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The Voice Book: For Actors, Public Speakers and Everyone Who Wants to Make the Most of Their Voice Paperback – 30 Aug 1988


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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (30 Aug 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571150594
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571150595
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 2.1 x 13.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 512,047 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Michael McCallion taught voice at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and is one of the world's leading voice teachers. This book is the result of over thirty-five years of practical work helping people in all walks of life release their voice potential. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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First Sentence
The most important physical elements in voice production (breathing, phonation and articulation) are all processes which occur because of the response of muscles to nervous stimulation, so in a sense, all of this book is about body use. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
... just get it.
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
comprehensive guide to training your voice from a leading voice coach 14 Oct 2005
By Robert Nagle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I'll have more time to expand on this review later on. I'm a podcaster/storyteller who has been looking for tips about how to do voice recording and how to develop good voice control. I checked out various voice books, and this is the only one that provided the breadth and practicality that I needed.

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.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good book, but not for the uninitiated (as you are let to believe) 10 Dec 2006
By Emil B - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found this book to be very detailed, technical and while a professional speaker might appreciate it, the beginner would most probably not. Michael McCallion is recognized by many as an authority in the field, as I discovered later, and he painstakingly touches every area one needs to know about voice. However, I felt disoriented with my reading. I needed something to guide me through the complexity of the book and help me set out a plan, but I found none of that. Metaphorically speaking, it was as if instead of a fitness guide, I was reading a medical book.

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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Professionally necessary 12 Mar 2013
By Zita Denholm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you teach Voice or Speech or Drama or Communication, you need to have McCallion on your bookshelf - after you have absorbed his well-developed exposition of voice.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Wife gets book, sings praises 1 Dec 2008
By Gary Gray - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
My wife is both an Alexander Teacher and the only Canadian graduate of Jessica Wolf's "The Art of Breathing".
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.
Gary Gray
Toronto, Canada
How to Learn the Alexander Technique: A Manual for StudentsThe Actor and the Alexander Technique
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