Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Fine Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Everett McCorvey


The world of professional vocal training is becoming more and more eclectic and demanding in the United States. Academic music programs, and subsequently, vocal and vocal pedagogy programs are still predominantly classical in 2022, due to the American university system’s historical roots. In the 21st century, the commercial music industry is at an all-time high. However, in contemporary academia, vocal and vocal pedagogy degree programs remain primarily classical. In recent years, voice professionals have been discussing the implications of academic programs updating their programs and pedagogy in order to include professional CCM and hybrid training. Classical, CCM and hybrid singers need assured longterm vocal health, proficiency, and artistry via pedagogically-sound vocal training. The question is, “How will more voice teachers will be trained in hybrid techniques to meet this need?”

Changes to academic courses and requirements are necessary to ensure that hybrid (classical and nonclassical) vocal pedagogy is offered more broadly to all voice-teachers-in-training. Collegiate vocal pedagogy must make a greater effort to meet industry standards for singers of every musical style, moving away from predominantly classical styles to a hybrid system which acknowledges classical and nonclassical styles as equally valid and challenging. The hybrid voice teacher understands classical and nonclassical singing and can modify teaching techniques to suit the interests and abilities of their voice students. Training for the hybrid voice teacher must begin in academia. Academic training for the hybrid teacher ensures that more voice teachers are working, a broader range of future voice professionals have solid technical foundations, and industry standards for all styles of singing are acknowledged, respected, and upheld by professional voice teachers.

This dissertation will look at the understanding of scientific function as being of prime importance in teaching healthy singing. In studying classical and belted vocal techniques functionally, many differences are noticeable in voice science. The first part of this paper will focus on current research and theory related to functional belting and functional classical singing techniques, and their application to various sung musical styles. By comparing functional singing during classical versus belted technique, one can denote any differences in posture, breath, registration, resonance, and acoustics. The second part of the paper offers applied exercises and explanations for in-studio application of the information offered in Part I. These exercises mirror the pedagogical areas explored in Part I (posture and breathing, registration, resonance, and acoustics), offering training techniques that acknowledge technical differences between classical and belted singing inside the hybrid studio. To close Part II, vocal cross-training implications will be explored.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)