The Voice in Education
Vocal Health and Effective Communication
Stephanie Martin and Lyn Darnley
What happens when individuals can no longer effectively, inspire, educate, encourage, explore, exchange ideas or concepts or entertain through the medium of voice?
The Authors, both voice specialists and expert in this realm, previously wrote the acclaimed book, The Teaching Voice (second edition, 2004) and this new book expands on and updates the theme.
Teachers, lecturers, trainers and facilitators are known as professional and occupational voice users. This generic term also applies to many others, from performers to politicians and solicitors to salespeople, where voice is a critical factor of all these professional roles and continued employment is therefore dependent on maintaining vocal effectiveness through diligent vocal care and conservation. In the USA, the teaching profession comprises some 5 million employees. This equates to about 4% of the total workforce, yet educators comprise almost 20% of the patient load in voice clinics. This is reckoned to cost the US economy as much as a $2.5 billion in employee days lost - and this does not include statistics for those teachers who experience voice loss, but decline to report a problem, or seek treatment. Such disproportionately high figures are also mirrored in, in the UK, Europe, Australasia and other countries of the world.
In this book, the authors adopt an integrated approach and offer detailed information on the subject of occupational voice and the vocal demands of the voice user, providing similarly detailed information on the physiology of voice and voice care. Practical advice on aspects of clarity of delivery, communication skills, pedagogic skills, and classroom strategies, supported by exercises for developing the above, are provided. In addition, aspects such as the changing teaching environment, acoustic influences on the voice, illness, stress and anxiety, the ageing voice are explored. Specific qualitative changes such as resonance, as well as range and projection of the voice are included, as are anecdotal personal experiences and challenges from those working in the field.
They offer strategies, solutions and tried and tested practical exercises that will enhance the reader’s current skills and provide a framework to keep them in good voice throughout their professional careers. Also included are a number of class-based practical exercises and suggestions for voice, language and communication work with learners and students from age five to 18. These exercises focus on ideas designed to promote spoken English from simple language games to presentation skills and debating. Containing a number of ‘at-a-glance’ checklists throughout the text and a content section at the end of each chapter, readers will find it an easily accessible resource.
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