It is a concise, practical guide for anyone who is a professional singer, speaker, actor or voice teacher. All of the essential aspects of the care of the voice are discussed in a manner that is quite accessible, even to the singer/actor who may just be embarking on a professional career. Forewords to this edition by Bryn Terfel, James Morris and Sir Anthony Hopkins all are in agreement as to the value of this volume for both students and professionals alike.
In addition to a basic description of the anatomy and physiology of the voice, including laryngeal disorders and their diagnosis, treatment and prevention, this volume covers a much broader range of topics, including the physiological aspects of anxiety and artistic temperament and the effects of these and other factors on the voice. I used this edition as a supplement for my vocal pedagogy course and found many chapters to be filled with information that is not readily available elsewhere, including a great deal of information about a long list of common medications and their effects on the voice. There are also nineteen color illustrations, including photos from laryngoscopy of healthy and diseased tissue. Also included is a wonderful chapter detailing what every singer will undoubtedly face at some point in their career, a visit to the laryngologist. In addition to a step by step description of a visit, including a first visit, examination, techniques of laryngoscopy, this chapter also gives great insight to the singer who is searching out a laryngologist and what to look for when doing so. Several pages are also devoted to a number of surgeries of the vocal tract and a variety of surgical options open to the singer. Perhaps the most valuable of chapters for the seasoned performer is the chapter by Anat Keidar, Ph.D, Director of Vox Humana Voice Laboratory, entitled “A Singer’s Guide to Self-Diagnosis.” This chapter lists several symptoms and the possible reasons for the problem.
I would recommend this book to everyone who uses their voice in a professional manner on a daily basis – it is quite an invaluable tool for continued vocal health.
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater