How does Voicecraft® differ from traditional voice training?
Voicecraft® considers that everyone can vocalise, speak and sing in the best possible way. Just like everyone can run but some run more efficiently, gracefully or effectively than others, speaking and singing, like running, are skills that can improve with specific training.
All voice users are equal. Everyone can learn to optimise and maximise the health, quality and stamina of their voice irrespective of their skill base or degree of talent or experience in the area of voicing. Most people know that they could learn to use their voice more skilfully although very few people have aspirations to become stars of the operatic or recording world. Voicecraft® assists anyone who wishes to connect with the joy and fulfillment that comes from communicating vocally, efficiently, effectively, without self consciousness and with a commitment to optimising the communication process.
Voicing is a skill. All voicing can be improved by Voicecraft® techniques and practise. This applies not only to people with voice disorder, but also to singing, debating, acting, oratory, teaching, selling, preaching or any other use of the voice. The same mechanism and the same techniques can be applied to enhance every area of voicing. Legitimacy of all types of voicing is ensured by Voicecraft®. In different parts of the world, people sing or use their voices in different ways. These are cultural differences. Fashion often dictates the way singing is considered appropriate. Voicecraft® separates skill with the voice from aesthetics. Hence, no one way of voicing takes precedence or is considered better than any other.
The process is as important as the technique. The human brain has long been able to work out HOW to enact a movement, once the goal of the movement is clear. Voicecraft® incorporates a deep understanding of motor learning principles to ensure the quickest way to acquisition, maintenance and generalisation of the specific vocal skill.
Only the vocalist will know the best way for them. No teacher can ever know specifically and in detail exactly what a vocalist needs to produce their optimal voice, as they do not intrinsically experience the voice of their student. Therefore, increased awareness of the voice by the user is essential. The language of Voicecraft® is therefore descriptive, not prescriptive.
Differentiated control ensures skillful use of the mechanism. There are multiple parameters of the larynx and vocal tract which can be independently controlled. Complex manoeuvres are readily acquired through precise task analysis and the development of kinaesthetic and proprioceptive awareness.
Breathing is de-emphasised. Breathing behaviour is related directly to our communicative intent. Focus on breathing often triggers breath holding behaviour. The essential element for breath control is the posture of the larynx as the valve which controls the inflow and release of the breath. Ensuring the appropriate posture of the larynx ensures adequate breath, hence there are no specific breathing exercises in Voicecraft® training.
Effort, vitality or energy is required to maintain the larynx and vocal tract in a specific posture to ensure efficient and healthy voicing. Traditionally, voicing relied on the concept of relaxation.
Voicecraft® de-emphasises relaxation, confining it to those muscle groups which need to be relaxed in order for the appropriate muscles to contract to shape the larynx and vocal tract.
Research both physiological, acoustic and perceptual is the foundation of Voicecraft® and hence, it is taught from a an ever changing and expanding scientific base rather than from an empirical experience or consensus. All Voicecraft® techniques can be explained in terms of the anatomy, physiology and acoustics hence, Voicecraft® has a scientific base which facilitates artistry, interpretation and aesthetic performance.
Voicecraft® is therefore continuously being updated as new research is incorporated into the work.