One Voice

Integrating Techniques Across Performance Disciplines

Too often performers are conditioned to think they have a “speaking voice” and a “singing voice.” Yet in fact, the voice we use to speak, laugh, cry, yawn, scream, and call out is the same voice we use to sing!

Joan Melton brings together the contrasting worlds of singing and acting training in an approach that is physically energizing, vocally freeing, and infinitely practical. Kenneth Tom contributes a chapter on vocal anatomy and physiology, offering clear and accessible material on how the voice works, along with practical advice on its care.

This groundbreaking book outlines a course of study that effectively integrates techniques from theatre and music across a range of performance trainings. A new chapter on Related Research provides details regarding the physiology and integrative potential of exercise sequences throughout the book.

The physicality of Melton’s approach addresses the concerns of professional voice users in any field, and her detailed work on phrasing and the use of language applies equally to speaking and singing.

Reader's Comments

Joan Melton has taken the lead in developing a vital new pedagogy for the teaching of theatre voice. Her conviction that the teaching of singing and speaking for musical theatre performers must derive from the same technical core is, in my view, the key to the future of vocal training for actors. Melton’s rich background as a composer, pianist, and classically trained singer have prepared her uniquely for the groundbreaking approach she has taken in her work.

Mary Saunders-Barton, author of Cross-Training in the Voice Studio, Penn State University

This important book challenges and encourages a synthesis in singing, voice, speech, and movement pedagogy. Voice, singing, and movement trainers have agreed in theory for some time that more integrated methods of training are essential; however, in practice, little progress has been made. Melton’s book is the first theoretical and technical manual outlining a comprehensive method of physical, vocal and musical integration.

Michael Lugering, author of The Expressive Actor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Joan Melton’s One Voice is an outstanding training manual and contribution to both scholarship and practice.

Krista Scott, Texas Christian University

The book is beautifully written, easy to follow and a lovely idea to have photos rather than diagrams.

Julia Moody, Voice Specialist in Theatre, Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts

In these days when actors need to sing and singers need to act, this book can be an invaluable companion: it is clear, sensible and thorough; you could follow it without a teacher; it describes a route whereby through physical work, both freeing and disciplining, the instrument common to singers and speakers can be a versatile, sound, and truthful means of communication.

Angela Devaney, former Chair, Voice Care Network UK