Plural Publishing produces leading academic, scientific and clinical publications in the fields of speech-language pathology, audiology, and otolaryngology.


Choral Pedagogy and the Older Singer

Edited by: Brenda Smith, Robert Thayer Sataloff
368 pages, Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 6 x 9"
Release Date:
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This book should help conductors adjust expectations and methods to suit the condition and abilities of older singers. Maintaining one’s vocal skill in later years is the goal, since getting better may not be possible. Knowing that every choral conductor hopes a choir will improve from season to season, a new paradigm for the aging choir must be established. Once involved, the conductor of older singers is certain to reap the benefits of making music with people whose appreciation of the text, the music and the act of singing is deeper than in any younger ensemble.


  • Patricia Henshaw, Principal SLT, York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists Bulletin (Sept. 2012):
    "The resurgence in the popularity of choral singing and the increasing expectation of active participation in a range of activities are combining to encourage more people to enjoy singing well into older age. This American book is designed to help choir conductors adjust their expectations and methods to suit the condition and abilities of older singers. It supports this with a wealth of information about the ageing voice and how to look after it and use it well.

    SLTs working with older people who run into difficulties with both their speaking and singing voices will find this book of immense interest. The chapters on medical and vocal health are clear and accessible and particularly helpful. They bring together familiar and new information on anatomy, physiology, conditions, factors affecting the voice and approaches and treatments. This is a treasure trove, well worth a look. My copy is already well thumbed."

About the Authors

I. Introduction
1. Working with Older Singers
2. Choral Pedagogy and Vocal Health

II. Vocal Technique For The Older Singer
3. The Basics of Singing

III. Aspects Of Vocal Technique For Older Singers
4. Range, Stamina, and Voice Quality
5. Tone, Pitch Matching, and Tuning
6. Age- and Size-Appropriate Singing
7. Warm-Up and Cooldown Procedures
8. Special Considerations for Teaching Older Singers
9. Rhythm, Discipline, and Brain Function
10. Vibrato Rate

IV. Vocal Health and Pedagogy
11. Anatomy and Physiology of the Voice
12. Medical Care of Voice Disorders
13. Performing Arts Medicine and the Professional Voice User: Risk of Nonvoice Performance
14. Seating Problems of Vocalists

V. Vocal Health and the Older Singer
15. Vocal Health and the Older Singer
16. The Use of Nutrition and Integrative Medicine or Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) for Older Choral Singers
17. Vocal Exercise Physiology: Training for a Lifetime

VI. Repertoire For All Ages
18. Content and Language
19. Manner of Performance
20. Choral Diction

VII. Choral Rehearsal And The Older Singer
21. The Rehearsal Process
22. Choral Rehearsal and the Older Singer
23. Men and Singing
24. Women and Singing

VIII. Conclusion
25. Singing and Aging


About The Editors

Brenda Smith

Dr. Brenda Smith teaches studio voice, diction and vocal pedagogy at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She has been widely recognized for her contributions to the concept of lifelong singing through proper voice care. Dr. Smith is a lyric soprano with special interests in the recital and concert repertoire. In addition, Dr. Smith was translator, collaborator, and assistant to Dr. Wilhelm Ehmann and Dr. Frauke Haasemann, the pedagogues whose work in Germany and the United States developed the concept known as “voice building for choirs”. Dr. Smith works regularly as consultant, clinician, and conductor with amateur and professional choirs. She has been associated with the choirs of St. Ignatius Loyola, the Central City Chorus, and the Dessoff Choirs in New York City, the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia, the Cathedral Choral Society of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., as well as the choirs of the Epiphany Cathedral in Venice, Florida. As an active member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing and the American Choral Directors Association, Dr. Smith speaks as a resource for solo singers, voice teachers, and choral conductors.

Robert Thayer Sataloff

Robert T. Sataloff, MD, DMA, FACS, is professor and chairman in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and senior associate dean for Clinical Academic Specialties at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is also adjunct professor in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Thomas Jefferson University and Temple University; as well as on the faculty of the Academy of Vocal Arts. Dr. Sataloff is a professional singer and singing teacher and served as conductor of the Thomas Jefferson University Choir for nearly four decades. He holds an undergraduate degree in Music Theory and Composition from Haverford College, medical degree from Jefferson Medical College–Thomas Jefferson University, and doctor of musical arts in voice performance from Combs College of Music. He completed his residency in otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and fellowship in otology, neurotology and skull base surgery at the University of Michigan. Dr. Sataloff is chairman of the boards of directors of the Voice Foundation and the American Institute for Voice and Ear Research. He is editor-in-chief of the Journal of Voice and Ear, Nose and Throat Journal, associate editor of the Journal of Singing, and on the editorial boards of numerous otolaryngology journals. He has written more than 700 publications, including 40 books. His medical practice is limited to care of the professional voice and otology/neurotology/skull base surgery.