What the Heck is Voice Coaching?
Over the past several years, there has been a burgeoning field of voice professionals and entrepreneurs offering a variety of services and many use the moniker of voice coach, myself included.
They may also use job titles like public speaking coach, singing specialist, voice teacher, voice therapist, speech language pathologist...the list goes on. When you’ve just begun your search for a voice coach, it can be a confusing landscape.
As an advocate for the voice profession at large, I believe that finding the right fit for your specific needs and learning style are key to getting you where you want to be with your voice. So how do you know what kind of voice coach is right for you?
One question I always recommend asking in your quest of finding that person you’re potentially entrusting your voice with is:
“What is your definition of voice coaching? And what does a voice coaching session with you look like?”
Here is my answer to those questions:
Voice coaching is voice education.
Understanding how the voice works gives us insight into what parameters are within our control, and what the boundaries of our work might be. We will learn some key terms regarding vocal function, and look at potential obstacles to our voices feeling good and functioning well.
How deeply I dive into this information depends on the particular client, their interests, and goals. Knowing at least the basics of voice mechanics and understanding what affects your voice and how can be incredibly empowering information to uncover.
Voice coaching can be process or project focused, or a little bit of both.
One-to-one coaching sessions are adaptable although they tend to be most effective if you are highly motivated toward a particular vocal goal or preparing for a big speech or performance.
Like with any change or shift we are looking to make, consistent and focused effort, and patience with the process is going to be what moves the needle forward over time.
Voice coaching provides practices for voice care and well-being.
Our voices are part of all aspects of us: our bodies, intellect, emotions, identities, relationships, spirituality. How do we care for our voices holistically so that we are supporting our communication and self-expression?
I offer voice care practices as part of each session that focus on nervous system support, relaxing and soothing muscle tension and vocal strain, and building your personalized vocal warm-up.
Voice coaching provides speaking and sounding practices catered toward your needs and goals.
This is the heart of what we will do together. In each voice coaching session, about forty minutes of our time together will be spent doing hands-on (or I guess voice-on in this case) exercises that directly relate to your goals and challenges.
Some common things that clients come to me with that could be addressed with these exercises.
I can’t focus when I’m speaking
My voice feels strained or tight
I want to feel more comfortable with my voice
I have a speech coming up and I am nervous
I’ve always wanted to explore my singing voice
I don’t like the way I sound, but really want to
My voice gets tired easily
Voice coaching provides direct and compassionate feedback and guidance for your voice journey.
When trusting someone with your voice, how you get along is such an important consideration as this person will be giving you feedback on your voice, whether it’s directly delivered or not.
For many of us the thought of someone observing and listening to our voice immediately makes our heart start pumping faster and gives us the urge to high-tail it in the opposite direction. And for good reasons! I have been told countless stories by friends and clients about times they received negative comments about their voices that stuck with them, shaped how they view their voice, and oftentimes how they do or don’t feel comfortable using it. (I'm looking at you, all you "I can't sing." folks)
I encourage an environment where we can work with our voices in curious and compassionate ways.
I will share observations about your voice while also giving opportunities to share your perspective and feedback about the experience.
I am experienced with working with people's voices, and believe that evenso you will always be the expert on your own voice.
Voice coaching provides a place to stretch your voice skills, expressive capacity, and explore your vocal potential.
I created Heartspark Voice as a platform to provide voice education, resources, and learning opportunities for people in search of answers regarding their voice.
I am continually adding new content and resources to my website and instruction, and also take requests if there is a particular voice-related topic you’re curious about.
Interested in trying out voice coaching with me?
Schedule your first session here.
Not quite ready to dive in, but eager to find out more? Come to one of my monthly Q&A + Vocal Warm-ups. It's totally free and you can sign up here.