My first Vocal Process Webinar Experience
Frith Trezevant, British Voice Association member and Teacher-in-Residence with the National Youth Choirs of GB, tells us about her first experience of an online singing training Webinar
“New learning experiences are always interesting, sometimes challenging. I’ve had one of these this month. I’ve discovered the Professional Development Webinar, and I’m becoming a fan.
Vocal Process offered me the opportunity to view and review their web offerings, and I jumped at the chance, in the knowledge that these practitioners are invariably well prepared and soundly grounded in their subject.
My main apprehension was my computer, a machine achingly slow and short of memory – and then my working of it. Don’t ask me to do anything more complicated than using the thing as a word processor. I’d rather eat glass.
I tried out a live Webinar – number 18, Taking Vocal Technique into Song – and number 6 – Changing your style without losing your ‘voice’ – and I listened again to number 18 when I wasn’t tired after a day’s teaching (my sorry condition on taking the live version).
We all need to keep abreast of the latest work in singing technique but courses are expensive and don’t always fit into busy lives. Just getting home in time for the initial Webinar was a near run thing, but connecting up and running was easy, with foolproof instructions. Working at home is common to most of us now and the added advantage of no transport/parking/catering costs has to be factored in to the cost of taking training like this. It’s remarkably competitive for what you get.
I found listening again more instructive than I had initially thought. As Gillyanne says in Webinar 6, here we have structure and detail. I had started using some of the concepts delineated on the first course in my teaching the next day – ways of thinking and expressing that I had found succinct and useful – and on listening again I encountered more of the same as well as new ideas that set off my own thinking. It’s great to have more than my initial understanding to be going on with. Thanks, guys!
The atmosphere on a live Webinar is – well – lively. That is partly down to the presentation. It’s chatty. It’s well produced without being slick. Although there is no live video, the graphics are well connected to the material, and participants get to send written comments (some of which are discussed as they come in) and to take part in polls along the way. Ideas get spread around and you feel encouraged to contribute. And there’s no-one else to hear if you get it wrong!
The mind maps are a tool that I’ve seen Jeremy and Gillyanne use before and I’ve had them on a handout. Having these on computer is an advantage in my view. They are bigger and clearer, and of course they act as springboards into your thoughts around the subject, and into new questions.
I had fun with the tasks at the end of Webinar 6 – singing in other styles. I’ll definitely be spending some time this summer playing with repertoire I would normally have labelled as outside my comfort zone.
Overall, this was a very positive experience. In an age of call centres and passwords, my preference is to work with people rather than machines. I found the Webinar harmonised personal appeal with electronic convenience.
What’s not to like?”
Frith Trezevant: I am currently a Director of the British Voice Association, and am a Teacher-in-Residence with the National Youth Choirs of GB and Deputy Teacher at Junior RCM. I teach in schools and in private practice in Bristol, and work alongside voice health professionals in voice rehabilitation after therapy and surgery. I took up running in my mid 50s and I’m raising money for medical charities by running a 10K race every month for a year – 1/4 way through that. I have 2 dogs and 2 adult children.