Music Theatre Vocal Quality: Evolution, Definition, and Instruction
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This study examines four basic music theatre vocal qualities: legit, traditional belt, mix, and pop/rock. Through a review of the literature around teaching music theatre voice, as well as interviews with professional music theatre voice teachers, this project examines common values and pedagogical approaches in teaching music theatre belt. A qualitative analysis of teachers reveals three common beliefs: a need for voice science in the studio, as part of a comprehensive vocal education; learning as a process with students at the center; and a need for the ongoing development of a vocal pedagogy system for music theatre. In this project, the researcher has utilized the Estill Vocal Pedagogy framework as a language system for identifying four vocal qualities in music theatre: legit, traditional belt, mix, and pop/rock. Using these understandings as a framework, the research culminates in a curricular project. Using the readily available The Singer’s Musical Theatre Anthology, the researcher has created a curricular resource as well as a sequential plan for teaching conservatory students in China. The resource focuses on nine songs in Chinese translation, including IPA, character, and Hanyu Pinyin. Additionally, the resource includes a musical and vocal analysis to facilitate learning of music theatre vocal quality.
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