• A Senior Education Consultant comments on the need for Teachers’ Voice Training

    Former Assistant Director of Education Don Nixon in an interview with Marina on the importance of Voice Training for Teachers

Sounds Right Ltd is saddened to announce the sudden death of Don Nixon

Don’s family have very kindly agreed to Sounds Right keeping all references to Don on this site which we would like to do since he was so very active in all aspects of the Company’s work. Don represented the highest standards in communication training and was an exemplary example of fairness, creativity and joy in learning. Don brought out the very best of those he worked with, taught, trained and examined. Don will be deeply missed but remembered with much esteem and great affection.

Why The Need For Voice Training?

All teachers will be very much aware (some even painfully) of the daily pressures and demands on their voice. On average it is a fact that they can talk for up to 70% of each lesson, up to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, term after term!

Hitherto, for the majority of teachers, voice training has been minimal or even non-existent. In their professional duties teachers talk more than the average actor and in far more difficult environmental surroundings.

It is not surprising that a high percentage of newly qualified teachers suffer voice loss after only 6 – 8 weeks in the job. Older and experienced teachers can also encounter problems as the voice can change and be susceptible to years of strain and hormone change. Teachers are ten times more likely than other professionals to find themselves as patients in a voice clinic.

For teachers to be effective they need healthy voices that can meet the demands of the classroom on a daily basis – not just classrooms but assembly halls, gyms, swimming pools and out-of-doors. They are continually competing with background noise. Many hold the view that it is no longer necessary or desirable for pupils to work in silence.

At the end of the teaching day it is quite common for teachers to perform extra-curricular duties, e.g. running a club or attending a meeting – again creating more demands on voice use.

Health and Safety issues are increasingly being focused on the need for adequate voice care for teachers and other professionals.

Research has shown that an ineffective voice can produce disaffection amongst sections of pupils. By contrast, a good voice can enhance pupils’ attention levels and thereby the amount that they learn.