Blandine Calais-Germain is one of my favorite authors on the body, and this well-illustrated book is a great resource to truly understand the workings of the voice.
The Structure of Singing
This Richard Miller book is THE classic vocal pedagogy text. It's very classically-biased in it's perspective on voice training, but it still a foundational work.
Singing and the Actor
This book by Gillyanne Kayes is an excellent exploration of training for musical theater singers. I especially like the way she discusses tongue placement for contemporary sounds.
Your Voice: An Inside View
This vocal pedagogy book by Scott McCoy is one of the best of the more recent books on the topic. It's from a classical perspective, but it's great info all the same.
Speak with Distinction
Although designed for speaking more than singing, this Edith Skinner book is an absolute classic. When it comes to diction and consonant work, this is still a leading resource on the subject.
Recognizing and Treating Breathing Disorders
Leon Chaitow is a very accomplished osteopath who takes a multi-disciplinary approach to breath training. The illustrations and directions in this book are simple enough for non-medical people to follow along and assess their current level of breathing competence.
Anatomy of Breathing
This is another book by Calais-Germain that I find amazing. It's a thorough look at the mechanics of respiration; she takes you through each muscle used for inhalation and exhalation, making sure that you have a map of how to train these muscles. The back section has many excellent breathing exercises for you to try.
Close Your Mouth
In addition to being good advice in many social situations, this book by Patrick McKeown is a nice intro to the Buteyko method of breathing. Buteyko was a Russian doctor who did tons of research with asthmatics to help them alleviate their symptoms without medication. I'm not asthmatic, but I still find great value in these breathing exercises, and I use them daily for myself.
Relax Your Neck, Liberate Your Shoulders
Eric Franklin is a favorite of mine; he calls his technique ideokinesis, which falls somewhere in the Alexander technique/Feldenkrais arena. This book gives you effective exercises and images to release tension from the upper portion of the body.
This is another Eric Franklin book; it's a terrific reference on pelvic floor training, covering both relaxation and strengthening of this vital body area. Also, please enjoy the sexy book cover...
I've had the good fortune to study with Tom Myers, and this book is a thorough exploration of his theory of the interconnected chains in the body. Through muscular and fascial connections, he explains the ways in which seemingly distant body parts affect one another.
The Muscular System Manual
For a straight-up anatomy text on muscles, it's hard to be Joseph Muscolino. His information and illustrations are always crystal-clear, and I find myself consulting this book a lot.
Trail Guide to the Body
This is my other favorite anatomy text. I find the video content that accompanies this book to be particularly helpful when it comes to creating a mental map for yourself of what is where in the body.
I'm not going to lie to you; this book has some very cheesy aspects. But, if you can get past the purple prose and liberal use of exclamation points, there is some great info here. Many of us don't think about exercising our facial muscles, but I've seen tons of singers get a positive result from work like this.
The Brain That Changes Itself
Norman Doidge's book is an exploration of the concept of neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to change. As a teacher, I believe wholeheartedly in this concept, and the case studies he presents are nothing short of fascinating. Read it to find out how a blind person can learn to see with their tongue...no joke.
Balance: In Search of the Lost Sense
This book by Scott McCredie is a great chance to think about the "sixth sense" of our vestibular (balance) system. The same nerve that controls musical hearing controls our balance, so learning some ways to work on this sense can help with intonation, vocal power and stamina.
My friends Lyndy Franklin-Smith and J. Austin Eyer have written a terrific how-to manual for being a swing on Broadway. The book is informative (I learned some things about swinging that I didn't know) and thorough--anyone who is thinking about pursuing this type of job should absolutely check it out.
The Intent to Live
Larry Moss' book on acting is a very comprehensive look at different tools that an actor can use to inhabit a character. I found his integration of disparate approaches into one cohesive technique to be very illuminating.
The Actor and the Target
Declan Donellan's book is a brilliant look at the idea of internal vs. external focus in acting. I find the writing this book to be almost poetic, and yet he also provides concrete exercises to boost your energy and focus through external targets.
How to Heal Your Metabolism
Kate Deering is an authority on nutrition based on the model set forth by Ray Peat. Peat is a biologist, not a nutritionist, so his perspective on diet is very interesting and different from much of the other advice out there. His ideas are very scientifically dense, and Deering makes his work accessible and easy to understand.
Better Than Before
I love this book by Gretchen Rubin; it's a look at how we form (and break) habits. Her insights into how we respond to expectations from ourselves and others has profoundly influenced me, both in my life and my teaching.
Art of Possibility
Who can't use some more possibility in their life? Benjamin Zander is a conductor, and his wife Rosamund is a therapist, so this book combines music and intention in a way that I enjoy.
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