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Classical to Comtemporary: The Evolution of Classically-Driven Vocal Pedagogy in a Contemporary Studio

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Among the most popular music genres are pop, rock, country, R&B, jazz, and blues. In the context of hit TV shows such as Glee, The Voice, and The Masked Singer, as well as the musical theater and pop industries booming,

Among the most popular music genres are pop, rock, country, R&B, jazz, and blues. In the context of hit TV shows such as Glee, The Voice, and The Masked Singer, as well as the musical theater and pop industries booming, the American education system should be helping to prepare students for success in the current music industry. America’s higher education systems have not followed the industry’s trends as much as they could. Music schools with classical voice programs significantly outnumber musical theatre programs in the United States, and pop/contemporary commercial music programs are rare. The small number of contemporary commercial music programs (CCM) likely has to do with the lack of training that the faculties have had in these genres - they aren't qualified to teach them.This paper specifically targets an audience of classically-trained singers and voice teachers. It will act as a guide on how to use classical training and classical vocal pedagogy to sing and teach Contemporary Commercial Music, CCM. There are ten chapters to this paper, discussing classical vocal pedagogy/vocal health and how those topics translate to CCM singing, proven and effective warmups for the CCM singer, and specific stylistic requirements with repertoire suggestions for all voice types and age groups in the styles of musical theatre, pop, jazz, contemporary Christian/gospel, and country.
The information in this paper is vital for the development of singers in today’s industry. There are many famous pop singers with vocal injuries and, without proper vocal training, current singers are unable to find their authentic, healthy voices. Instead, many untrained pop singers modify their sound to imitate those they hear on the radio, which can lead to unhealthy vocal production. It is imperative that the systems training singers to sing classical, opera, and musical theatre include all CCM vocal teaching in their techniques. With this document, those who have been trained within the environment of classical music can use the same vocal health techniques and modify their approach to successfully teach and sing contemporary commercial music.

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2022