Voice for Teachers

Voice for Teachers Overview

Teachers don't just need to survive vocally, they need to excel. But many teachers find it hard to make it through the end of a day without some form of vocal fatigue. This leads to voice loss and days off work, but also to a lack of vocal dynamism which affects the quality of their teaching.


That’s why 62% of teachers don’t feel their voice is equal to the task of teaching, and at least 20% of all teachers experience a problem with their voice during the teaching year. Our voice for teachers training will help you protect your voice and learn how to best use your voice to manage the classroom and engage your students.

Our Voice for Teachers courses are for you if:

You belong to one of the following groups:

  • Schools looking to provide INSET training for teaching staff
  • Experienced nursery, primary and secondary teachers
  • Newly qualified teachers and teachers in training
  • Teaching assistants
  • College and university lecturers

And you would like to;

  • Learn strategies and techniques to avoid losing your voice
  • Manage classroom behaviour through exceptional voice control
  • Be able to adapt your voice effortlessly to all classroom situations
  • Project your voice safely in the loudest environments
  • Have a more interesting and engaging voice
  • Feel physically at ease when you speak
  • Have an commanding physical presence

Our Course Structure and Syllabus

We run everything from 3 hour assembly room introductory sessions, to 2 day (or longer) workshops. If you want us to teach in-house at your school, college or teacher training programme, call us on 0203 1741316 for further details.

Public Voice for Teachers Workshop

Our public Voice for Teachers workshops run in the school holidays and are intensive courses designed to maximise the effectiveness of the training. You will come away with exercises and knowledge that could protect your voice for a lifetime.

  • We will teach you to rediscover your natural breath
  • To feel and stretch your way to a better posture
  • To project and support your voice
  • To clarify your speech
  • To explore your range and master the different vocal qualities you need as a teacher.
  • To protect your vocal health
  • To find physical strategies that take the pressure off your voice

Click here for a detailed syllabus

Click here for a sample of our course materials

Private Tuition

Every course is individually tailored to your exact needs and aims. Your teacher will create a bespoke programme of study, based on your personal goals and circumstances. Learning materials will accompany your course to support your practice at home.

Costs

Private sessions with our Associate Coaches cost from £80 an hour, with big savings when booking courses of 5 or 10 sessions. Taster Sessions allow you to be assessed by one of our team and to try out the training without further commitment.

More information about our fees can be found here.

How to Book

Click this link to go to our online booking system. Or alternatively call or email us.

How we do it?

Our voice coaches have a highly practical and effective approach to voice training for teachers.

At the heart of our approach are three simple voices all teachers need:

  • Neutral – your own free, rich, healthy sound. To release this authentic voice you will develop a free and grounded physical presence, which in turn gives you a natural, unoppressive authority
  • Engage – discovering your vocal range and having the courage and skill to use it. Our vocal map from Cool-Warm and Quiet-Loud encourages you to use the full range of your voice and find vocal qualities appropriate to every situation
  • Power – knowing that you can connect with your vocal power when you need it is crucial to a teacher. Fit vocal muscles give you access to volume, pitch and power when there is no other option but to use your voice strongly

All of our courses, whether private tuition, workshops or evening classes, focus on the following:

bubble-bodybubble-confidencebubble-musclesbubble-pitchbubble-health

Why is this important?

What you will learn

BODY & BREATH

Breathing is the cause of many issues with vocal confidence, tone and tiredness.

Learning how to align your body, release tensions and breathe deeply will do wonders to maximise your physical presence and vocal confidence.

Our coaches will teach you breathing exercises to help you re-discover a natural, efficient breath; physical exercises to help unlock body tensions that are negatively effecting your breath and voice; and sound exercises to help you connect your spoken voice with this more efficient system.

An efficient voice is a compelling, authentic voice, we call this 'Neutral'.

CONFIDENCE &  EASE

Groups of students, whether they are young, boisterous pupils, or serious post-graduates will respond to your physicality on an instinctive level before you've even opened your mouth.

If you are nervous and tense, they will react with their own nerves - which, with the younger ones could mean lack of discipline, and the older ones disengagement.

We call this work 'pupil whispering' - it's about how to use your physicality and presence to exude leadership and command respect. These are skills that can be learned through alignment and posture work,  through understanding the concept of grounding your weight through your feet, and through the development of a deep, silent breath that supports your sound.

We can also increase your ability to understand and produce status behaviours, allowing you to play different status in relation to your students, depending on the situation. This can help to diffuse confrontation, but also liberate student input.

SPEECH MUSCLES

Tensions in the organs of speech (jaw, tongue, face) and vocal tract (throat) can also cause voice issues. These tensions are usually also at the root of any mumbling! Mumbling will result in much greater demands on your voice. The clearer your words, the quieter you can speak.

We teach you physical exercises to help you unlock these tensions. These Articulation Exercises are vital fitness exercises that will keep your speech sounds sharp and clear.
Tongue twisters and rich, complex text may also be used to help sharpen and clarify your speech. If you have a non-native accent that causes confusion, we can also help you to train out the most confusing sounds.

PITCH, RANGE & RESONANCE

Speaking in an unnaturally high or low pitch is one of the most tiring things you can do to your voice. And it usually leaves you with a flat, boring tune.

As a teacher, you also need vocal range to illustrate orally any complex thought. So for teachers, vocal musicality is a must.

Your coach will explore exercises to help you use the natural amplification of your voice (resonance) more fully, and to explore a wider and more expressive pitch range.

They’ll also help you centre your voice on the most efficient and attractive natural pitch for your body, achieving the most authentic and therefore compelling sound.

VOCAL HEALTH

An understanding of healthy voice use will prevent permanent damage to your vocal folds and bring an end to voice loss and fatigue.

This training will also inform you about ways you can change your environment to make less demands on your voice.

Our coaches can give expert and tailored advice as to how to protect your voice within your specific circumstances, alongside the training in vocal technique that will prevent, or help undo vocal damage.

Very importantly, our coaches will also know when it is necessary to refer you for medical or specialist attention and can advise you about how to proceed with this.


More about our trainers

Testimonials from some of our clients

"A great mix of fun and professionalism"

"It was excellent. A great mix of fun and professionalism. The teacher was incredibly helpful and her knowledge was brilliant"

"Life-changing"

Excellent quality teaching. Morwenna was very engaging, extremely knowledgeable and was able to relax what was a nervous group. Life changing"

"Insightful, informative, relevant and adapted to each of our needs"

"I just wanted to say how fabulous the Vocal Confidence Workshop was last weekend. I felt that I benefited enormously and Sarah is a fantastic coach. The teaching was excellent. Insightful, informative, relevant and adapted to each of our needs so that we all go the most out of the course. The workshop has been indispensable"
E Williams

"Very high quality teaching"

"My overall experience has been very great and I'm going home with a lot of confidence about my speech. Very high quality teaching"
B Odidi

"absolutely extraordinary"

"I found it absolutely extraordinary the easyness with which Sarah was able to demonstrate various types of accents, sounds, ways to speak. And this helped to see how changing one small thing can make a big different in the way we speak.
Katy A

"Deborah has deep knowledge of the material"

"The course has been tremendously helpful to me. It provided me with the awareness of my voice and with the practice exercises and the feeback, I achieved a significant improvement in my voice. Deborah has deep knowledge of the material she is teaching and she provided me with accurate advice of improving my voice. She is also very warm and polite"

"Sarah is lovely. Very funny and humourous"

"Sarah is lovely. Very funny and humourous. She was never patronising and always answered each question with patience and understanding. The pace was perfect. It was great that Sarah addressed questions, comments and concerns of individuals even if the point raised was 'off schedule'"
C Lawrence-John

"She made me feel at ease"

"Enjoyable. Challenging. Informative. Introduced concepts and ideas I would not otherwise have known about. Deborah was excellent. She made me feel at ease, even when doing exercises that were uncomfortable or embarrassing"

"Sarah was very supportive and provided a lot of encouragement"

"It was pitched at the right level, plus Sarah was very supportive and provided a lot of encouragement… there are applications for work as well as fitness"
Jeff B

"experienced and knowledgeable"

"Very high quality - friendly and informative. Ideas and principles were imparted with clarity. It is clear that Morwenna is experienced and knowledgeable"

Frequently asked questions about Voice for Teachers

Why are teachers vulnerable to voice problems?
How can you recognise the signs of voice damage?
What can teachers do to look after their voices?
How can voice training help me have authority in the classroom and engage my students?
Why is my voice dull, flat, thin or tense sounding?
How can you change the sound of your voice?
Why is my speech indistinct or muffled?
Why do we like some people's voices and not others?
Why should I work with a qualified specialist voice coach?

Questions covered in General FAQ
Why work with Speak Easily?
What is a Voice or Accent Coach?
What qualifications should Voice and Accent coaches have?
Are phonetics qualifications (IPA Certificate or Linguisics degree) equivalent to a Voice Studies MA?
Why are other companies cheaper? Why are other companies more expensive?
What does it cost?
Can I take a trial session?

What can I hope to achieve?
How long does it take?
What happens in a class?
What happens if I miss a class?
I can’t come to London is there any other way of taking the training?
Is there a certificate for completing a training course?
Is there a course book to accompany the training?
Should I take private tuition or group classes?

Why are teachers vulnerable to voice problems?

Teachers speak for an estimated 60% of their working day. Much of this is also spent speaking with a raised voice to be heard above background noise, often in environments with poor acoustic qualities – noisy classrooms, playing fields or playgrounds. They are professional voice users, but most have no specific voice training. Acting is another profession that puts high demands on the voice, but trained actors will spend a significant amount of time developing their voice. And most actors would blanch at the workload teachers have for their voice.


The stresses of the job can also cause physical tension. This can inhibit the voice, causing teachers to overcompensate with poor voice technique, putting additional stress on the vocal system.

Most teachers have not been equipped with the skills and knowledge to prevent this vocal damage. Very few teachers receive any formal guidance in voice care, and most of those who do have very limited exposure. So poor vocal technique is prevalent in the teaching profession.

How can you recognise the signs of voice damage?

Major vocal problems don't tend to come out of the blue. They're the result of weeks, months or years of vocal strain. Your body will give you plenty of warning:

  • Prolonged hoarseness and sore throats
  • A feeling that the voice is like sandpaper
  • A persistent change in pitch or voice quality of voice
  • A weak or tired sounding voice
  • Frequent need to clear your throat

Unfortunately, too many teachers ignore the warning signs and struggle on. And that is when serious problems can occur.


What can teachers do to look after their voices?

Through expert training in how to use the voice safely and effectively and by following some simple guidelines, teachers should be able to prevent the worst vocal issues occurring. This doesn’t mean that voice issues will be eradicated, however, learning correct vocal technique and how to set your environment can vastly reduce the level of problems. Developing good habits can help protect a teacher’s voice for their entire career. There are a number of things you can do including:

  • taking voice training and learning techniques to use your voice safely and effectively
  • giving your voice adequate rest
  • managing your environment to reduce the volume you speak at
  • staying hydrated and healthy


How can voice training help me have authority in the classroom and engage my students?

Our voice is one of the key tools to get attention and create and maintain interest in what we are saying. Taking a voice training course with Speak Easily will help you develop a tuneful, interesting, flexible voice. You’ll be able to adapt your voice to take control of any classroom. 


Why is my voice dull, flat, thin or tense sounding?

Usually because there is tension in your system. This can restrict both the original vibrations of the voice and its amplification. Tension could be in your posture, your breathing system, the alignment of your head and neck, or localised in the throat or mouth. All these different kinds of tension inhibit full vibration. And full vibration is what you need for a rich, attractive, healthy sounding voice.


How can you change the sound of your voice?

By uncovering the original, tension free working of your system. Using our voice 'mechanics' we can help your body return to its normal, natural functioning and the result of this is automatically a fuller, clearer voice.

Why is my speech indistinct or muffled?

This is to do with the speech muscles in the mouth and face which articulate the sounds (vowels and consonants) that make up words. If these muscles have become used to a restricted range of movement - have become flabby and tense - then they make flabby consonants and tense, thin vowel sounds. Our coaches are like personal trainers for your mouth to bring energy, fitness and suppleness back into your speech.

Why do we like some people's voices and not others?

Engaging speakers have warm, natural healthy voices; expressive use of tune and emphasis; and clear articulation. All of which we can teach you to develop. Unused muscles, even the tiny ones that control speech, become tense and flabby and no longer have the energy to make efficient movement. Thus speech sounds and the voice become dull, indistinct and un-interesting. But the right exercises can build fitness in these muscles and transform the way you sound.

Why should I work with a specifically qualified voice coach?

There is a considerable amount of specialist knowledge required in order to work safely and effectively with voice and speech issues, and to know when it is necessary to refer to an alternative specialist. Some voices are hoarse or weak due to muscular problems that can be addressed by correct vocal technique. Some voices have already suffered local damage (such as vocal nodules or polyps) that may need the attention of a surgeon. It is essential that you see a qualified and experienced specialist who will be able to establish when you need this additional medical attention, in order not to do further damage to a weakened voice.

See General FAQ for further information