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Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $85.00
  • February 2014
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-92025-3
  • 368 pages
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide

The Singing Book

Third Edition


with MP3 disc

See all options and formats starting at

Meribeth Dayme (Author), Cynthia Vaughn (Author, Colorado State University)


A joyful introduction to the art of singing, written with the needs of beginning singers in mind.

Taking a “Sing First, Talk Later” approach, The Singing Book gets students singing from the very first day. Combining a simple introduction to basic vocal technique with confidence-building exercises and imaginative repertoire—with 30 new songs—The Singing Book teaches beginners the vocal skills they need to get started, gives them exciting music to sing, and provides the tools they need to develop the voice and keep it healthy. A new recordings disc included free with every new book provides the melodies and accompaniments for all 78 songs for practice and performance.


The motivational “Sing First, Talk Later” format gets students singing from the very first day

This three-part, user-friendly format teaches beginners the vocal skills they need to get started, gives them exciting music to sing, and provides the tools they need to develop the voice and keep it healthy:

1. First Steps to Singing is a quick-start guide with just enough information and technique to get beginners singing better right out of the box.
2. Improvisations and Songs. An anthology of over 70 songs chosen with the needs of beginning singers in mind engages students with songs they want to sing.
3. How the Voice Works. These focused chapters—all in accessible, nontechnical language—teach students about muscles and physical balance, breathing, voice quality and resonance, articulation and expression, and maintaining a healthy voice.

Outstanding repertoire—featuring 30 NEW songs

This edition features over 70 songs, carefully chosen based on feedback from users nationwide—over 30 new songs, including “There’s a Fine, Fine Line” from Avenue Q, “Not While I’m Around” from Sweeney Todd, “Fields of Gold” by Sting, Giordano’s Caro mio ben, and Franck’s Panis angelicus, and a new rock improvisation. Over 30 bonus songs are available online. 

New repertoire selections provide support for beginners, and songs for everyone

With songs for everyone, The Singing Book engages students with music they want to sing and develops their voices at the same time. This edition features more variety in group songs and rounds; more world songs, including new Japanese, Korean, and German folk songs; more standard classical art songs; 10 new popular and musical theater choices; and more music aimed at male singers. All of the accompaniments have been arranged to support beginning singers and are comfortable to play.  

Balanced whole-person approach develops the voice as it builds confidence

The classroom-tested whole-person approach combines accurate vocal technique with the motivational exercises students need to sing joyfully and without fear. Simple improvisations promote creativity while group songs and rounds build confidence. “Finding Out for Yourself” exercises enable students to experiment with different ways of singing and discover the habits that promote healthy, joyful singing. 

Recordings are included with every new book

The Singing Book recordings disc—now in an MP3 format—gives students the tools they need to practice on their own however and whenever they wish. With three versions of each song—just the melody, just the piano accompaniment, and the accompaniment combined with the melody on a contrasting instrument—students can learn, practice, and perform. The recordings disc is included free with every new copy of the book.  

    Selections in bold are new to this edition.


    Introduction: Getting Started

    Part One: The First Steps to Singing Easily
    Chapter One: Healthy Singing
    Chapter Two: Preparing to Sing
    Chapter Three: Selecting Music to Sing
    Chapter Four: Learning Music Efficiently
    Chapter Five: Practice Habits
    Chapter Six: Performing

    Part Two: Improvisations and Songs

    Ballad (Major Key)
    Swingin’ in Minor Blues
    Circle of Friends
    Rock It!
    Dance Your Dream Come True

    Traditional Songs, World Songs, and Rounds
    My Country ’Tis of Thee (America)
    Banana Boat Song (Day-O) (Jamaica)
    Let Us Sing Together (Czech Republic)
    I Am Athirst (England)
    Babylon (America)
    Dona nobis pacem (Latin)
    Kyrie eleison (Latin)
    Alleluia (Israel)
    O le le la (Africa)
    Cherokee Morning Song (America)
    Four Partner Songs (England)
        Ah, Poor Bird
        Farewell, My Friend
        Hey, Ho! Nobody Home
        The Wind in the Willows
    Three Alleluia Rounds
    Shenandoah (America)
    The House of the Rising Sun (America)
    Scarborough Fair (England)
    Danny Boy (Ireland/England)
    The Water Is Wide (England)
    Salley Gardens (Ireland)
    Western Wind (England)
    Red Is the Rose (Ireland)
    Flor, blanca flor (Mexico)
    Niño precioso (Nicaragua)
    Santa Lucia (Italy)
    L’hirondelle messagère (French Canadian)
    Der Mai ist gekommen (Germany)
    Edo no Komoriuta (Japan)
    Arirang (Korea)
    Amazing Grace (America)
    Wayfaring Stranger (America)
    My Lord, What a Mornin’! (America)
    Hine ma tov (Israel)
    I’ve Got Peace Like a River (America)
    How Can I Keep from Singing? (America)
    America the Beautiful (America)
    The Star-Spangled Banner (America)
    O Canada! (Canada)

    Popular Songs
    There’s a Fine, Fine Line, from Avenue Q (Lopez/Marx)
    Someone Like You, from Jekyll & Hyde (Bricusse/Wildhorn)
    Goodnight, My Someone, from The Music Man (Willson)
    Not While I’m Around, from Sweeney Todd (Sondheim)
    Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’, from Oklahoma! (Rodgers/Hammerstein)
    I Got the Sun in the Morning, from Annie Get Your Gun (Berlin)
    Over the Rainbow, from The Wizard of Oz (Harburg/Arlen)
    Sing!, from Sesame Street (Raposo)
    Somewhere Out There (duet), from An American Tail (Horner/Mann/Weil)
    I Sing for You, from Camp (Gore/Ahrens)
    Fields of Gold (Sting)
    Puttin’ on the Ritz (Berlin)
    Blue Skies, from Betsy (Berlin)
    When I Fall in Love (Heyman/Young)
    Skylark (Mercer/Carmichael)
    Side by Side (optional duet) (Kahn/Woods)

    Art Songs and Arias
    Come Again, Sweet Love (Dowland 1563–1626)
    Donzelle, fuggite (Cavalli 1602–1676)
    Star vicino (Anonymous, c. 1600)
    Caro mio ben (Giordani 1730–1806)
    Panis angelicus (optional duet) (Franck 1822–1890)
    Wiegenlied (Schubert 1797–1828)
    Adieu (Fauré 1845–1924)
    La paloma blanca (arr. Kilenyi 1910–2000)
    When Love Is Kind (Moore 1893–1969)
    I Cannot Sing To-Night (Foster 1826–1864)
    El majo timido (Granados 1867–1916)
    Evening Prayer (duet), from Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck 1854–1921)
    Summertime, from Porgy and Bess (Gershwin 1898–1937)
    Come Ready and See Me (Hundley b. 1931)

    Part Three: How the Voice Works
    Chapter Seven: Muscles and Physical Balance
    Chapter Eight: Breathing
    Chapter Nine: Making Sound
    Chapter Ten: Voice Quality and Resonance
    Chapter Eleven: Articulation and Expression
    Chapter Twelve: Maintaining a Healthy Voice


    Appendix A: What’s Your Singing IQ?
    Appendix B: Worksheet for Preparing the Text of Your Song
    Appendix C: More Vocal Exercises: Warming Up—and Down
    Appendix D: Introduction to IPA: Pronunciation of Vowels
    and Consonants
    Appendix E: Making Sense of a Music Manuscript
    Appendix F: Interactive Class Voice for Teachers

    Further Reading and Print Resources
    Some Recommended Websites
    Recordings to Accompany The Singing Book

    Over 30 Bonus Songs are available as PDF and MP3 files on under For Instructors.

    Improvisations, Traditional Songs, World Songs, and Rounds
    Ah, Poor Bird/Shalom (duet)
    Ah! Si mon moine voulait danser! (Canada)
    Civil War Medley (America)
    Dance of Youth (China)
    Dubinushka (Russia)
    Ego sum pauper (Latin)
    Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit (America)
    The Frog in the Bog (Canada)
    Gaudeamus igitur (Germany)
    The Lark in the Clear Air (Ireland)
    Mi caballo blanco (Chile)
    Music Alone Shall Live (Germany)
    Paun I Kolo (Bosnia)
    Shalom, chaverim (Israel)
    Suo-gân (Wales)
    There’s Music in the Air (America)

    Art Songs and Arias
    The Angler’s Song (duet) (Lawes 1596–1662)
    Auf Flügeln des Gesanges (Mendelssohn 1809–1847)
    Bitte (Franz 1815–1892)
    Gentle Annie (Foster 1826–1864)
    He Shall Feed His Flock (Handel 1685–1759)
    Ich liebe dich (Beethoven 1770–1827)
    Ici-bas (Fauré 1845–1924)
    If You’ve Only Got a Moustache (Foster 1826–1864)
    Lungi (Tosti 1846–1916)
    Modern Major-General (solo/chorus), from The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan)
    Oh, better far to live and die (Pirate King’s Song), from The Pirates of Penzance (Gilbert & Sullivan)
    Ombra mai fù (low key), from Serse (Handel 1685–1759)
    Ombra mai fù (high key)
    O Mistress Mine, from Twelfth Night (Stanford 1852–1924)
    Selve amiche, ombrose piante (Caldara 1670–1736)
    The sun, whose rays are all ablaze, from The Mikado (Gilbert & Sullivan)