Training Contemporary Commercial Singers

Elizabeth Benson
With contributions by: Irene Bartlett, Mark Baxter, Tracy Marie Bourne, Dane Chalfin, Kim Chandler, Matthew Edwards, Robert Edwin, Cate Frazier-Neely, Marcelle G. Gauvin, Elisabeth Howard, Gillyanne Kayes, Wendy DeLeo LeBorgne, Jeanette LoVetri, Edrie Means Weekly, Kathryn Paradise, Lisa Popeil, Jeff Ramsey, Seth Riggs, Trineice Robinson-Martin, Marci Rosenberg, Cathrine Sadolin, Mary Saunders Barton, Jan Shapiro, Kimberly Steinhauer, Margareta Svensson Riggs, Kevin Wilson

May 2020
300 Pages
IISBN 978-1-909082-62-5
Price £40.00

'Elizabeth’s book is clear validation of our profession’s health and vitality. It fills a void that needed to be filled, and I am proud to have this opportunity to say, “brava”!' From the Foreword by Elizabeth Louise Blades

‘A welcome and wonderful resource for all singers and teachers of singing’. Jeanie LoVetri

 If, like many singing teachers, you are seeking to improve your knowledge of CCM pedagogy in order to meet market demand and to expand your practice, this is a book you should read!

Elizabeth Ann Benson has interviewed 26 expert CCM pedagogues working with leading CCM and musical theatre singers around the world, incorporating established teaching methodologies (including, among others, Speech Level Singing™ (SLS); Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method; and Lisa Popeil’s Voiceworks®) as well as eclectic and independent pedagogical approaches.

Their expertise is shared here, with responses organized into four sections, with commentary by the author, covering:

  • teaching methods or approaches, teaching philosophies and the interviewee’s own training and performing;
  • approaches to teaching elements of vocal technique, including posture and alignment, breathing, support, tension, registration, (in)consistency, belting, vowels, and expression;
  • special demands from the industry, including training beyond the voice studio, the roles of voice science and audio technology, improvisation, and working with young singers;
  • and discussions on admirable professional singers, and teachers’ perceptions of success and excellence in commercial singing

This is not so much a ‘how to’ but more of a ‘how I’; it gives you, in a single volume, the collective wisdom of some the world’s very best pedagogues - in studio and in academe – and helps you apply best practices in your teaching. It is equally valuable for those beginning to explore CCM in their teaching and for those looking to deepen their current knowledge of CCM pedagogy. The commentary examines the responses within each topic to reveal pedagogical trends, both common and contrasting. Analysis of these data provides the first broad perspective on the field as a whole. At an elite level, diverse pedagogical approaches yield successful results in the voice studio and provide a veritable menu of options for the contemporary commercial singing teacher.


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About the Author

Praised for her ‘delightful’ (The Boston Globe) and ‘delicately compassionate’ (Times Herald Record) singing, Elizabeth Ann Benson is recognized as a dynamic and versatile performer. In her Carnegie Hall début, she created the title role of Lucy by Tom Cipullo, and her performance was acclaimed as ‘excellent’ (The Big City). She specializes in performing and teaching crossover vocal styles, spanning from opera to musical theatre to rock. She is trained in Somatic Voicework™, the LoVetri Method, Lisa Popeil’s Voiceworks® method, and Estill Voice Training™. She is a 2016 graduate of the Intern Program of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and a 2012 recipient of the NATS Emerging Leader Award. She has published research on contemporary voice pedagogy in American Music Teacher and has presented at national conferences for The Voice Foundation, the National Association of Teachers of Singing, the Association for Popular Music Education, and the College Music Society. She is a graduate of Occidental College (BA), New England Conservatory (MM), and The City University of New York Graduate Center (DMA). At Auburn University, she is Assistant Professor of Music Theatre and serves as the music theatre singing specialist for the Department of Theatre.