The Must-Have Book List for Singers

by | Aug 8, 2023 | Members Only, Student Resources | 0 comments

Curating a library of insightful and inspirational books is one of the best things you can do for your career. There are books written on every aspect of a singer’s life and career – some to inform, some to instruct, some to inspire, some to entertain.

Below are some recommendations on books that I have found helpful that you might want to add to your library.

And if you have any books that are “must-haves” for you, drop them in the comments!

These links are affiliate links which means should you choose to purchase any of these books from this post, I’ll receive a tiny commission. 

Vocal Technique

The Structure of Singing: System and Art in Vocal Technique by Richard Miller

This used to be the definitive text on the mechanical workings of the voice. And I believe it still is although there are several more recent texts on vocal science.

This book is a classic and worth having on your shelf.

(Buy it used! It’s much cheaper!)

A Modern Guide to Old World Singing: Concepts of the Swedish-Italian and Italian Singing Schools by David L. Jones

David Jones is a very well-respected New York City voice teacher who has a great blog with insights on all things vocal technique. This is a great text, very easy to read and included vocal exercises that you can do to soldify the concepts he talks about.

The Vocal Athlete, Second Edition by Wendy D. LeBorgne & Marci Daniels Rosenberg

This has been a very popular text for vocal technique in the CCM styles. There is an accompanying book called The Vocal Athlete: Application and Technique for the Hybrid Singer which gives lots of vocal exercises to solidify the concepts.

Complete Vocal Fitness: A Singer’s Guide to Physical Training, Anatomy, and Biomechanics by Claudia Friedlander

This book by New York City Voice Teacher, Claudia Friedlander, dicusses vocal anatomy and technique and how physical training can enhance your singing.

Performance/Practice Techniques

Acting the Song: Performance Skills for the Musical Theatre by Allison Bergman & Tracey Moore 

If you want to make an impression in your performance in musical theatre, this is the book you need. And even though it is specifically for musical theatre performers, there are some wonderful  tips applicable to opera singers too.

The Empty Voice: Acting Opera by Leon Major

Whereas the previous book was specifically for musical theatre, this book is all about acting in opera. Leon Major was the artistic director of the Maryland Opera Studio and also an acclaimed opera director at companies like New York City Opera.

Singing in Style: A Guide to Vocal Performance Practices by Martha Elliott

For classical singers, this is a must-have! There are wonderful and in-depth explanations of the performance practices of almost every genre of classical music – from Baroque to Lieder to Bel canto to 20th Century Nationalistic styles.

The Musician’s Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness, 1st Edition by Gerald Klickstein

This book covers it all – Part I, Artful Practice, describes strategies to interpret and memorize compositions, fuel motivation, collaborate, and more. Part II, Fearless Performance, lifts the lid on the hidden causes of nervousness and shows how musicians can become confident performers. Part III, Lifelong Creativity, surveys tactics to prevent music-related injuries and equips musicians to tap their own innate creativity. 

Audition Techniques

The Singer’s Audition & Career Handbook by Claudia Friedlander

This book has a plethora of information on forging an operatic career with a great and inspirational foreward by Joyce DiDonato.

Auditioning for Musical Theatre, 1st Edition
by Denny Berry

Just what it says….if you want to get the job in musical theatre, you need to know how to make an impression and what “they” are looking for. This book gives you step-by-step instruction on how to do that.


The Working Musician’s Handbook for Professional Success (Music Pro Guides) by Kris Hawkins

While this book is mainly geared toward those musicians in a recording/performing career, there is some fantastic advice about how to navigate in the financial and networking side of things.

Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music 3rd Edition by Angela Myles Beeching

This is an excellent guide on all things music business and how to set yourself up as the entrepreneur you need to be.


Feel the Fear… and Do It Anyway: Dynamic Techniques for Turning Fear, Indecision, and Anger into Power, Action, and Love by Susan Jeffers

This is a great book! Fear can be our greatest enemy and our greatest motivator. Susan Jeffers covers it all!

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. S. Dweck

Mindset is everything when you want to be a performer. Carol S. Dweck is the preiminent expert on mindset and this book will give you the tools to make sure that you live within a growth mindset.

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear Paperback by Elizabeth Gilbert

Getting past your fear as a creative is something we all need to learn and Elizabeth Gilbert’s book is a wonderful read.

Happy Reading!


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