Books

The Naked Voice: A Wholistic Approach to Singing ~ W. Stephen Smith

The Naked Voice ~ W. Stephen Smith

Joyce’s voice teacher, W. Stephen Smith, invites all singers to improve their vocal technique through his renowned and time-tested wholistic method. Focusing not only on the most important technical, but also on the often overlooked psychological and spiritual elements of learning to sing, his book allows readers to develop their own full and individual identities as singers. With philosophies and techniques drawn from a lifetime of teaching voice, Smith demonstrates how one can reveal the true unique sound of one’s own voice by singing with the whole self. The master’s method, presented in concrete and comprehensible terms with helpful illustrations, is enhanced by a CD containing exercises performed by singers from Smith’s own studio-singers whose talent and training bring them across the country and around the world. The clear and easy style of The Naked Voice welcomes the reader into Smith’s teaching studio, and into conversation with Smith himself as he presents the six simple and elegant exercises that form the core of his method. These exercises provide a foundation for free singing, and lead singers through the step-by-step process of mastering the technique. Throughout, Smith speaks sympathetically and encouragingly to the singer in search of an unencumbered and effective approach to the art. The Naked Voice is a must-read for all singers, giving teachers and students, amateurs and professionals, access to the methods and concepts that have earned Smith his reputation as one of the most highly-sought-after vocal instructors in the international arena today.

With The Naked Voice, Steve Smith has given each singer who reads this book a precious gift: one that not only gives insight into the seemingly elusive term of vocal technique, but one that grants individual artists the license to express themselves freely, live meaningful lives, and let their naked voices rattle into the rafters.
~ Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-Soprano

The Naked Voice on Amazon

17 Jun

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17 Jun

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17 Jun

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I arrive (nearly) to the end of this very full season, and it’s good moment to remind each of you reading this that YOU are the reason I travel the world, away from home for months at a time, working towards an unattainable perfection, exposed in ways very few people can imagine, singing the stories of characters searching for enlightenment/redemption/hope/relief/joy, and why I dedicate a large part of my life to this century’s old art form. I do it to entertain you at a minimum, but mostly to offer you comfort, to help us all join in a communal “event” that connects us across time and space despite our perceived differences, and I do it because I truly believe it makes the world a better place. I know you feel this most of the time as well. It’s likely what keeps bringing you back! I hope that after this season, perhaps you feel a bit more inspired to take what you receive as an audience member and activate that sensation in your own life, to bring hope and joy to the world around you. Don’t ever underestimate your power to do that - one doesn’t need the spotlight to bring transformation. #Songplay #Winterreise #Agrippina #Didon ✨

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Celebrating #WorldOceansDay ... hoping every single one of you has the chance to swim in the vast blue ocean one day. Growing up in Kansas, I didn’t have the chance until I was in my 30’s, but when I finally did, an entire new universe opened right underneath me and I was changed. I’m so grateful for all that the planet’s oceans give to us. I want to be sure I’m doing all I can as a citizen of the world to take care of them and their vast, life-giving properties. Let’s get more informed and more active in protecting them and helping them thrive.

I was not prepared. The inspiration is through the roof to bring to life the towering cantata of #JoanOfArc tonight in the very cathedral de St. Denis, where she prayed for strength centuries and centuries ago. The same stones that received her pleas tonight will hear them again filtered through the mind of Rossini and the vibrations of those of us on stage. This, perhaps, is the thing I love most about the world of music - it connects us directly through time and space, and it shows us demonstrably how we are one. Ask me how much I love my “job”! @festivalsaintdenis @accademiadisantacecilia

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There will always be more freedom to acquire and more truth to uncover.

~ Joyce DiDonato