Skip to Content
The student voice: an introduction to developing the singing voice

The student voice: an introduction to developing the singing voice

Baldy, Colin

This book is written for students of singing. Whilst primarily designed for undergraduate and graduate level students, it will also be of use to mature singers and to those already in the singing profession, who simply want to keep their technique and knowledge alive

Paperback, Book. English.
Published Edinburgh: Dunedin, c2010

Available at Music Library.

  • Music Library – One available in 783

    Barcode Shelfmark Loan type Status
    42048036 783 Adult non fiction Available


Statement of responsibility: Colin Baldy ; with a foreword by Thomas Allen
ISBN: 1903765951, 9781903765951
Intended audience: Specialized.
Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Physical Description: xvi, 140 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Subject: Singing.; Singing Studies and exercises.; Music.


  1. Foreword; Introduction; Section 1: Developing the Voice; 1. How Easy is Singing? What is singing?
  2. Text, emotion, body
  3. Using the text
  4. The emotional response
  5. Finding the text within ourselves
  6. The body: the physical response; 2.A blank canvas: Looking after yourself
  7. Diet
  8. Preparing to Sing
  9. Give yourself time
  10. Muscular Memory
  11. What is a 'varnished' voice and how does it arise?- Can we remove the 'varnish', and should we worry?- Taking care at the start
  12. First steps
  13. Posture
  14. An open throat
  15. Gentle stretching of the vocal folds; 3. The concept of support: Supporting from the abdomen rather than the diaphragm
  16. How tiring does singing need to be?4. Support in practice: Releasing the breath
  17. Breath release in practice
  18. Using the back muscles
  19. Exercising; 5. Placing the voice: Resonance
  20. Locating resonating cavities
  21. Facial and head resonance
  22. Exercise 5.1
  23. Chest resonance
  24. Amplifying the sound
  25. The soft palate
  26. Avoiding a dropped soft palate
  27. What does a raised soft palate look like?
  28. Tongue position and the soft palate
  29. Tenor/baritone and soprano/mezzo-soprano problems
  30. What we hear and what we actually sound like
  31. Checking the position of the soft palate and the tongue
  32. The bulk of the vocal folds
  33. Identifying a slightly dropped soft palate
  34. and a completely raised soft palate
  35. Creating overtones
  36. Placing and support
  37. Brighter sounds and chest resonance
  38. Breathy tone
  39. Vocal onset: starting the sound; 6. The Tongue and the Larynx: Problems arising from a habitual dark sound
  40. Supporting in the throat
  41. A hard tone
  42. Good positioning of the tongue
  43. A released larynx
  44. Tilting the larynx; 7. The falsetto and its importance to all voice types: The importance of this falsetto, and how it helps; 8. The messa di voce, vocal registers and the passaggio: Vocal registers
  45. The risks of breaking the voice into sections at an early age
  46. Moving into adulthood
  47. Developing the messa di voce: some excercises
  48. Moving from falsetto to full voice: the physiology
  49. Applying this in singing
  50. Upper vocal range: the passaggio
  51. Marking; 9. Hearing Your Own Voice: Acoustic perception
  52. Another pair of ears
  53. The need for patience. Section 2: The process of vocal training: 10. From child to adult: Taking care of young voices; 11. Vocal Pedagogy: Singing in schools
  54. Children singing opera
  55. Vocal pedagogy through the ages
  56. Manuel Garcia
  57. Frederick Husler
  58. Jo Estill
  59. Conclusion; 12. Artistry in Singing: Using the Text: Good diction
  60. Exercise: thinking about vowels
  61. Case study
  62. Understanding the text
  63. Singing in foreign languages
  64. The meaning of the words
  65. Text in opera
  66. Text in oratorio
  67. Using text in contemporary music; 13. Repertoire with purpose: Repertoire or exercises?
  68. Pure vowels and a simple line
  69. Giuseppe Giordano: 'Caro mio ben'
  70. Italian vowels
  71. Learning to sing in French
  72. Henri Duparc: 'Extase'
  73. Singing with control
  74. Faure: 'Claire de lune'
  75. Releasing tightness in the throat
  76. Wagner: 'O du mein holder Abendstern' (and preceding recitative)
  77. Involvement and excitement
  78. Charles Gounod: 'L'air des bijoux'
  79. Jules Massenet: 'Va laisser couler mes larmes'
  80. The passaggio
  81. Edouard Lalo : 'Vainement, ma bien-aimee'
  82. Growing the sound
  83. Donizetti: 'Una furtiva lagrima'
  84. Handel arias
  85. Bach arias
  86. Imagination and choice of repertoire; 14. Performance: avoiding pitfalls: Preparation
  87. Marking
  88. Will I be heard?
  89. Singing in choirs
  90. Coloratura
  91. Patter arias
  92. Releasing the breath
  93. Dealing with nerves in performance; 15. The Countertenor: a Special Case? The historical background
  94. Castrati
  95. The countertenor in the twentieth century
  96. The vocal production of the countertenor
  97. Finding countertenors; References.

Author note

Colin Baldy has taught singing at the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, Utah State University, Pisa University and a number of summer schools in the UK, France and Italy. From 1990 to 2001 he trained the singers, men and boys, of the world-famous choir of New College, Oxford. He receives frequent invitations to work as visiting professor around the world. A previous book, Voice for Life 5 was published by the Royal School of Church Music in 2002. Colin is a character baritone and an exponent of the songs of Noel Coward.