Advertise on ChoralNet 
ChoralNet logo
The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Getting Voice education

Dear all,
 
Please, I'd like to know, how can one living in Nigeria get complete, comprehensive Voice education?
 
Expecting your replies please!!
 
Thanks.
 
on January 17, 2011 5:07am
Opemipo,
 
I am the creator and primary editor of this ChoralNet community.  I think I can write on behalf of all the 130-plus members of this community, that we're honored that someone from Nigeria would join us and send a forum post with such a good question. 
 
Welcome!
 
To answer your question: 
The only help that I can think of would be to recommend a book that is the most comprehensive book on Voice Education that I know of--BODYMIND AND VOICE: FOUNDATIONS OF VOICE EDUCATION.  It is published in the English language, but I have the impression that you have very good ability with English.  It is a large book--comprehensive--in three volumes, and 18 authors contributed to it.  Three of the authors are ear-nose-throat physicians, and endocrinologist and allergist-immunologist physicians also contributed, along with a speech pathologist, audiologist, and specialists in early childhood voice, child voice (2), adolescent male voice transformation, female adolescent voice transformation, Alexander Technique, voice education (4), and one choral conductor.  I am principal author and co-editor with Graham Welch, Ph.D., Professor of Music Education and Chair of Arts and Humanities at the Institute of Education, University of London.  
 
The book is organized into five sections, and each section is referred to as Book I, Book II, and so on.  Each Book has its own body of knowledge and experience with cross-references to related knowledge in other Books.  The titles of the five Books are:
 
Book I:  Bodyminds, Learning, and Self-Expression
Book II:  How Voices Are Made, and How They Are "Played" in Skilled Singing and Speaking
Book III:  Health and Voice Protection
Book IV:  Lifespan Voice Development
Book V:  A Menu of Practical Voice Education Methods
[Book I is the first volume; Book II is the second volume, and Books III, IV, and V are bound together to form Volume 3]
 
In Book II, readers are guided through direct vocal experiences (some people refer to them as 'exercises') that are related to how voices are made (anatomy) and how they are 'played' (physiology), and then an explanation is provided, in 'everyday' English, of what happened during the experience.  In many chapters, there is a section titled "For those who want to know more..."  That section is written more formally and includes more details as well as voice science research citations that support what has been written.  All chapters list those research references at the end.
 
Bodymind and Voice is published by two nonprofit organizations here in the U.S., The VoiceCare Network and the National Center for Voice and Speech.  It can be purchased online through VoiceCare.  The price of the book is well below what it would cost if it were published by a commercial publisher.  It sells for $150.00-USD and shipping costs can be seen on the VoiceCare website (shipping it to Nigeria would make the book even more expensive, of course).  If it were commercially published, it would easily cost $350.00-USD or more, just for the book! [The only sales to anyone in Africa, so far, have been one to a person in Egypt and to three or four citizens of South Africa--I think they are professors of voice and/or choral music.]
 
And just so you know, The VoiceCare Network provides a 7.5-day international course each year that is titled "Lifespan Voice Education in the Real World." [People from 15 countries have attended; only one from Africa (Egypt)].  It is held near the beginning of July on the beautiful campus of Saint John's University, located near St. Cloud, Minnesota, in the U.S.  Bodymind and Voice is the textbook for the course.  Those who attend the course can purchase the book for $90.00-USD.  All such information is on the VoiceCare website, www.voicecarenetwork.org
 
I hope this is not too much information, Opemipo.  I want to help you however I can.  Be well,
 
Leon
on January 23, 2011 12:15pm
Opemipo,
I think Leon has probably "hit upon" the best alternative.  I am very fortunate and always had music teachers and universities around me while growing up so I am trying to visualize your situation as if I had to learn vocal technique in my home alone.  Depending on how one learns, I think there are times that one can read but needs to "converse" with someone just to discuss exactly what they are reading about.  I for example am very visual, so would sometimes need demonstration.  This may be one of the best places to ask those questions.  I spent many of my years at Indiana University training to sing and to become a voice teacher.  I am only telling you this so you will understand that I do have a little idea of what I am saying.  Please be very careful of things you read on the Internet about learning to sing.  Not all of them are outlandsih but some of them sound pretty ridiculous and when they sound like that....well...they are.  
 
To clarify my advice, reading from a good source such as Leon's book is great, practice but carefully so and remember that practice never stops, nor does learning, ask questions, and remember that the voice is an instrument and must always be taken care of.
Kathy   
  • You must log in or register to be able to reply to this message.