Performers who effortlessly share stories between songs and engage with their audience in a way that creates memorable performances often start with a lot of reading. I know of several authors that have shaped by storytelling.
Each author/book I share can help you:
- make observations of good storytelling
- give inspiration for finding your own stories
- builds broad knowledge in different concepts and creative ideas
Wynton Marsalis – Marsalis on Music
Wynton is respected as performer, band leader, educator, but also as an author. His lyrical writing is compelling. His less frequent social media musings on various topics have the depth of novels. In 1995, accompanying a PBS music show for kids, Wynton Marsalis authored Marsalis on Music. The stories and explanations he shares shares are for kids – but in reality it’s adults who benefit from his willingness to have high expectations for his readers. In addition, if you’re looking to brush up on some music theory and history this book will serve you well.
April Dunford – Obviously Awesome
This book is intended for marketing and business types. Why recommend it to singers? First, April constantly uses anecdotes and case studies to drive home her points. She is a master in condensing these stories in compact nuggets that are fun to read. Second, if you are a singer looking to engage with your audience through marketing, album sales, etc. – you could read any chapter in this book and walk away with a valuable concept.
Douglas Coupland – All Families Are Psychotic
You could choose from many Douglas Coupland books. But no matter which fictional work you choose, you’ll get exposed to narrative that takes the mundance, finds a twist for excitement and then weaves these disconnected excerpts into compelling characters. He has a unique ability to describe situations in exhausting yet engaging detail or at other times with only 10 words.
Kevin Alexander is CEO and co-founder of Singdaptive, bringing his past experience as CEO of the singing technology company TC-Helicon, as well as live sound, recording and love of music. Recently, he has been a university instructor in Multimedia Learning and is helping to envision an exciting future with technology at the research firm Kinsol.io