eZINE 75 – Competition winners

GillyanneKayesJeremyFisher2Welcome to this, our 75th eZINE, in which we reveal the runners-up and the winners for our latest competition. We’ve been sharing information and promoting expertise since the last century – the Vocal Process eZINE (pronounced to rhyme with “magazine”) is an electronic update of our old paper newsletters. In the last century it used to cost us over £1,000 to write, print and post each newsletter. Today we can send it to our subscribers all over the world at the touch of a button. We’d like to thank you for being part of our history.


The competition!

A row of screwed up coloured paper, leading to a yellow paper shaped as a lightbulb

Repeat in different colours until you get that *lightbulb* moment

Last month we ran a competition for all our eZINE subscribers.  The competition brief was to create tongue twisters, sentences or stories that targeted particular consonants or consonant clusters. The winning entry would be included in our new book This Is A Voice, due to be published by the Wellcome Trust in April 2016. The prizes included a signed copy of the book and Vocal Process Vouchers of £20, £30 or £50 to the runners-up.

Thank you to everyone who sent in submissions to our competition – we had such a laugh reading them.
We were very impressed with the use of words, particularly from people who have English as a second (or third) language. In fact, the entries were so good that we have decided to give away THREE books, and are including FIVE entries in the text for publication. We’ve also awarded runner-up prizes to the submissions we loved but couldn’t include.
So in true competition style, we start with the runners-up:


The runners-up

Turtle with tongue hanging out

Turtley unspeakable

Charlotte Eaton, Musical Director and Laughter Yoga teacher, sent us this, saying “Not sure why it came out in Olde English”:

“Resound thy voice with fricatives – this fluffy rough tough stuff
For frolicking thus thoroughly doth zoom and thrum the mouth”

Well Charlotte, your English may be Olde but it’s definitely good enough to win a prize – you get a £20 Vocal Process Voucher.


We were very sad not to be able to fit in this superb story from Elisabet Soler in Spain targeting fricatives, particularly sh. Elisabet wins her prize partly for the quality of the story, and partly for finding NINE different spellings of the same sound. See if you can spot them (answers at the end of this eZINE).

International Science Mission

Bluefaced sheep showing tongue

Not sure wether I herd ewe?

“Scottish Marshal Sean MacFish and Welsh Physician Patricia Schönberg embarked a shuttle spaceship bound to Mars in an international science mission.
Martian species soon emerged: after initial observation, from the shore of an ancient ocean came an astonishing shriek. ‘Hush Patricia, that’s an electric sheep, take a sample of its tissue and we’re off to the ship!’
The creature was shy but so shaky due to harsh Martian conditions, that it sneezed with strong inertia to the researchers direction.
Before the scientists fascination the sheep’s mucus flew with such passion that it landed opportunely on the shoes of the posh woman. Shit.
With a shiver of the shoulders the researcher took the sample and without further explanation to the ship they rushed. We’re finished!
The machine took off graciously, the crew shook hands with sheer emotion and after the initial celebration they headed home with steady motion. Mission accomplished.”

Elisabet said: “It was really fun just to write a story thinking solely on phonetics, I had a great time. Thank you again for the voucher! I can’t wait to use it in one of your great and sooo useful products. You made my day!”


Laughing horse

Laugh til you’re horse

And Claudia van ‘t Hoot sent in two excellent stories from the Netherlands:

“Colin Firth’s false front teeth first thoroughly thickened and vivified his throaty forced Philadelphian accent, but through frequent consumption of thready Venetian pheasant with thickspread vegetable froth, Firth’s four false front teeth fell out in phases and he was fired from the famous Phileas Fogg film which therefore flopped.”


“The shaggy shortsighted chef’s spicy shaslicksauce shamefully shifted into a shoepolishy secretion, secretly sprinkled over the Shanghai and Seychelles seashore soil by a shallow sheik, giving a selfish shellfish and seventy shrewd shrimps the shivering shits.”

Claudia said “Jeeeeej!!! I’ve won a prize! What a fun challenge this was. Thank you for inviting us to make these ‘imagination-tickling-sound searches’ through the English vocabulary!”



We decided to award not just one but three signed books, to the three people who will (editor and space-willing) make it into the first edition.

Cat with tongue sticking out

Cat-egorically impussible

Pamela Hall followed our suggestion and sent in a sentence rather than a full story. It’s the first sentence in the paragraph below and targets fricatives. It won Pamela a signed book and £30 Vocal Process voucher.

Jeremy has expanded it to include in the book so prepare your tongue for this experience:

“Forty three thistle sifters frantically sifted forty-seven thorny thistles. The thistles had sharp thorns, so they thrust them into three fresh thatch shafts and threw them into the sifting thistle thresher”



Dog with tongue sticking out

I fhound that mastiffly difficult

A signed book and a £30 Vocal Process voucher go to Hilary Jones at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, who sent us a magnificent 14 paragraphs targeting 11 different plosives, fricatives and affricates. Our favourite, this post-modern take on a famous tongue twister, made it to the book:

“Unsurprisingly, Sister Suzie’s sewing of shirts for sailors was a short-lived career. The solid canvas sacking supplied for such purposes caused severe bruising to her fingertips as she struggled to persevere, pushing the needles into the resistant texture of the sacking. Suzie’s sewing skills are currently side-lined and she hopes to pursue a new career as a personal shopper for outsize ladies.”

Hilary said:  “I’m delighted to have won a prize in the Vocal Process competition and to know that dear old Suzie will be enjoying yet another career path as a ‘satellite sentence’ in the new book! As in inveterate insomniac, I often spend the small hours composing complicated sentences for my students to get their speech organs organised. Sensible people of course, count sheep………………”

We also loved the sentiment in this submission from Hilary, targeting affricates tch and dj, which didn’t make it to the book. Extra points too for the use of the word ‘truckle’ in a sentence.

“Given a choice, I’d choose chocolate over cheese any day. I once pledged to give up chocolate in January but by June the juicy raisins were strangers to my kitchen and purging a thing of the past as I chewed on chocolate cherries from Chester and chomped my way through chilli cheese truckles from Chorleton.”



The Overall Winner

Giraffe sticking out its tongue


Alison Skidmore sent us 6 wonderful examples of alliteration and consonant clusters. We’ve included three of them in two different exercises in the book.

“Shy Sheena Church cautiously shushed brash chatty Sean Bishop during the speech on religious friction” went into the Tongue Twisters exercise

And both of the following will appear in the Consonant Awareness section.

“Frank King, burglar extraordinaire, cracks the black coffer and slings the bling in the big gig bag, looking like a cocky rocker. But copper Dick Clark overlooks the slick burgling suspect and locks ex-convict Wolfgang Gokart in the clink”

“A sublime palimpsest of sunbeams mop with marigold aplomb the plump bumps, blimps, dumps, dimps, pubs and sumps that map and mob the moping panorama of Birmingham”

Even wordsmith Jeremy had to look up “dimp”, which is a dialect word for a cigarette butt. Many congratulations to Alison. She won’t, as the title of this section implies, be winning a pair of overalls, but she will be receiving a signed copy of the new book (due out April 2016) and a £50 Vocal Process voucher.

“Many thanks – I’m thrilled to have contributed! At the time of the competition I was recovering from a bug, and writing the phrases was great fun, a tonic, and very rewarding. And now it’s going to be even more rewarding … Result! :))”


And finally… Our newest online training

One of those lightbulb moments that illuminates your heart

One of those lightbulb moments that illuminates your heart

We’re currently trialing the online version of our ADVANCED Retreat. Two people who were desperate to attend the forthcoming October run of the Retreat (sorry, it’s now sold out) are each getting a special personalised delivery of the course content from Gillyanne, Jeremy and Accredited Teacher Anne Leatherland.  We’re interested to see if such an intense professional development course can be delivered at a distance.

We’re currently splitting the online training into 6 manageable sections, delivered “face-to-face” by Skype or FaceTime. That gives us the opportunity to assess each person’s level of experience, and to coach them in their personal understanding of vocal function and how to apply it to their own genre(s) of singing or voice work.

The ADVANCED training is not for everyone. We have so far accepted graduates of the following: Singing and the Actor Training, Inside the Singing Voice, Core Training, Estill Levels 1 & 2 and Estill licensees.

Ynez in Mexico said this about her first session with us: “5,000 miles away but shedloads of these” (pictured).

If you’re interested in taking our ADVANCED training online, just drop us an email.


Jeremy and Dr Gillyanne

PS If you like Jeremy’s puns in the images (and who wouldn’t), check out our Twitter feed @VocalProcess for 29 different puns on classical music and food #Classicalbakes

Answers to Elisabet’s different spellings: sh, se, ci, sch, ti, ssi, ce, ssu, ch.