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The Naked Voice

A Wholistic Approach to Singing

W. Stephen Smith and With Michael Chipman

Publication Date - March 2007

ISBN: 9780195300505

224 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $49.95

Allows readers to develop their own full and individual identities as singers by focusing on the technical, psychological, and spiritual elements of learning to sing


In The Naked Voice, W. Stephen Smith invites all singers to improve their vocal technique through his renowned and time-tested wholistic method. Focusing not only on the most important technical, but also on the often overlooked psychological and spiritual elements of learning to sing, his book allows readers to develop their own full and individual identities as singers. With philosophies and techniques drawn from a lifetime of teaching voice, Smith demonstrates how one can reveal the true unique sound of one's own voice by singing with the whole self. The master's method, presented in concrete and comprehensible terms with helpful illustrations, is enhanced by a companion website containing exercises performed by singers from Smith's own studio-singers whose talent and training bring them across the country and around the world. The clear and easy style of The Naked Voice welcomes the reader into Smith's teaching studio, and into conversation with Smith himself as he presents the six simple and elegant exercises that form the core of his method. These exercises provide a foundation for free singing, and lead singers through the step-by-step process of mastering the technique. Throughout, Smith speaks sympathetically and encouragingly to the singer in search of an unencumbered and effective approach to the art. The Naked Voice is a must-read for all singers, giving teachers and students, amateurs and professionals, access to the methods and concepts that have earned Smith his reputation as one of the most highly-sought-after vocal instructors in the international arena today.


  • Features a comprehensive companion website with helpful exercises
  • Addresses often overlooked psychological and spiritual elements of learning to sing, in addition to technical elements
  • Author is highly-sought-after vocal instructor

About the Author(s)

W. Stephen Smith is Professor of Voice at the Juilliard School of Music and a member of the voice faculty at the Aspen Music Festival and School. He earned acclaim as resident voice instructor of the Houston Grand Opera Studio, and has taught many professional singers in New York City and around the world.

Michael Chipman is a freelance writer and professional singer. He was the classical and jazz music critic for The Salt Lake Tribune and studied privately with Smith for five years.


"For the person delving into comparative pedagogies of the twenty-first century this book is interesting and has much to offer."--Karen Sell, Singing

"With The Naked Voice, Steve Smith has given each singer who reads this book a precious gift: one that not only gives insight into the seemingly elusive term of vocal technique, but one that grants individual artists the license to express themselves freely, live meaningful lives, and let their naked voices rattle into the rafters. " --Joyce DiDonato, Mezzo-Soprano

"Stephen Smith presents a clear and honest approach to singing in his book The Naked Voice. His descriptions and vocal exercises will be helpful to beginning students, as well as seasoned performers. I felt as though I were having a voice lesson with Steve as I read the book! I think that singers will not only find a way to express their authentic voices, but will also find a deeper understanding of their authentic inner selves in following his instruction." --Christine Brewer, Soprano

"W. Stephen Smith's extensive experience with both aspiring and career singers make him eminently qualified to advise vocalists. His pedagogic approach is pragmatic, and strikes a balance between philosophy and practicality. The Naked Voice challenges singers to pursue authenticity in their voices and in their lives. It is recommended reading for singers and their teachers." --Debra Greschner, Journal of Singing

"The appeal of The Naked Voice lies in Smith's willingness to confide his often unique philosophy and procedures to his readers in direct, accessible language without ceremony or stiffness. Frequent testimonials from happy students attest to the author's success as a teacher. His highly personal approach deals with issues of interest to singers. Emanuensis Chipman catches the sense of immediacy that characterizes Smith's style." --Richard Miller, Emeritus Professor of Singing, Oberlin Conservatory of Music

"I have known Stephen Smith for many years and have come to admire him as one of America's finest teachers of voice. This book gives us an accessible and engaging view of his thoughts and the conditions necessary to create vocal freedom. The advice to young singers on the myriad aspects of building a career and maintaining vocal health is straight forward, honest, knowing, and, if taken to heart, enormously helpful."--Robert L. Larsen, Artistic Director, Des Moines Metro Opera and Editor of the G. Schirmer Opera Anthologies