In Celebration of the Human Voice - The Essential Musical Instrument
Diana Spradling has successfully combined teaching and research by bringing music and science into partnership in her book, Jazz Singing: Developing Artistry and Authenticity. In the fall of 2003, after more than three decades of teaching voice and vocal ensembles, she founded the Applied Studio Technology Laboratory at Western Michigan University and has spent the past four years acoustically studying the voices of jazz and classical singers. Every jazz vocalist at Western spends time in the lab developing a vocal profile with the help of a software program called VoceVista, designed at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. This digital imagery resource investigates and analyzes sounds and degrees of technical facility of the singer in live and recorded situations. The information is recorded on real time spectrograms and indicates vowel definition, vibrato rate, degrees and consistency of legato, clarity of onsets and releases and resonance in the voice to name a few.
The successes of her students are visible on a national level: during the last decade her students have included 7 Down Beat Award winners, 2 Monk Institute finalists, A Monk Institute graduate voice student, 2 JAS Aspen participants, active jazz/cabaret/pop artists who make a living as performers; and the list goes on!
Spradling is co-founder of the International Association for Jazz Education's Sisters in Jazz program, a mentoring program to encourage and promote participation of young women between the ages of 15 and 25 in the Art of jazz music. She has also served three consecutive terms as the National Chair for Jazz and Show Choirs for the American Choral Directors Association.
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Review: The book vocal jazz artists have been waiting for! Finally, here is a substantial definition of what vocal jazz artists actually do physically and vocally. The findings are based on over three decades of teaching and almost four years of acoustic research including a study of 20 jazz artists from the first generation of modern jazz singers. Learn 9 different uses of vibrato. Learn how to practice and execute appropriate vowels, diphthongs and text treatment so as to sound more authentic. Study 10 common elements of 6 complete transcriptions of scat/improvised solos that can improve your artistry and authenticity as a jazz vocalist. Diana Spradling teaches graduate and undergraduate jazz voice and vocal pedagogy at Western Michigan University. She is also the founding Director of the Applied Studio Technology Laboratory (ASTL), a state-of-the-art lab that acoustically analyzes sound and measures vocal behaviors such as vowel clarity, vibrato rate and width, presence and absence of legato, onsets, releases, resonance, nasality and laryngeal freedom to name a few. Students who have studied with her during the last decade include several university-appointed jazz voice professors, seven Downbeat Award winners, two Monk Institute finalists, one Monk Institute graduate scholar, two JAS Aspen participants, on and off Broadway performers, members of national touring companies, recording artists, club singers, studio musicians, jingle singers, cabaret performers, and a Grammy nominee.
Chapters: Selecting the Artists, Selecting the Recordings for Spectrographic Study and Evaluation, Reading Spectrograms, The Importance of Resonance in All Singing, Vowel Production and Text Treatment, The Many Faces of Vibrato, Practical Tips to Enhance Appropriate Posture and Breathing Management, Disciplined Practice, To the Jazz Vocal Ensemble Director, How to Care for and Protect Your Voice, The Art and Craft of Scat Singing and Melodic Alteration