New Tricks for Extending Vocal Life

Recently, I was invited to run some workshops for 4RPH, Radio for the Print Impaired, to give their volunteer announcers some advice on how to avoid vocal strain, improve their clarity and generally help them to get the most out of their voices. We were absolutely delighted with the large number of people who committed three hours of their time – as well as all the hours they devote to the actual broadcasting – to learn some new tricks. Of course, there are no tricks involved. And a little knowledge is no dangerous thing. On the contrary, helping these wonderful people to understand exactly how their voices function is the first step to helping them realise more of their vocal …

Keeping Busy

You may notice there are some changes here on the website.  That’s because I’m keeping myself busy with house-keeping admin stuff while I wait for my thesis dissertation to come back from my supervisors – hopefully for the last time. Let me know if you have any suggestions for improving the design here, I’m always open to suggestion. The image at the side is of MFA students at Arizona State Uni taking part in the Archetypes Workshop last year.  I wish I knew how to make the caption visible!

Early Morning Voice Warmup

Such a beautiful day, the autumn air here in Oxley on the south side of Brisbane is soft and cool.  The sky is totally blue from every angle, and the birds are taking turns at singing its praises. So I thought, why not join in?  Here’s a podcast I created to share with you. I am doing my early morning vocal warmup, just to get some blood flowing to the larynx, warming up the vocal folds so that I can give them a bit of a gentle stretch.  It’s a fun way to bring your voice from that scratchy, croaking sound it tends to have first thing in the morning to a more full-bodied sound that you can take into …

Doing it anyway, in the face of fear

Just watched a very disturbing Ted Talk, in which the speaker proposes that if we all lose our fear of failure we can change the world – and that’s all you have to do. She’s speaking from the position of working with one of the world’s best funded Defence research institutions, where the failure concerned doesn’t seem to have any personal consequences other than the odd night of disturbed sleep. As for the rest of us, especially performers, fear of failure generally involves more than that. First and foremost there is the fear of looking like an idiot in front of an audience. There’s the financial cost, the time and energy lost as well as the disappointment that can be …

The Ending is just the Beginning

My thanks to The Living End for the headline above. I adore their latest cd, it keeps me bopping in the car (when I’m not listening to podcasts from the BBC World Service). So, The Voice Class 2012 Term 1 has concluded.  This was quite a stunningly eclectic class, with students from very different walks of life, and different directions for their vocal needs.  Live theatre, voice overs, seminar presentation and choral singing – our common ground the unique and wonderful voice of each individual. Preparation are now in hand for Term 2, which begins on April 16th.  As I explained to the students last night, we will return to basic principles, the foundational work for developing and caring for …