Skip Navigation Website Accessibility

Teaching Music through Performance in Contemporary A cappella | Deke Sharon, J.D. Frizzell, and Marc Silverberg

Teaching Music through Performance in Contemporary A cappella is the essential book for a cappella repertoire and rehearsal techniques, compiled and edited by educators and leaders committed to demystifying the genre and providing teachers with access to the best repertoire and pedagogy possible.

Built on the model of the best-selling Teaching Music through Performance series, this volume includes chapters on the most important issues in teaching and learning contemporary a cappella, and analysis and insights for 82 works across genres: Barbershop, Contemporary A cappella, Doo-wop, Folk/Classical, Vocal Jazz.

The list of composers and arrangers is diverse; the repertoire includes both arrangements and original compositions. Each selection is representative of a major a cappella trend or historical event, such as repertoire from The Sing-OffPitch Perfect, The Real Group, Sweet Adelines, or Pentatonix. Of course, every selection—regardless of musical style—is performed a cappella.

The authors also develop a five-point difficulty scale for evaluating literature, and each guide contains detailed information about the arrangement or composition, including where the arrangement was first performed, the history of the original song, and the styles it represents.

In creating the Teacher Resource Guides, the authors enlist the help of a cappella educators, arrangers, engineers, performers, and well-established experts. Each Guide also includes a new section called “Educational Extensions,” which provides suggestions on how to utilize the repertoire for extended classroom lessons, both as part of the rehearsal and part of a general music classroom.

Chapter topics include “A Cappella: An Overview” by Marc Silverberg; “Emotional Expression in Group Singing” by Deke Sharon and J.D. Frizzell; “Teaching Singers to Sing in All Styles: The Spectrum Method” by Erin Hackel, and “Lessons You Can Learn from Competing,” by Ben Spalding.

There is simply no better way to find and prepare the best contemporary a cappella literature available for achieving excellence in music education at all levels. Teaching Music through Performance in Contemporary A cappella is a groundbreaking volume destined to make a significant contribution.

Deke Sharon is heralded as “The Father of Contemporary A cappella.” He produced The Sing-Off on NBC and served as arranger, on-site music director, and vocal producer for Universal’s Pitch Perfect 12, and 3, starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson. J.D. Frizzell is a composer, conductor, and baritone. He serves as Director of Fine Arts and Director of Vocal Music at Briarcrest Christian School in Memphis, TN. Marc Silverberg is Director of Vocal Music at Five Towns College (NY) and one of the leaders in contemporary a cappella education today. Erin Hackel is Assistant Professor at the University of Colorado-Denver. Her award-winning a cappella groups, MIX and Lark, have competed and performed throughout the United States and Europe. Ben Spalding is head Choral Director at Centerville High School (OH). His a cappella group, Forte, is an ICHSA champion.