Sing Like Never Before

A Creative Look at Vocal Technique & Pedagogy for Singers & Voice Teachers

Praise for Sing Like Never Before

At first glance, readers may categorize this voice pedagogy text by Justin Stoney as less than serious. Whistling birds and a fluffy cloud in the shape of a treble clef adorn the cover, and every second page contains colored drawings. The content, however, is far from frivolous. Detailed, accurate information about the voice and singing is presented in a methodic manner. The visually arresting book is intended as a reference tool, a practical resource, and a source of motivation for singers and voice teachers. […] Voice teachers will find it a useful addition to their studio libraries as an accessible resource.
Eric Hoffer Foundation Award Grand Prize

Debra Greschner

National Association of Teachers of Singing Journal of Singing, Vol. 78

A must-have for any singer or singing teacher's library, this book is a wonderful tool and technical reference for teaching vocal pedagogy for voice teachers and students, vocal coaches, and professional singers who desire detailed information on the anatomy and mechanics of the complex, and sometimes mysterious, bodily system of the voice. Throughout the text, the author breaks down these complex topics with great clarity, detail, and amusing sidebars that help make the science of the voice accessible with practical and effective ways of exploring and applying it. With beautifully illustrated images throughout, the author guides the reader through the vocal landscape of breathing, larynx, throat, face, and jaw without neglecting the emotional, psychological, and spiritual elements of the uniquely human art form. A wonderfully informed, responsible, and integrated approach to all aspects of the art of singing, this book serves as an appropriate example of what a reference guide should look like.
Eric Hoffer Foundation Award Grand Prize

Eric Hoffer Foundation

Winner, Grand Prize and First Horizon Award

This book was not only the most complete book we've seen this year, but it will also stand the test of time. It's what a worthy book should aspire to.
Eric Hoffer Foundation Award Grand Prize

Christopher Klim

Chair, Eric Hoffer Book Award, author True Surrealism

The writing in this book was excellent and kept the user engaged. Everything in mechanics and organization is perfect. The illustrations married the content extremely well. This book is amazing.
Eric Hoffer Foundation Award Grand Prize

IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award™ Judges

Winner, Gold Medal

Award-winning author and widely acclaimed voice teacher Stoney opens a vast realm of exploration and examination for becoming and being a singer. His techniques are shared here in a mind-stirring combination of idea-laden narrative and graphic images that focus on the physical, emotional, and psychological aspects of song making. The large-format guidebook begins with breathing. As with each detail covered, artist Mark Pate's full-color cartoons expertly illustrate the segments in this opening chapter. Here they show the structure and location of the diaphragm, which controls a person's breathing, and from which the singer's deepest power may emanate. Yet even here, as throughout this work, Stoney reminds readers that vocal artists for whom any particular skill is challenging can "sing like never before." Further recommendations on breathing and other bodily aspects of producing desired sounds include Pate's pictorial views of singing-related organs and structures inside the body. In addition to breathing techniques, Stoney's succinct advice covers in simple but intelligent terms such important areas of a singer's concentration as resonance, posture, the tongue, jaw and mouth, vocal health, performance, and the crucial understanding and utilization of the vocal folds.

This highly practical and readily comprehensible compendium was awarded the 2021 Eric Hoffer Grand Prize, a well-deserved achievement for a work that can be appreciated by a wide audience. Stoney is the founder of New York Vocal Coaching, is often featured in media, and collaborates with doctors in vocal science research. Pate, an award-winning illustrator, participates in Transform, an organization fostering art residencies. Each set of facing pages in their expertly organized treatise comprises Stoney's broad-ranging pedagogy accompanied by Pate's cartoon blurbs and situational drawings. The book covers, and sometimes puts to rest, many historical theories about the voice, defines such arcane terms as falsetto and flageolet, and introduces relevant scientific terminology such as oropharynx, cricothyroid, and epithelium. It offers sound counsel concerning more effective vowel and consonant production, singing in higher or lower registers, jaw movement exercises, age, posture, performance, and general health recommendations. Importantly, the narrative always carries the proviso that every singer is unique and will utilize different mental and physical gifts and requirements. The book's continual emphasis on the individual—his or her needs, challenges, and wishes no matter how unconventional—gives a strong, spiritually-based reminder that one doesn't need to give up any struggle based on a single, supposed flaw or weakness. Dedicated practice and positive attitudes can compensate for a multitude of real or perceived deficits.

Those who teach vocal technique at any level, singers wanting to improve their presentation and power, and prospective vocal artists (whether barroom or ballroom) looking for creative starting points will find lively, memorably humorous, readily accessible lessons and wisdom here. Additionally, someone with a close friend or family member striving to dedicate themself to the world of song can learn more about those aspirations, and perhaps even take up singing. For, as Stoney reminds readers, "if you use your voice positively for just one other person, then you'll have forever impacted the world."

RECOMMENDED by the US Review
Eric Hoffer Foundation Award Grand Prize

Barbara Bamberger Scott

US Review of Books

Make a Joyful Noise!