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The Voice Book: Revised Edition Kindle Edition
|Length: 320 pages|
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Top Customer Reviews
Michael McCallion is (alas, was) a master of using the voice and, more importantly, of teaching others to use theirs. Packed with info, tips, lessons and exercises.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I found the book too dry to go through all details because I did not know which detail is relevant to me. I kept wondering which exercise I should do, in what order and which ones are suitable for me. In my view this book does a much better service for the initiated such as actors or public speakers or at least people that went through voice training programs before. If you are one of these people, the book offers good material to choose from, including voice exercises.
Another aspect that I found missing from the book was any form of relationship between the author and the reader. There wasn't anything in the book to refer to personal experience, encouragement or advise or something to give you an indication that you will do well (or not), even if you are not a professional speaker. Confidence is a huge factor in any personal improvement enterprise.
The first 100 pages talk about Body, Breathing and Tuning. Most of this is about the anatomy of the body, in a rather scholastic tone. I read it with difficulty mainly because I could not see how I fit into this and I could not identify which part is important for me. The author seems to be very professional and knowledgeable, I suspect he didn't miss much from all the mechanics of voice production, but he did not offer too much help for the reader to make a decision and self-assess the situation.
The next 70 pages are about Speech. After a few pages with technical terms (diagrams showing how the vowels are produced), to my relief, I found finally some practical exercises.
The final section of the book, Using Your Voice, describe in the usual very detailed style, what to do with your voice and how to take care of it. It advises actors, teachers, radio presenters, etc what to do to warm up, on stage and in between.
Overall, I believe this book is more useful for professional speakers (actors, radio presenters, etc) speech trainers looking for inspiration than to uninitiated people.
Even if you're not in the "business," you'll find the anecdotes interesting and helpful. He explains things well and suggests good exercises for making your voice sound great.
For the speaker/trainer/radio producer/podcaster who hasn't had any voice training, this book is priceless. For singers and actors who probably already had extensive voice training, I imagine the book will cover mainly familiar territory, though there still will be good tips.
The 1998 edition has about 60 more pages than the 1988 edition and seems to incorporate more personal anecdotes and more feedback from readers. I haven't had a chance to compare them side to side though.
but I personally found the advice in this book so valuable that I want to have the latest definitive version.
One of her "Breathing" classmates told her about this book and how valuable she found it. I ordered it for her and she totally agrees.
By blending both techniques, said wife, Monica Gray has developed a very special approach that she uses
in classes with the Canadian Opera Company and the world famous Shakespeare Festival at Stratford, Ontario, as well as her own practice.
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