North Area Professional Development Day 2023
Past event: Sunday 5 February 2023
The Singing Teacher’s Guide to Healthy Speech for Themselves and their Students
with Sally Dennis, SLT
This year our North Area Day took place for the very first time in Liverpool! This was also our first in-person return of the North Area Day since the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The practical explorative session led by the wonderful Sally Dennis, SLT, enabled a refresher and reminder of all things vocal health, with a focus on “looking after our own voices as teachers”. A sturdy yet enjoyable reminder about the importance of vocal load, voice use, and vocal hygiene enabled reflection for our attendees about their own daily habits as singing and voice teachers. Our attendees got ‘hands on’ with each other exploring elements of alignment, posture, centre of gravity and the exploration of effort levels on the spoken voice.
Many members showed a great interest in the GRBAS spoken voice assessment scale offering ‘food for thought’ when working with our singers. Members identified with the importance of taking into consideration habitual speech patterns and the impact of social voice use within the lifestyles of a singer.
We saw North members brought together from Liverpool, Manchester, Yorkshire, Cumbria, Cheshire and a fantastic drop in visit from a speech therapist visiting Liverpool from the Netherlands on our event weekend!
Carrie Birmingham, North Area Rep
I found the session with Sally was really informative. It reaffirmed many things I have learnt previously while adding some new knowledge with the helpful inclusion of simple yet effective exercises and tools such as for balance, breathing and monitoring vocal effort levels in students. Along with Sally presenting clearly on the day it was wonderful to receive such in-depth notes for further reflection to better embed elements into my own practice as a singing teacher even in the week following. Additionally, it was hosted well with an inviting atmosphere and chance to speak freely to a wide range of other voice teachers and coaches.