Who knew learning about vocal technique could be so cool?
Item: This is a Voice by Jeremy Fisher and Gillyanne Kayes, published by The Wellcome Collection.
Mic rating: 5/5
At a glance: This book is jam packed full of practical exercises to get the most out of your voice, whether you are a singer, speaker or even beatboxer. The authors are renowned coaches who have honed their knowledge under the tutelage of voice research giants such as Jo Estill, so this collection of tried and tested exercises can be fully trusted.
High notes: The design of the book is just incredible! The color scheme makes the book inviting and accessible, and the diagrams are so much clearer due to the use of color. The beginning chapter on how the voice works is the most in-depth I have seen in a book of this nature. They have managed to make detailed anatomy concise and understandable which should spark the interest of confused or disengaged voice users.
Off pitch: As with all vocal exercises, it really helps to have an accompanying CD. It would be a useful and fun way to bring the 99 exercises alive, as sometimes written instructions can be misconstrued.
Review: This is a Voice manages to find the right balance between ‘light and accessible’ and ‘deep and informative’. There is absolutely no snobbery in this book which makes it appealing for all kinds of voice users. More traditional singing texts are far too dry or aesthetically bias to appeal to the masses, but this book has nailed it. I would recommend it for teachers who wish to expand their repertoire of exercises, for gigging singers who are bored of their warm up routine, and for students studying voice.