Voice research has revealed much about the singing voice, but science without practical application may fall short of fine singing. In The Essentials of Beautiful Singing: A Three Step Kinesthetic Approach, performer and scholar Karen Tillotson Bauer bridges the gap between science and singing. It reframes the complexities of voice science with a cultivated simplicity of style and terminology that speaks directly to the singer's experience of singing, a kinesthetic one. Although well grounded in science, Bauer's book does not linger in scientific terminology, but rather focuses on an action-based pedagogical approach that speaks to the kinesthetic nature of singing. The skillful use of the body as a musical instrument is the source of fine singing and only through heightened kinesthetic awareness can vocal skills be achieved and refined. Fact-based explanations of kinesthetic singing processes are remarkably clear and replace vague notions about good breath management, rich resonance, and clear enunciation. Guided exercises inform both the body and the mind as a kinesthetic unit. The Essentials of Beautiful Singing has received praise in the Journal of Singing, Choice Reviews for Academic Music Libraries, and the International Choral Bulletin, among others. Its practical perspective reflects the efforts and goals of singer, voice teacher, and choral director. Paired with a science focused text in a voice pedagogy class, it provides a needed balance between science and singing.
Essentials of Beautiful Singing
A Three-Step Kinesthetic Approach