Vocal Technique: A Physiologic Approach

Second Edition

Jan Bickel

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

ISBN13: 978-1-94488-333-1

© 2017 | Available

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Vocal Technique: A Physiologic Approach, Second Edition builds upon the premise firmly established in its first edition -- a singer who understands how his or her body functions when speaking and singing will necessarily be a better singer and teacher of singing. As such, it is the ideal text for voice classes and lessons at the university level as well as for voice lessons in the independent studio. Because it is so comprehensive, including anatomy, posture, breath management, physiology of tone production, achieving resonance, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), classification of voices, health care for singers, a logical method for learning repertoire, stage deportment, and technology in the voice studio, it is also an excellent book for teaching vocal pedagogy.

This text provides the essential information regarding anatomic and physiologic functions connected with the speaking and singing process so that singers will learn to develop their technique fully and thus maintain optimal technical skill and vocal health throughout a long singing and/or teaching career. The technical aspects of singing are discussed in detail, giving the singer the tools to apply this technique to a wide variety of repertoire and languages. The author provides a thorough introduction to the IPA and its application to the English, Italian, French, German, and Castilian Spanish languages. The material provided here is supplemented with a PluralPlus companion website that provides the singing student and voice teacher with slide presentations on individual chapters; additional presentations on related aspects of practicing, interpretation, and performing; video demonstrations of vocal exercises; and a lengthy presentation on the classification of voices with links to professional performances for each vocal category.

New to the Second Edition

  • A new chapter on Science and Technology in the Voice Studio, including links to sites providing equipment and software for the voice studio
  • Updated illustrations detailing anatomy and physiologic function
  • Every chapter has been updated to improve comprehensibility, especially the chapter covering the use of the IPA
  • Significantly updated information on health and nutrition to reflect recent research in the field
  • A list of recommended sources where singers and teachers can download free and/or inexpensive music for use in the voice class or studio
  • Links to additional information sources, including links to performances related to the classification of voices

View a sample video from the companion website here.

Preface. How to Use This Book Effectively
Singer Information Sheet

Chapter 1. Some Answers to Questions Before We Begin Developing a Vocal Technique

Chapter 2. Anatomy of the Singer's Instrument: Design and Function

Chapter 3. Establishing Correct Posture for Singing

Chapter 4. Breath Management for Singers

Chapter 5. The Physiology of Vocal Tone Production

Chapter 6. An Introduction to Articulation and Lyric Diction for Singers

Chapter 7. Developing Beautiful Tone Quality, Resonance, and Freedom

Chapter 8. Keeping Your Voice Healthy

Chapter 9. Beyond Vocal Technique: Becoming an Artistic Performer

Chapter 10. Science and Technology in the Voice Studio

Appendix I. Musical Terminology for the Voice Student
Appendix II. Music Reading Skills for Beginning Singers/Musicians
Appendix III. Vocal Performance Evaluation
Appendix IV. Practice Record Sheet for Voice Students
Appendix V. Sources for Art Song and Aria Repertoire for the Singer
Bibliography of Selected Reference Materials

Jan Bickel

Mezzo-Soprano Jan Bickel, DMA is Professor/Director of Vocal Studies emerita at Saint Xavier University (SXU) in Chicago, where she taught applied voice, voice class for vocal and instrumental music majors and minors, lyric diction, voice pedagogy, and art song and opera literature; conducted choral ensembles; and directed the opera workshop. Dr. Bickel received the Teaching Excellence, Excellence in Scholarship, Excellence in Research, and the SXU Award for outstanding service during her 32-year tenure with the university. She holds a DMA in Vocal Performance from the American Conservatory of Music, the MM in Vocal Performance from the Chicago Conservatory of Music, and a BA in Vocal Music from Saint Mary's College-Notre Dame. Her performance credits as soloist and/or opera singer include the Chicago Opera Theatre, Chamber Opera Chicago, Des Moines Metro Opera, Chicago Symphony, Chamber Orchestra Chicago, and many others. She is currently a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the Voice Foundation.

Dr. Bickel continues to teach voice and to present workshops, lectures, and master classes for singers from high school through college in addition to her studio voice work. Dr. Bickel is well known for her presentations and interactive workshops, including Resonance Is Power - Make It Work for You! Keep Your Voice Healthy! Practicing 101 for Singers, Writing Effective Program Notes, and Take the Stage!(an interactive workshop on stage presence/personal demeanor, appropriate attire, and acting for the recital stage). In addition to training young singers, she is known in the Chicago area for her rehabilitative work with singers in vocal distress. As a voice teacher, she believes a singer must understand the anatomic and physiologic functions connected with the singing process in order to feel "in control" of that process.

Learn More

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


  • Audio recordings of performances
  • Videos of vocal exercises
  • PowerPoints
  • Vocal and Diction exercises
  • PDF Scores
  • Worksheets

To access the materials, log in to the website using the URL and Access Code located inside the front cover of your copy of Vocal Technique: A Physiologic Approach, Second Edition.

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