Copyright 2011 Voicecraft® International Pty. Ltd. All Rights Reserved.
How does Voicecraft® differ from traditional voice training?
Voicecraft® considers that everyone can sing. Just like everyone can run but some run more efficiently, gracefully or effectively than others, singing, like running, is a skill that can receive 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 skillfully 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. All voicing can be improved by Voicecraft® techniques. This applies 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.
Awareness is the critical factor in development of skill with the voice. Traditionally, voice teaching concentrated on the student perceiving the tone and using trial and error, attempting to replicate what they heard. Often an image was given concerning the tone they had heard or produced. In complete contrast to this, Voicecraft® encourages the student to arrange the parts, ie. the physiology such that the tone that is required is the one produced. The student can both feel, view with endoscopy and understand acoustically why the various parts of the mechanism have to be positioned in certain ways to produce the required tone. As the positioning happens from the basis of awareness and before the tone is produced, the student experiences consistency from performance to performance, from day to day, from one voice setting to another.
Differentiated control ensures skilful 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. Once the student is able to differentially control the basic parameters, they move on to combine these choices to produce four basic voice qualities. At a subsequent level of difficulty, they master two more complex voice qualities and develop problem solving ability and gain experience with applying their skill to various ways of voicing. Finally, they learn how to systematically alter one parameter at a time while maintaining a particular quality in order to produce multiple variations. The choices are almost limitless and these choices are not governed by aesthetic bias.
Breathing is de-emphasised. 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.
Economics are a basic consideration. Traditional voice training can take years as it combines skill with the mechanism with artistry and performance issues. Voicecraft®, or mastery of the vocal instrument can be learnt over one semester or intensively in one week although further practice and a second exposure to the work are mandatory if precise skill with the vocal mechanism is to be achieved. Additionally, performers are required to have proficiency in all forms of voicing and singing. The Voicecraft® model ensures just such versatility.
Diction is of primary importance if the performer or speaker is to be understood as well as heard. The acoustic requirements for clarity of diction in large spaces as well as in the recording studio are emphasised. Clarity is considered a separate issue from vocal power and stamina.
An understanding of physiology, the physics of sound and perception are necessary for the student of Voicecraft®. A knowledge of repertoire, artistic requirements, interpretation of text or singing experience are unnecessary at the outset for the prospective student of Voicecraft®.
Research both physiological, acoustic and perceptual is the foundation of Voicecraft® and hence, it is taught from a 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.