The Best Voice Lesson Books – Lesson Book Library

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There are many different directions you can go when picking out Voice Lesson Books for either yourself or your students.

And honestly, different teachers will give you different answers when asked what book series to use. Just like with other instruments, certain voice lesson books resonate more with certain students, and not so much with others.

Here at C&S Music, we hold that no one book can give a fully satisfactory vocal education, so mixing and matching is of the utmost importance. Depending on the level of the student, in my lessons I use different books for:

  1. Theory
  2. Repertoire
  3. Sight Reading

I personally have my own slew of exercises I use with my voice students, but before I formed my own list, I used a separate book for those as well.

So the voice lesson books below are all wonderful resources, and should be used in conjunction with a few others as well.

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The Best Singing Books for Beginners

When it comes to teaching beginner voice lessons, the book (or books) you teach out of can make or break a students interest and even success. Books with fun, simple songs to start ear training and good, basic exercises for warmups that encourage good technique – even from a young age – are so important to preserving the health of the singer and laying a strong foundation for the rest of their singing life.

For Younger Children

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This book takes all lesson planning off of the teacher! Exercises for ear training, body-integration, and performance are all set up for you to use to help your young students along in their musical journey.

This is a great book to use for group singing or singing-based “music appreciation” class for younger children – the exercise, songs, and performances are easy to do in a group setting.

For Choosing Songs

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A great collection of easy songs, perfect for any beginner vocal student to develop technique and learn sight singing and theory through practical application. Each song is in English and covers a minimal range, so the student can focus on one specific part of their voice at a time.

They have a book for lower female voices and male voices as well – pick the best one for your student’s range.

For Older Children

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Another full curriculum book for grade-school to middle-school students to learn ear training, theory, and sight-singing. There are multiple levels to follow a student as they progress, as well as a wonderful teacher’s guide for all levels put together.

IMPORTANT:

At the time of publishing, the teacher’s guide is FREE with a KindleUnlimited membership.

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The Best Vocal Pedagogy Books

First… what is Vocal Pedagogy? It’s a big word that gets thrown around a lot, and I came to the striking realization recently that most people don’t know what it actually means.

Vocal Pedagogy is, most basically, the study of the voice. How it works, why it works, the mechanism of the voice and how to best gain control over it.

It includes the anatomy of every part of of the singing mechanism, from the diaphragm to the nasal passages, and helps the singer understand how to most healthfully achieve their most natural, resonant sound.

All this to say, the study of Vocal Pedagogy is something that a singer is never truly done with – these books contain things of value for students of every ability level.

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The Basics of Vocal Pedagogy was written for singers at the collegiate level looking to become vocal teachers and/or gain a comprehensive view of the voice and how it works. It is lengthy and thorough, and a great resource for any vocal teacher.

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My personal favorite! I used this book in my college pedagogy class, and it caters to every learning style with lots of visuals and easy to understand explanations – even helpful exercises to help with understanding.

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Intentionally written to encompass a wide variety of readers – from less experienced singers to vocalists with some time under their belts – this book likens singing to other bodily disciplines to help singers learn what it means to sing healthily.

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The Best Music Theory Books for Singers

I’m going to get on a little soapbox here:

SINGERS NEED TO LEARN MUSIC THEORY.

I have met too many singers who have stunted their own musical growth because they don’t think they need to learn music theory. If you want to succeed as a singer – if you want your vocal students to succeed – you need to learn and teach them music theory.

That being said, picking a theory book that resonates with your vocal student can be tricky, especially if the student has been singing for a while with no foundation of music theory.

When choosing voice lesson books, keep in mind the genre that your student is looking to pursue. Just like technique and approach will change from genre to genre, Music theory vocabulary will look slightly different depending on which genre you choose. When looking at an ultimate goal of collaboration with other musicians (whether professional or not), you can help your student be an asset to their fellow musicians by helping them build a strong Music Theory foundation.

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Written specifically for Musical Theater students, this books pulls Theory examples from Musical Scores to help drive points home. It teaches a comprehensive way to view a musical line in light of Music Theory, to help the student understand and read their music better.

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This book is a wonderful tool to help singers as young as elementary school start to learn the basics of theory as they relate to singing. It combines each theory lesson with sight singing exercises that help illustrate the concept that the student is learning.

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While this theory course is not specifically geared towards singers, it is an excellent theory course for beginner students of any age (and really, on any instrument). The lessons are short and easy to understand, and pair with the ear training CDs (included) quite well to build a strong Music Theory Foundation.

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The Best Sight Singing Books

Sight singing is, bottom line, reading music. On every other instrument, it is a given that you need to learn how to read music. Singers, for whatever reason, sometimes think that rule doesn’t apply to them.

Surprise! Singers aren’t off the hook for that. To be a musician – on any instrument – you need to know how to read your music.

All that being said, it 100% ties into the issue of learning Music Theory – many theory books include Sight Reading in their curriculum because all it is is a practical application of music theory.

That being said, not all theory books include it. If you are looking for some supplemental material for sight singing, these are the best I’ve found:

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Since many people associate sight singing with interval training and accuracy of pitch, rhythm is unfortunately often neglected in the studies of Vocal Students. However, rhythm is just as integral to learning a melody as pitch. This book, while on the pricier side, is an important book for every music teacher to keep in their library – I will typically walk my students through the exercises myself as supplemental material, so they don’t have to purchase the book.

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Schirmer is, as many voice teachers will know, a staple in the vocal student’s library. This particular book helps the student learn the basics of sight singing through the Solfege method (Do, Re, Mi, Sol, La, Ti) – my particular method of choice. If you as a teacher are already familiar with Solfege, this book is a no-brainer for your students with a basic understanding of notation.

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If you, as a teacher, are new to teaching sight-singing, or if you’re looking to teach younger children how to sight read, this book is absolutely for you. The Kodaly Method is the most well-known practice for teaching music for young children up through middle school, pairing Solfege with hand signs and creating a more well-rounded approach to learning music that incorporates all learning styles.

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The Best Voice Lesson Books if You’re looking to Teach yourself to Sing

If you’ve landed on this page and are looking to teach yourself to sing, more power to you. I am so excited that you are ready to go and put the work in.

However, I want to offer a word of caution: there’s only so far you can go on your own.

Yes, there are some things that you can learn by just reading and doing it yourself, but there is a reason that even professional singers still use vocal coaches – for true, sustainable growth, you need to have a teacher.

That being said, here are some really great places to start:

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This book, as stated in her introduction, can be worked through on your own or with a Vocal coach for additional support. It does offer a good, comprehensive foundation to help you learn basic mechanics and healthy use of the voice.

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What I love most about this book is that it starts with the breath – the most basic foundation of singing. Without breath, we can’t sing!

Nancy gives great knowledge and great exercises for the practical application of that knowledge.

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Coming from the Berklee College of Music, this course is a great all-encompassing resource for anyone looking to learn to sing on their own or with a teacher. Each unit has practical application through exercises and songs, and access to an online database with accompaniment tracks.

Want some free exercises to get started?

Grab my list of great vocal exercises to start laying your foundation for healthy singing.

Have some favorite Voice Lesson Books that didn’t make the list? Let us know in the comments!

We would absolutely love to hear about your favorite voice lesson books from you – we are constantly learning and looking to expand our library! Help us out by leaving a comment or shooting us an email at alyssa.villagrana@candsmusic.com

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