Leon Neto ’16 (Doctor of Musical Arts in Pedagogy – Voice) and Director of the Janette Ogg Voice Research Center and Associate Professor of Voice (Baritone) and Vocal Pedagogy David Meyer, D.M., recently published “Understanding the Vocal Skill Set for Contemporary Christian Singers: Insights from Elite Singers” in the Australian Voice Journal.
The purpose of this qualitative research was to investigate the vocal skills necessary for commercial success as a contemporary Christian singer (CCS) or worship leader (WL). Grammy and Dove award-winning Christian singers were recruited and interviewed to answer the following research questions: What vocal skill sets do elite CCSs observe in successful singers of this style? What do elite CCSs perceive to be the ideal vocal characteristics of CCSs/WLs?
Among the most relevant findings is the suggestion that CCSs face a demanding vocal load and may experience elevated risk of vocal injury. This finding is consistent with previous studies. It is also noteworthy that the elite CCS participants in this study had little to no formal vocal training in western classical singing styles. While style-specific training is warranted, current CCS training typically focuses only on western classical singing. The authors hope that training standards for CCSs may increasingly reflect the musical demands these singers will experience.