2023, Volume 24
Learning to Belt: Late-Adolescent Female Singers and Fostering Sustainability
AUTHOR: Freya Meredith-Hanson
ABSTRACT: This study investigates the current notions and experiences of belting from the perspectives of late-adolescent female vocalists aiming to enhance the understanding of sustainable belting practices. A practice-led, semi-structured study was conducted involving five participants simulating real-world exploration and application of sustainable belt techniques. The study encompassed a total of five 'vocal sessions', three 'vocal profiles', and four questionnaires per participant. Throughout the eight-week practice-led study, a notable shift in the participants' understanding of belting was observed. Four out of five participants revised their initial descriptions, emphasising the significance of sustainability in executing the belt vocal quality. All three participants who initially perceived force as a necessary element in belting revised their stance. The findings revealed that vocal strategies focusing on registration transitioning and speech quality garnered a more positive response from participants compared to physical preparation and breathing tasks. Unexpectedly, potential psychological issues surfaced as a significant factor, as all five participants reported anxiety and lack of confidence when performing belting tasks. This research acts as a catalyst that advances the understanding of belting experiences within the late-adolescent demographic. Furthermore, the study highlights the need to re-evaluate the concept of sustainable practice by balancing physio-vocal mechanisms and cognitive-perceptual systems.
KEYWORDS: music theatre, belt vocal quality, CCM, female voice, late-adolescent voice
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