for those who work with the 21st-century vocal athlete. This book is needed in the field as there is often a gap of knowledge between traditional vocal pedagogy and current voice science, especially in contemporary commercial music (CCM). This is the only book available that synthesizes core knowledge of the vocal mechanism, vocal health, pedagogy, and accessible voice research in one publication."
—Jonelyn Langenstein, MM, MS, CCC-SLP, BCS-S, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, in Doody's Reviews (September 2019)

"The new second edition of The Vocal Athlete contains all the substance that made the first edition such a unique resource while also introducing additional and even more current material. Perusal of the table of contents reveals two entirely new chapters. [...] Readers will find many updates throughout this second edition in the form of additional sections of text, new references, and new information that was not yet available when the first edition was published. The compendium notebook, The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer, has also been updated and expanded. This second edition is a collection of 78 vocal exercises from 65 contributors, constituting an additional 34 pages of content beyond those in the first edition (14 more exercises from 13 additional contributors)."
—Brian Manternach, DM, in Classical Singer (March 2020)





Section I.  Structure & Function of the Voice

Chapter 1. The Singer’s Body: Alignment, movement, and Intention


Kinesthetic Awareness and the Somatic Rolodex

Tension versus Release


Posture and Alignment          

Assessing Posture and Alignment     

Beyond Posture          

Body Mapping


Chapter Summary      



Chapter 2. Respiratory Kinematics

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      



Chapter 3. Laryngeal Anatomy, Physiology, and Function During Singing


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        


Chapter Summary      



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                        



Chapter 5. Resonance and Vocal Acoustics


Resonators and Resonance                                                                                     

Focus and Placement                                                                                              

Chapter Summary                                                                                                   



Chapter 6. Perceptions, Aesthetics and Registration in the Commercial Vocal Athlete


History and Evolution of Vocal Registers

Registration as a Laryngeal Event

Registration ad a Vocal Tract/Timbre Event

Registration Transitions in Classical and Musical Theater Vocal Athletes

Voice Typing in Musical Theater Vocal Athletes




Section II. Vocal Health and Fitness

Chapter 7. Impact of Phonotrauma on Vocal Health and Singing


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

Vocal Load and Phonotrauma                                                                                

Management of Phonotrauma                                                                                

Behavioral Intervention                                                                                          

Direct Voice Therapy                                                                                             

Medical and Surgical Management                                                                        

Chapter Summary                                                                                                   



Chapter 8. Common Vocal Pathologies in Vocal Athletes: A Medical Perspective

Robbi Kupfer


Muscle Tension Dysphonia

Other Laryngeal Disorders

Evaluation and Diagnosis of Vocal Pathology: What to Expect During a Visit?


Chapter Summary



Chapter 9. Multidisciplinary Care of the Vocal Athlete

Leda Scearce


The Voice Care Team

The Voice Evaluation

Roles and Responsibilities of the Voice Care Team

Collaborative Interaction and Decision Making

Chapter Summary



Chapter 10. Laryngeal Reflux: What the Singer Needs to Know

Adam D. Rubin and Cristina Jackson-Menaldi



Complications of Reflux                                                                                        

How Do I Know if I Have Reflux?                                                                        


Chapter Summary                                                                                                   



Chapter 11. The Singer’s Guide to Anesthesiology and Voice

Samuel A. Schechtman and Andrew Rosenberg


Basics of Anesthesia                                                                                  

Procedures that Require Airway Devices                                                  

Singer Concerns                                                                                         

Other Common Airway and Vocal Tract Complications and Preventive Considerations    

Chapter Summary                                                                                      



Chapter 12. Life Cycle of the Voice


The Pediatric Performer: Considerations for Vocal Performing in Children Through Adolescence

Aspects of the Aging Voice and the Nonclassical Singer                          

Chapter Summary                                                                                      



Chapter 13. Medicine, Myths and Truths


Medications and the Voice                                                                        

Reflux Medications                                                                                    

Herbal Supplements and Vitamins                                                            

Chapter Summary                                                                                      



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

Chapter 14. History of Classical Voice Pedagogy


Classical Vocal Pedagogy

Early Vocal Pedagogues                                                                                  

Chapter Summary                                                                                            


Appendix 14–A. Classical Vocal Pedagogy Resources


Chapter 15. Belting: Pedagogical Considerations


Increasing Demand for Commercial Pedagogy and Belting                           

Overview of History and Pedagogical Approaches for Belting                      

Chapter Summary                                                                                               



Chapter 16. Physiology of Belting: Research and Theory


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                                                                                               



Chapter 17. Exercise Physiology Principals for Training the Vocal Athlete


Muscle Fibers and Laryngeal Function                                                              

Skeletal (Limb) Muscles

Muscle Fuel                                                                                                        

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                                                                                               



Chapter 18. Application of Motor Learning Principals to Voice Training


Motor Performance Versus Motor Learning                                                      

Stages of Motor Learning                                                                                   

Establishing Training Goals                                                                               

Structuring a Lesson                                                                                           

The Forgetting Hypothesis                                                                                 

Feedback and Cueing                                                                                         

Reducing Learner Dependency

Implicit versus Explicit Learning                                                                       

Directing Learners’ Attention                                                                            

Chapter Summary                                                                                               



Chapter 19. The Art of Perfection: What Every Singer Should Know About Audio Technology

Matthew Edwards


The Roots: Wax Cylinder Recordings                                                                       

Modern Recording Methods                                                                      

Live Performance                                                                                       


Listening Levels                                                                                         

The Equipment Behind the Product                                                          

Signal Processing                                                                                       

Live Sound Systems                                                                                   

Teaching with Audio Equipment                                                               

Chapter Summary                                                                                      



Wendy D. LeBorgne

Wendy D. LeBorgne, PhD, CCC-SLP, is a voice pathologist, a singing voice specialist, and director of the Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis and Rehabilitation and The Professional Voice Center of Greater Cincinnati. Additionally, she holds an adjunct faculty position at Cincinnati College-Conservatory. Dr. LeBorgne's original, peer-reviewed research on the performing voice has been published in multiple scientific journals and she presents nationally and internationally on the professional performing voice. Dr. LeBorgne teaches workshops and master classes on vocal health and belting at major music schools and conservatories throughout the United States. Her clients can be found on local and national stages as well as TV and film. Dr. LeBorgne also maintains an active professional performing career.

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Marci Daniels Rosenberg

Marci Daniels Rosenberg, BM, MS CCC-SLP is a singer and clinical singing voice specialist at The University of Michigan, Vocal Health Center specializing in rehabilitation of injured voices.

Learn More

Instructors of this book receive complimentary access to supplementary materials hosted on a PluralPlus companion website.

To access the materials, log in to the website using the URL located inside the front cover of your copy of The Vocal Athlete, Second Edition.

To access the instructor materials, you must contact Plural Publishing, Inc. to be verified as an instructor and receive your access code.

Tel: 866-758-7251 (toll free) or 858-492-1555

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First Edition

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Details: 151 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-037-0

© 2018 | Available

The Evolving Singing Voice: Changes Across the Lifespan

First Edition

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Details: 331 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-043-1

© 2018 | Available

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Third Edition

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Details: 984 pages, B&W, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-860-9

© 2017 | Available

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Second Edition

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Details: 248 pages, B&W, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-94488-333-1

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Second Edition

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Details: Online Access

© 2017 | Available

Rating Laryngeal Videostroboscopy and Acoustic Recordings: Normal and Pathologic Samples (DVD)

Second Edition

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Details: DVD

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-802-9

© 2017 | Available

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Second Edition

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Details: DVD

ISBN13: 978-1-59756-800-5

© 2017 | Available

The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer.

Second Edition

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Details: 157 pages, B&W, Spiral Bound, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-164-3

© 2021 | Available

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Third Edition

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Details: 289 pages, B&W, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-183-4

© 2020 | Available

Diction in Context: Singing in English, Italian, German, and French

First Edition

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Details: 345 pages, B&W, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-120-9

© 2021 | Available

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First Edition

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Details: 246 pages, B&W, Softcover, 6" x 9"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-223-7

© 2020 | Available

What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body

Fourth Edition

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Details: 312 pages, B&W, Softcover, 8.5" x 11"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-261-9

© 2020 | Available

Singing and Teaching Singing: A Holistic Approach to Classical Voice

Fourth Edition

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Details: 620 pages, B&W, Softcover, 7" x 10"

ISBN13: 978-1-63550-339-5

© 2023 | Available