Are we at VocalProcess just “content providers”? It’s a thought-provoking question.
Our journey as voice educators
We’ve been a cornerstone in the world of voice education for well over two decades. We’ve written 11 books, created multiple DVDs, a vocal warmup app and many in-person and online courses since organising our first 100+ participant event in 1997. We’ve been dedicated to nurturing the growth of singers, singing teachers, vocal coaches and choral leaders, getting the best voice training information and techniques out there for more than 20 years.
We created the Learning Lounge, where you can indulge in a smorgasbord of learning opportunities for less than £20. We’ve witnessed enthusiastic singers, singing teachers and vocal coaches devouring two webinars a day and giving us great feedback on how useful and practical the resources are.
But does being a content provider hold us back in the world of voice education? Are we the same as Instagram or TikTok influencers pumping out video after video with the goal of gaining and maintaining followers?
To explore this, let’s turn to an insightful article by David Kellerman, originally featured in the Times Higher Education Opinion blog in 2021. It resonated with us during the challenging times of lockdown, when many voice educators were busy creating ‘content’ to sustain their livelihoods.
The Evolution of Voice Education
Kellerman’s article raises crucial questions about the current state of voice education. What do we do with all this content—those quick 15-minute learning ‘snacks’ and the more immersive voice-learning marathons?
We need to consider a deeper form of learning, where educators become team leaders, coaches, and mentors. They assist learners in framing and reframing their thoughts. It’s about the educational experience, not just content delivery.
Knowledge Transfer and Experiential Learning
In voice education, knowledge transfer is more than just sharing content. It’s an experiential process. Good teachers and coaches understand that it takes more than just telling a student what to do or singing at them to achieve lasting change. It’s about knowing HOW to elicit changed behaviour in other people so that the skill becomes theirs. You need to offer multiple strategies for the ‘how’ aspect.
Content can facilitate learning, but it falls short of enabling genuine transformation and growth—the essence of education.
Community of Enquiry in Voice Education
The philosopher John Dewey introduced the concept of a ‘Community of Enquiry’ in education. It requires three essential elements: a cognitive presence (the learner), a social presence (the learning community), and a teaching presence (the course leader). It’s a collaborative approach to learning.
Inspired by this concept of Community of Enquiry, we discovered this rather neat 1-minute read: https://www.iriss.org.uk/resources/tools/community-enquiry
Here are a few excerpts:
“A workshop-style session that offers space for a group of people to collaboratively explore ideas and ask rich and meaningful questions of each other“
“The session starts with participants being presented with a prompt to get them thinking — this is often a piece of evidence that can be related to an area of work, or a theme that can be explored.”
“The CoE allows participants to share what they think and do and why, while listening to others coming from different contexts or positions.”
“The CoE approach is based around principles of trust and exploration. It helps build understanding by encouraging people to acknowledge other viewpoints, but also asks them to share their own.”
We realised that (as is often the case) that we stumbled across this way of teaching years ago. It aligns with our preferred way of working in groups, whether it’s an online masterclass, a Group Training session on the 12 Hours courses, or a Pedagogy Practicum on our Teacher Accreditation Programme.
A Holistic Approach to Voice Education
Yes, of course we are content providers. Our content has always been driven by the goal of facilitating change and growth.
But we are more than that.
We are educators, mentors, and facilitators of transformation. We discuss and share our thoughts and understanding with many people. Our Teacher Accreditation Programme offers over 60 hours of live training, discussion, and community learning. It’s about the holistic experience of learning, coaching, and education, evolving way beyond the confines of content delivery. And yes, it’s a calling. We empower teachers and coaches to become the guiding lights their students need.
Voice education is a journey, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way. In your own way, whenever you feel ready.
In the words of Ursula, “That’s what I do. It’s what I live for.”
Gillyanne & Jeremy
You can find out more about our online self-guided voice education courses for singing teachers, vocal coaches and choral leaders here
And our full Teacher Accreditation Programme here