In 2013, a Churchill Fellowship took me to Edinburgh, Prague and London to explore core beliefs and practices in working with young and developing voices through observing, interviewing and engaging with key specialists in this field. Through this study, I considered:
completely avoiding using the terms ‘talented’ and ‘gifted’ in favour of using specific and detailed language to describe student skill levels, capabilities, sensibilities and interests,
clearly articulating what is to be developed in students though comprehensive training and experience,
understanding the anatomy and physiology of the voice and body, when working with young and developing voices, to ensure correct and efficient body use, alongside healthy and safe practices, and
working with the voice in a holistic and cross-disciplinary way that encompasses speech and singing, music and text, voice and movement, context and interpretation, pedagogy and performance, instrument and repertoire, history and languages, phonetics and grammar, idioms and accents, and character and process.
I will share the experiences and insights gained through this study, and explore how holistic somatic practice can be applied practically in informing pedagogical processes and being embedded in professional practice.