Many people come for lessons after years of dreaming about singing and thinking that they have not got 'a voice' or that they are 'not musical'. The fact is that we are all musical and that, barring a severe medical problem, we all have a voice. All voices respond to exercise and can be improved so that their owners can feel more confident.
Added to this, using your voice to sing is a healthy activity. It can enhance aerobic and cardiovascular performance
and release feel-good hormones which help to relieve the stresses and strains of everyday life.
People want lessons for a variety of reasons: to work on songs for school and college exams or audition pieces in order to join a choir, local operatic or musical society; to sing at a family event or work on pitching problems. Some are professionals wanting a refresher and some are complete beginners who just want to sing because they love it.
Whatever it is you want to do with your singing, some training can help you achieve your goals. Working on your voice can boost your confidence and make you feel more in control of your life.
It is worth noting that a course of one-to-one sessions concentrating on the foundation work of posture, warm-up, breathing and vocal exercise will not only improve the singing voice but also strengthen the speaking voice as well.
Voicework for Wellbeing Singing Workshops
Schools and colleges
Many teachers are terrified of using their singing voices and leading their pupils in musical activities. Others, who are actually music specialists or music coordinators, have never had any formal voice training, especially if they are primarily instrumentalists. They can soon find that their voices are getting tired and becoming husky or getting croaky at the end of the day and worse by the end of the week. By the end of term, they may be more or less voiceless.
Charities and residential care homes
Singing sessions have proved very benefitial for people with Alzheimer's and other dementias, Parkinson's disease and stroke groups, carers and support workers.
There is also evidence to suggest that singing sessions could be a help to people with multiple sclerosis, Down's syndrome, cerebral palsy and those who have suffered head injury in accidents.
As mentioned above, it is not always recognised that working on the singing voice will actually strengthen the speaking voice so that teachers can benefit from a singing workshop even if they teach maths at secondary level and are not in the habit of breaking into song!
INSET and twilight training sessions for singing can help to maintain and strengthen the vocal stamina of teachers whatever they teach. It's a good stress buster too!
The benefits of these singing sessions are cognitive, physical, emotional and social, and make an otherwise bleak future much more bearable. They give some hope of improved quality of life for both the cared-for and their carers as they enjoy an opportunity to do something pleasurable together.
Many residents in homes for the elderly suffer from a sense of boredom and the need for something different in their weekly routine. Many are incapacitated by neurological problems and require stimulation to slow down memory loss and keep them as active as possible.
Singing and voicework in general offer a very successful way of involving a large number of people socially in a healthy and happy activity which makes them feel more alive.
Voicework for Wellbeing Training Courses
It is also extremely useful if professional and family carers have some training so that they have the confidence to initiate and run voice groups themselves. Training courses can be organised for those who would like to be involved in leading and helping with therapeutic group voicework.