As most of my readers know, musical theatre has a long history. Actually, it goes back to the ancient Greeks, (!) made its way through plays with music, like Gilbert and Sullivan (and their contemporaries), and grew into what we have now. We don’t have to backtrack that much. As readers all know, musicals (as we call now label them) are songs, dances, play dialogue, etc., and has been popular in the U.S. since the late 19th
century. They have gradually evolved from nice little stories about true love with pretty songs into many different emotional expressions with the music that suits them. Until the last several decades, the singing was “easy.” Musicals are now influenced by pop and rock and the easy songs have often taken a backseat.
So, in teaching these singers I must be aware that they need to be able to do the pretty singing of past decades as well as the more pop-like singing of today. The task for the singer is to stay focused on the basics of developing and using both the sweet sound and the powerful sound. Not an easy task for teacher or student. I recommend to these singers a program of healthy practice, using the two types of sound mentioned above and a careful preparation of music that will enable them to meet their task.