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Cross-Training in the Voice Studio
A Balancing Act

Edited by: Norman Spivey, Mary Saunders Barton
Illustrated (B/W), Softcover, 6 x 9"
Release Date:


Cross-Training in the Voice Studio: A Balancing Act is an innovative resource for teachers and students of singing in today’s evolving professional landscape. Saunders Barton and Spivey offer an inside view of their applied studios and the results of the cross-training process.

As vocal performance demands continue to change, singers must adapt in order to stay competitive in the job market. The authors address this challenge and provide a practical technical approach to developing the most flexible and resilient singing voices—the essence of their philosophy of “bel canto can belto,” embracing classical and vernacular styles.

Key Features

  • In-depth chapter on resonance/registration for voice building
  • Cross-training in the academic vs. the private studio
  • Cross-training with repertoire
  • Coverage of multi-disciplinary training: how acting, speech, movement, and dance support studio effort
  • PluralPlus Companion Website with student recordings to enhance concepts within the text

Cross Training in the Voice Studio: A Balancing Act is a must-read for anyone in the singing profession seeking insight on cross-training.


Chapter 1. How Did We Come to This?
Chapter 2. Cross-Training vs. Crossover
Chapter 3. The Balancing Act of Registration and Resonance
Chapter 4. Cross-Training through Repertoire
Chapter 5. From the Ivory Tower to the Trenches
Chapter 6. It Takes a Village
Chapter 7. The Way Forward

Appendix 1. Additional Exercises for the Balancing Act of Registration and Resonance
Appendix 2. Sample Jury Sheets
Appendix 3. Other Publications by the Authors

About The Editors

Norman Spivey

Norman Spivey, DMA, MM, BM is professor of voice and voice pedagogy at Penn State, and also maintains a large private studio. With Penn State musical theatre voice colleagues, he co-teaches the workshop Bel Canto/Can Belto: Learning to teach and sing for musical theatre. He is a recipient of the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture Faculty Award for Outstanding Teaching, and is a member of the distinguished American Academy of Teachers of Singing. Currently serving as immediate past president of the National Association of Teachers of Singing, his affiliation with NATS has included offices at the chapter, district, regional, and national level, participation in the Intern Program (as intern, local coordinator, master teacher, and director), the Van L. Lawrence Fellowship (in partnership with The Voice Foundation), and contributions to the Journal of Singing.

Mary Saunders Barton

Mary Saunders Barton, MA, BA is a Penn State Professor Emeritus, currently residing in New York where she maintains a professional voice studio. While at Penn State, she created an MFA in Musical Theatre Voice Pedagogy with colleague Norman Spivey to meet the growing demand for voice teachers who specialize in vernacular singing techniques. In recent seasons her students have been seen on Broadway in Book of Mormon, Newsies, The King and I, Beautiful, Chicago, Kinky Boots, Mamma Mia, School of Rock, Wicked, Sunset Boulevard, Bandstand, A Bronx Tale, and Miss Saigon among others, and in many tours and regional productions. Mary is frequently invited to present her workshop “Bel Canto/Can Belto” in the U.S and abroad. She has produced two DVD tutorials “Teaching Women to Sing Musical Theatre” and “What about the Boys?” Mary is a 2018 recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University. She is a member of the American Academy of Teachers of Singing.