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So You Want to Sing Folk Music. A Guide for Performers. 9781442265615

So You Want to Sing Folk Music. A Guide for Performers

Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group. 2017

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So many who love to sing are drawn to the immediacy and essential simplicity of the music we commonly call folk. Folk music, in fact, can serve as the perfect entry point for those just starting on their singing careers because of the ways in which it sidesteps the strictures of classical forms without giving up the fundamentals of professional singing techniques.

In So You Want to Sing Folk Music, singer and writer Valerie Mindel demystifies this sprawling genre, looking at a variety of mainly traditional American musical styles as well as those of the folk revival that continues in various forms to this day. The aim is to help the fledgling singer better understand the scope of folk music and find his or her voice in the genre, looking at the ?how? of creating a vocal sound that reflects a folk-based style. The book looks at specific repertories and ways of approaching them in terms of both working up material and performing it. It also looks at some of the realities of folk music in the twenty-first century that affect both amateurs and professionals. Additional chapters by Scott McCoy, Wendy LeBorgne, and Matthew Edwards address universal questions of voice science and pedagogy, vocal health, and audio enhancement technology.

The So You Want to Sing series is produced in partnership with the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Like all books in the series, So You Want to Sing Folk Music features online supplemental material on the NATS website. Please visit www.nats.org to access style-specific exercises, audio and video files, and additional resources.


1: You Know it When You Hear It
2: Vocal Nitty-Gritty
3: Sweet Harmony
4: Working Up a Song
5: Putting It Out There
6: Singing Country and Voice Science (Scott McCoy)
7: Vocal Health and the Singer of Folk Music (Wendy DeLeo LeBorgne)
8: Using Audio Enhancement Technology (Matthew Edwards)

Valerie Mindel is a longtime performer and teacher of various American folk styles, including early country, old-time, and bluegrass. She has taught harmony singing classes and workshops for twenty years across the United States and abroad.

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