Speak with Impact and Variety: Voice skills for Educators

A comprehensive course to help you understand, protect and enrich your teaching voice
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  • Lectures 31
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level All Levels
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 7/2014 English

Course Description

This course provides all teachers, lecturers and education assistants with a basic awareness of how the voice works, how to keep it healthy and how to use it to best effect in the teaching environment. Teachers have to use their voices day in and and day out and it is so easy for the professional voice to be taken for granted until there is a problem - this course helps prevent such problems. Many teachers will regularly suffer voice disorders through mis-use or just, quite simply, over-use! This course helps equip the teacher with the knowledge to keep their voice healthy, flexible and able to meet the demands of the profession.

All technical terms (relevant to a basic understanding of voice) are fully explained and general educational terminology is kept to a minimum and would be familiar to all classroom practitioners.

The course consists of video and audio lectures with visual illustrations and practical exercises.

Over two and three quarter hours of detailed material provide relevant insight into how to make the most of the teaching voice. Obviously, allowing for factual consolidation and exercise practice the course will take longer to complete and it can be left to the student to schedule and allocate their own time commitment.

The course (video and audio lectures) is structured logically, each giving examples and exercises that are easy to follow at home. It is possible to work through sequentially and then jump back to rework a section of the student's choice.

Teachers and lecturers can be considered to be professional voice users yet few have formal voice training. This course can fill that essential gap and help provide the basic understanding of the vocal mechanism, how to take care of it and use it well in a variety of educational situations.

What are the requirements?

  • No specific software is needed (just your own pc or phone etc). If you are anxious that your voice should serve you well throughout your career and have the best vocal performance possible, a willingness to practice and extend your performance will bring you positive results.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • To help the teacher to understand the workings of the voice, to keep it healthy and use it safely and effectively in a variety of professional situations.
  • By the end of this course students will understand how to keep the voice healthy, how to avoide problems through misuse and have techniques to help use the voice in a vital and varied manner to meet the demands of the profession.

Who is the target audience?

  • All practising teachers, lecturers and educational practitioners
  • This course is also of benefit to summer camp leaders, play group leaders or anyone working with groups of students in an educational role.
  • This course will also be of value to anyone about to enter the education profession and for teachers/lecturers in their probationary period.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Course Introduction

An introductory lecture outlining the demands on the teaching voice and how this course will be of enormous benefit to teachers and lecturers or anyone instructing groups of students in a learning environment.

Section 2: Understanding The Vocal Mechanism

The purpose of this lecture is to introduce the student to the workings of the vocal mechanism and to give a basic understanding of how the voice works.


This lecture introduces the student to the vital role played in voice production by the vocal folds (or cords) and how important it is to keep the folds moist during the working day or for extended voice use.


This lecture explains how diet, lifestyle and environment affect the voice and how we can avoid hazards and pitfalls during the professional day.


This lecture explains how posture - how we sit, stand and move - can affect the voice and how it is important to consider good posture when using the voice each and every day.

Section 3: Posture And Alignment

If the voice is to sound appropriate for the teaching situation, then the body has to assume the correct posture and this means avoiding tension and common postural misuses.


This lecture illustrates common examples of postural misuse - often seen in the teaching situation - and the effect they have on the voice.


Good voice use means good posture and this lecture illustrates how we can achieve balanced alignment so that our body is best placed to produce good vocal sound.

Section 4: Considering The Average Teaching Day

We look at the typical pressures of the teaching day and the demands placed on the teaching voice.

Section 5: Vocal Techniques For Enhanced Delivery

This lecture explains the vocal techniques a teacher needs to understand and use in order to have a varied and effective delivery for a wide range of educational situations and environments.


Breath underpins all work on the voice and good breath control is vital for a voice that needs to carry easily and reach all listeners. This lecture looks at supportive breathing.


In this lecture we put breath to work and practise extending and controlling the outbreath.


This lecture explains why clear articulation is so important when delivering information in the learning environment and how we can achieve and strengthen our vocal clarity.


This lecture explains how vowels carry the sound and how long and short vowels give our speech clarity.


This lecture explains how consonants give speech distinction and how and where the consonants are formed.


We look at more examples of good articulation and how practising and working the organs of articulation to strengthen our diction can be fun and enjoyable.


This lecture explains how pitch variation adds interest to the teaching voice and illustrates how the pitch range can be safely extended for increased modulation.


Resonance helps to amplify the voice and this is important in the different environments within which the teaching voice may have to work. We look at the resonators and how to exercise them so that the teaching voice may be amplified easily and effectively.


This lecture explains how focus and intention give projection. Projection gives the voice carrying power and ensures it reaches its intended target.


This lecture looks at the emotional thought behind the words and how the psychological and physical work together to colour the voice for its appropriate content and delivery.


This lecture recaps on the techniques covered and the role they play in enriching vocal delivery and giving variety, warmth, conviction and authority to the teaching voice

Section 6: Challenging Acoustics For The Teacher's Voice

Many times teachers have to work in less than perfect spaces and teaching areas. We look at how these can impact on the teaching voice .


This lecture looks at how to use the voice in a big space - the assembly hall.


This lecture looks at the vocal techniques to be employed in the science lab.


Using the voice out of doors can be a minefield for the teacher! This lecture offers advice on how to make the task easier.


Even for the sports specialist the gym and sports hall can present vocal challenges - this lecture advises how the teacher can best meet these challenges.


The strongest voice cannot compete with the hazards of the swimming pool and this lecture offers the teacher alternative strategies.


We recap on effective vocal techniques and how to use the voice effectively and effortlessly at all times.

Section 7: Daily Vocal Warm-Up

A warmed up voice is easier to control and sustain over long periods. This lecture takes the teacher through a daily warm-up to prime the voice for its daily demands.

Section 8: Teacher's Checklist

This lecture takes the teacher through a checklist of basic points to remember to enhance vocal delivery in the educational arena and help maintain good vocal health.

Section 9: Conclusion

This lecture reviews the techniques covered and their application for the professional performance.

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Instructor Biography

Marina Deestan-Jones, Voice, Speech and Drama Tutor, Actress Examiner and Assessor

I've always been fascinated with voices. As a young girl at school in England I can remember mimicking all the voices of the Thunderbirds characters (and doing horrific things to the vocal cords in the process, I now realise!). As girls we were delighted to get all the male voices right too – my specialities were Parker, Brains and Jeff Tracy and, naturally, Lady Penelope. Vocal impersonations were certainly an antidote to adolescent shyness and like so many ‘shy’ girls, I went on to study drama. I’d grown up with an awareness of the voice – lots of stories and quality radio – I think I’ve developed a good ear.

After my degree I worked with a small performance company taking new material mostly around the country and to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. After a while I began my teaching career in Salisbury, then Leicester, London, Shropshire, the Welsh Borders and Cheshire - all those differing dialects and accents! Having taught across the age and ability range and in a variety of institutions I moved into Further and Higher Education, lecturing in Performing Arts. In Stoke on Trent I worked with fantastic young people on BTEC Performing Arts Courses and many of them went on to secure places in Drama School – overcoming their lack of confidence and resistance (at first) to soften local dialects for audition purposes. Many of the students were so talented yet vocally inhibited but we had regular 3hr sessions devoted to the voice in their courses – wonderful! What a luxury! I also began working with would-be Public Speakers and Teachers who were so vocally stressed their performance in the classroom was suffering. I became very aware of the need to look after the voice and began studying it further.

I will listen to lovely voices for inspiration. I adore the almost clinical crispness of Peter Cushing’s diction, the mellow elegance of Joanna Lumley, the ‘another time’ delivery of Edward Fox and the reassuring, lifting high pitch of Celia Johnson – the sort of voice that makes one feel ‘ah well, let’s just get on and make the best of things’. I had to do that when I was made redundant from my lecturing posts and with all the changes in education anyway I felt I’d seen the best of times.

I was getting requests from coaching around this time – radio journalists, managers, church speakers. Most of my background and work had been in Education and Theatre so I took a Business Management Course and began designing my own tailor-made voice courses for various clients. This naturally led to forming my own company Sounds Right Ltd which offers Voice, Speech and Communication Training.

I examine, assess and adjudicate regularly and was an Examiner and Ambassador for a leading Examination Board for some time. I have initiated Spoken English Events and Public School Competitions and I am frequently asked to judge Rotary Speaking Competitions. I firmly believe that every child and young person benefits enormously from having the opportunity to speak in public or at least in front of their peer group.

I love helping people make the most of their speaking voice and overcome obstacles and difficulties – real or perceived. The voice says so much about us but we can take it for granted. I love the varied nature of my work – one day it might mean going into a school and working with teachers and lecturers and helping them to keep their voices healthy, the next day might find me working with an executive who needs to give a first class presentation or someone who’s been asked to chair a meeting.There are very many jobs, occupations and professions but the voice is common to all and everyone.

In my role as an Assessor, Examiner and of course, delivering workshops to teachers, I am constantly made aware of how important the voice is to successful and harmonious relationships in the learning environment. The provision of some basic voice training for educators is something I feel very strongly about especially when one considers how much work the voice has to do each and every session, day after day, term after term.

I am taking my Masters at the moment and specialising in online Education and Business. It is an exciting challenge and different but I am hoping the technology will help me to reach out to an even wider range of people who appreciate the need for an enhanced speaking voice.

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