• Michelle Ostrove


Every type of singing style requires specific vocal techniques. Musical theater singing can be very demanding on the voice. It’s all about the story and what the performer is trying to say; it’s an extension of the speaking voice. Although singing is a priority it does not rank first, telling the story in musical theater is first.

Musical theater performers are cast for a few reasons. The performer must look the part and have the ability to sing the part. The performer must have good coordination, possess the ability to dance and move well. The thespian must have good acting chops and the ability to create a variety of voices.

The singing style is more conversational, the music is not over sung. It is simplistic so that the singer can portray the text, which is the most important element. The diction (enunciation) of words being sung is crucial for the singer. Musical theater singing generally uses a lot of vibrato and has a much taller sound. The placement of sound, this is where you will feel the resonance (vibration), it’s more towards the roof of the mouth and back of the throat (see blog 12/24/20 “What Exactly is Vocal Resonance?”). These singers use resonance to fill a large concert hall or auditorium (see blog 10/31/20 “Singing With Beautiful Resonance”). Your articulation and pronunciation (enunciation) of vowels and consonance are formal and restrictive. Theater singing can require belting out a song and needs to be done correctly otherwise your voice will not last (read blog 10/29/20 “How To Belt Out The High Notes”).

Some theaters use microphones and a singer needs to understand how to work with a microphone and make adjustments for it. If the theater does not use a mic, the performer needs to have excellent technique (proper breathing and diaphragm support) to project their voice creating an echo in the theater. This type of singing is referred to as “legit” singing provides the freedom, flexibility, projecting power and resonance in the performers vocal sound. The singer needs solid technique for the demanding back-to-back shows for an extended length of time.

Contact a professional vocal coach to prepare and maintain your voice. This will help withstand the challenges of singing all styles of musical theater including legit, character and belting out the song. Listen to “Broadway Brogan” Gallagher singing “Hello Young Lovers” from The King and I musical.


Why did the tortilla chip start dancing? Because they put on the salsa.

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