Ear training in pairs - Christina Shewell

Over her 30 years of varied work, Christina came to recognise that the basic parameters of healthy and effective voice are the same whether we work with the aesthetics or disorders of voice. As a practitioner in both voice development and voice healing, she had an overview of the whole continuum of voice use – from a severe disorder to the elite sounds of the professional speaker or singer.

Her definition of The Free Voice specifies and defines 8 core functional aspects, relevant to the description of any voice. These are Body, Breath, Channel, Phonation, Resonance, Pitch, Loudness and Articulation.  The Voice Skills Approach developed from this idea, to provide a flexible model to analyse any voice, and to guide the selection of specific targeted techniques to help the process of a client’s voice change. Since it describes what is going on in the ‘whole voice’ (not simply phonation), its clinical applications in speech therapy/pathology are wide; parallel to its voice therapy relevance, it is used by clinicians working with fluency disorders, dysarthria, hearing impairment and social skills development.

The Voice Skills Approach and Perceptual Profiles

Christina’s internationally successful courses include:

  •  The Voice Skills Framework and the Voice Skills Perceptual Profile (VSPP) offer offer insights to any voice practitioner into listening, voice analysis and voice usage along the continuum of voices from severely disordered to well trained. The VSPP Framework is a way of ‘tidying the desk’ of our listening, and improves the ability to identify aspects of a speaking voice. The full VSPP gives both qualitative information to guide the direction of appropriate voice work for a client, and quantitative information to compare the voice before and after training or therapy.
  •  Related Experiential Voice Work Participants on the Voice Skills courses experience a range of practical exercises, based on the 8 voice aspects. Body and voice work uses both technical and imaginative ideas, and wherever possible, these are backed up by relevant voice or neuroscience research.  In a supportive and creative atmosphere, group members first explore and extend the power and flexibility of their own voices, and then consider how these specific ideas might be applied to client work, in clinical applications or voice teaching skills.

Read about Voice Practitioners’ Views, Published Articles about Voice Skills and The Shewell Perceptual Voice Test.