Where to go. What to get. Trust me.
personal steamer is my favorite on the market because it creates a fine mist rather than traditional steam. This means more hydration to the sinuses, pharyngeal wall, and your vocal folds without the chance of scalding yourself.
They are delicious and leave you with relief from sore throat or dry mouth for quite a while.
I also quite enjoy
These are helpful for releasing the muscles in the back of your neck, along your back, in your legs, your feet, and even your jaw. There are plenty of tutorials online for how best to use these, but it’s often helpful to consult a movement expert, physical trainer, or physical therapist to make sure you are using these tools in the most effective, safe ways.
Christine Patterson of LifeLight Massage is a Godsend for the Broadway community. She specializes in vocal massage, which involves a combination of laryngeal therapy, myofascial release, cranial-sacral therapy, intra-oral massage, and various other modalities. Christine is hugely compassionate in addition to being expertly skilled at keeping your body optimally conditioned for singing.
In addition to a great voice teacher, everyone needs someone to be checking in with about how you are fully embodying your work. A great voice teacher will address acting and the emotional connection to your work in the studio, but outside eyes who aren’t focused on vocal technique are a must. Please contact me for a list of studios, acting teachers, and coaches who have helped my students find success.
Musical Theatre College Auditions (MTCA)
For high school students looking to audition for musical theatre, the coaching provided by Musical Theatre College Auditions (MTCA) is second-to-none. The coaches are all dedicated teaching-artists who know the ins-and-outs of how the college audition process works and has changed rapidly over the last decade and a half. Each student is assigned a coaching team who will guide students and parents through the entire process. Reach out here for a consultation.
I am a huge voice nerd, and I love reading what other certified voice nerds have to say about the voice. I firmly believe there are many gifted teachers out there who have nuanced, insightful, helpful views on singing and artistry. Below are some websites and blogs of people whose work I admire in and out of the studio:
Mary Saunders-Barton is one of the world’s most renowned pedagogues and teachers of musical theatre singing. Thousands of people have witnessed her Bel-Canto/Can-Belto workshops, masterclasses, and DVDs, and she continues to be an inspiration even after I did my graduate work under her. She and Norman Spivey will be releasing Cross-Training in the Voice Studio: A Balancing Act in June, and you should absolutely pre-order a copy. HERE
Raymond Sage was my voice teacher in graduate school, and his approach to teaching is expertly balanced between artistry and the minutia of technique. He is also a gifted actor, mentor, and presenter (he, Joey Harrell, and I recently presented on Mentorship of Teaching-Artists at the Musical Theatre Educators’ Alliance conference). While he is based at Penn State where he now heads the Musical Theater Voice and Musical Theatre Voice Pedagogy programs, he goes around the country giving masterclasses— contact me HERE to bring both of us to your school or studio.
Matt Edwards of Shanendoah University and the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Institute is a pop/rock expert whose blog topics range from performance psychology to the intricacies of vocal anatomy. Check out his book So You Want to Sing Rock ’n’ Roll: A Guide for Professionals.
Sheri Sanders has become the go-to expert on how to audition and perform for pop/rock shows. Her Rock the Audition classes, book, and online training programs are invaluable resources for people working in the contemporary musical theatre climate. She is also an expert on social equality and the complicated dynamics at play in today’s sociopolitical sphere.
Michael Hanley, Christy Turnbow, and CJ Greer are all hugely gifted teachers and workshop leaders. Michael’s workshops on male singing are practical and incredibly clear. Christy is one of the most intuitive teachers I know, and she is a wonderful clinician on cross-training the voice. CJ Greer’s “Embodied Performance” workshops combine vocal technique with somatic and text work in order to cultivate a more deeply lived journey of acting through song. You should absolutely book all of these people to do workshops with your students (plus, I’ve collaborated with all of them, and they are pretty great). Contact me HERE if you are interested in bringing us out!
Amanda Flynn is a colleague of mine in NYC who teaches at Pace University in addition to her private studio, and her list of recommendations is extensive and helpful for all singers. She has several exciting research projects going on right now (one of which I am involved with and am very excited about). Reach out here if you are interested in hearing our presentation about how Broadway’s leading ladies approach their high belt.
David Sisco’s contemporarymusicaltheatre.com is a treasure trove of resources for the musical theatre performer. In addition to a wide-ranging blog, he and his partner Laura Josepher have curated an extensive list of dramatically interesting, vocally responsible contemporary musical theatre repertoire.
Kevin Michael Jones is the primary contributor and curator of musicaltheatreresources.com which posts regularly about everything from audition do's-and-don’ts to vocal technique to analyses of favorite shows.
The Naked Vocalist is a fun, informative podcast where the hosts delve into vocal pedagogy and science topics including acoustics, registration, warm-up practices, and more.