The Vocal Company Blog

5 Books Everyone in A Cappella Should Read in 2018

Posted by AJ Marino on Dec 29, 2017 3:07:00 PM

With the holiday season wrapping up, it's time to start looking towards the New Year. Many of us start to looking towards way to get healthy and start living life to the fullest - and what better way way to do that then by challenging your mind with a great book? We're adding "Read More" to our list of New Year's Resolutions....join us! Get cracking on these books, and you may even get a special deal with the links below. 

So You Want To Sing A Cappella by Deke Sharon

a cappella books

Good For: Directors, Performers

The latest in a series from aca-godfather Deke Sharon, So You Want to Sing A Cappella is a comprehensive guide to...basically everything you'd ever need to know in the world of a cappella. Deke interviewed dozens of major performers, engineers, arrangers and educators (including our own David Longo talking a bit about his work here at TVC) to get their perspective on how to get involved and be successful in the world of vocal music. This book is great for anyone looking to learn a new a cappella skill, how to run a great group, or how start a full-time career in a cappella. It's basically the 101 textbook for anyone in our industry!

Purchase Link: So You Want to Sing A Cappella: A Guide for Performers

The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

a cappella books

Good For: Arrangers, Producers, Solo Artists

If you've spoken to anyone who works for TVC in the past year, you've probably heard about The War of Art. This book's teachings have been a guiding light for creatives in all walks of life, because it tackles something we all deal with - the negative voices in our own head. The author experienced this struggle first-hand in his work as a journalist, and brought himself out of a dark block by forcing himself to create every day. In this non-fiction, self-help guide, Pressfield expands upon that story and dictates methods and mantras to break out of a dream-blocked rut. A must-read for any artist whose goal is to create more in 2018. 

Purchase Link: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

 A Cappella Warm Ups by JD Frizzell and Deke Sharon

 a cappella books

Good For:  Directors, Performers

How many rehearsals this year did you do the same warm-up you did yesterday, and the day before that, and the month before that....don't let your singers phone in during warm ups! Add some fresh, contemporary warm-ups to your repertoire, made easy with this handy guide by two of our favorite guys: Dr. JD Frizzell and Deke Sharon. Not only does this book have great warm ups - it also has countless pro tips on teaching contemporary vocal music, including a spotlight on Dr. Erin Hackel's method, Spectrum Singing. This one is a must read for an a cappella director in 2018! 

Purchase linkA Cappella Warm-Ups: for Pop and Jazz Choirs

The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler 

a cappella books

Good for: Directors, Producers

Performance isn't something unique to a cappella. There is much to be learned from extraordinary human feats - and this study of adventure sports athletes reveals a lot about what makes anyone perform at their best.  With a cappella being the only artform made entirely of humans, it makes sense that Kotler's study of what puts a human into peak performance, a state he calls "flow," would be a great read for aca-performers or directors! 

Purchase Link: The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert 

a cappella books

Good For: Arrangers, Producers, Performers 

Rounding out the list is the latest book from Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert. This book reads like a much needed heart-to-heart with your best friend. Everyone that I know that has read it says it has helped them open up their perspective and find some much needed inspiration. A writer like Steven Pressfield, Gilbert opens up about her creative process, and how she tackled what she loved the most to push down that which she feared. A NY Times #1 Bestseller for a reason, This book will help you discover your own "strange jewels" inside, and set you up to accomplish whatever endeavor is driving you in 2018. 

Purchase Link: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

goal setting worksheet 

Topics: a cappella, a cappella books