The Speech Level Singing Method – Tools and Tricks for Artistic Vocal Development


Date Thursday January 16th 2003
Time 4:00-5:00pm
Venue George E. Pake Auditorium

PARC Forum

This presentation will describe the primary challenges faced by vocalists and explain how they can be traced back to a single issue, the bridges in the human voice. Using examples by live singers, the presentation will illustrate how Speech Level Singing techniques such as phonetic modifications help vocalists negotiate bridges. A bridge is a pitch where resonation shifts from one area of the body to another (for example, from the chest to the head). The bridges are the most technically difficult pitches for singers (if you have heard a singer’s voice crack, it was probably at a bridge). If the bridges are not negotiated correctly, the vocal cords come apart or vibrate inefficiently and singers have problems ranging from reduced vocal quality to distressed vocal cords. Speech Level Singing addresses this central problem in singing by helping the vocal cords stay together and vibrate efficiently as a singer crosses the bridges, increasing vocal range, quality, and stamina.

The forum will be presented in the master class format commonly used in the performing arts. I will be accompanied by singers who will illustrate common vocal problems as well as the Speech Level Singing technique. Further, the presentation will show how the technique can be applied to diverse styles of singing ranging from jazz to opera to pop. Volunteers from the audience will be welcome to participate.


Dave Stroud is a professional vocal instructor based in San Francisco, California. Dave trains singers and teaches master classes in the United States and internationally. Dave has worked with numerous schools and institutions, including the San Francisco Conservatory, the Stanford Jazz Vocal Workshop, the University of the Pacific, Brigham Young University Hawaii, the South Plains College Commercial Music Program, the GRAMMY In The Schools program, the Recording Academy's Vocal Tech, and the Pacific Speech and Voice Foundation. Dave coaches a number of renowned singers such as Matt Scannell (Vertical Horizon), Terry Ellis (En Vogue), Rosie Gaines (Prince & The New Power Generation), Tony Lindsay (Santana), and Dale Tracy (lead in Phantom of the Opera in Hamburg, Germany). He has also trained performers in the musical productions of Mamma Mia, RENT, Ragtime, Miss Saigon, 42nd St., COLE and Showboat. Dave started a small record label in 1997 and has released 5 CD's to date, with one cut making the GAVIN Top 40 report. The Northern California Songwriters Association appointed him to the Board of Directors in 2000 and he is a member of the San Francisco and Los Angeles chapters of The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. Dave has served as the Executive Director for the Teacher Training Program of Speech Level Singing from 1998 to the present. Dave Stroud has been studying voice since his late teens and continues his studies with Mr. Seth Riggs of Los Angeles.

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