Can this book unlock your body to improve your voice?
Item: Your Body, Your Voice by Theodore Dimon, published by North Atlantic Books.
Mic rating: 2/5
At a glance: This book approaches the voice from a holistic whole-body perspective. If one part of you is out of sync or tense it will knock the entire vocal system out of balance. The author has written many other books pertaining to physiology.
High notes: Most singing pedagogues and authors zone right into the larynx and overlook the rest of the body. This book, potentially, offers a better focus – the whole body as an integrated system. As a result readers could learn to sing and perform more efficiently.
Off pitch: The author writes with a strong bias against contemporary singing but doesn’t specify classical singers as the book’s demographic. The book offers lots of ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ to the reader; if there is something wrong with your voice, it is your fault for either interfering with the ‘natural’ function of the voice or attempting to sing in ‘dangerous’ ways. These key terms are in need of more definition.
Review: It’s a shame that this book doesn’t live up to the hype and reviews on Amazon. Some chapters were abreast of research and written in an engaging way, but on the whole it read like an angry online blog than an academic text. The reader is presented with many problems but very few solutions.
The diagrams were well illustrated, but with errors. For example, the vocal folds were illustrated as rope like cords but labelled ‘chords’ within the first few pages – a notable error for a book of this nature. Also, the terminology chopped and changed throughout with no explanation as to why. There were also references to reverting back to the voice of a new born baby, which is inaccurate as an adult’s larynx is different from that of a baby’s or child’s.
A beginner would feel lost at sea with this book, and singers fond of technique could feel rather bewildered and out of pocket.