Concept by: Petra Mundi
Schools tend to be noisy places. 30% of teachers have problems with their voices, causing discomfort, sick leave, or even premature retirement. A single millimeter of body realignment can bring about an obvious and immediate improvement in the resonance of your voice; minor adjustments to classroom elements can have a major effect on acoustics, yet many university teacher-training programs neglect to include this vital area in their curriculum.
This dynamic and interactive course offers basic training in improving classroom acoustics, voice projection, articulation, rhythm and alignment. Beyond the physics and anatomy of sound, it also suggests techniques which involve active listening, raising hearing above all the other senses, training your critical ear, creating a sound landscape, building silence into schools, combating background noise and many other practical features which investigate the effect sound, noise and silence have on your teaching and your students. You will be encouraged to practice your breathing, intonation and posture to protect your most precious instrument, your voice, and use sound and silence to increase motivation and make your classroom interventions audible, effective, healthy and sustainable.
The course will help the participants to understand how to:
- Hold your body to improve the quality of your voice
- Improve the acoustics of your working space
- Use intonation, rhythm and volume to improve audibility
- Project your voice and use silence to increase effectivity
- Use sound in lesson planning and evaluation
- Coach your learners’ voices
The schedule describes likely activities but may differ significantly based on the requests of the participants, and the trainer delivering the specific session. Course modifications are subject to the trainer’s discretion. If you would like to discuss a specific topic, please indicate it at least 4 weeks in advance.
Day 1 – Course introduction & Voice analysis
After introductions and previous knowledge have been shared, each participant’s voice is analysed in terms of balance, clarity and projection. Some exercises related to rhythm, breathing and body – balance will introduce us to the area of acoustics.
Day 2 – Breathing and body alignment
After looking at the language we need to discuss sound and some theory of the voice, groups will work on breathing, the correct alignment of the body, ways of articulation and projection designed to protect and improve our most precious instrument, the voice.
Day 3 – Acoustics
Today we investigate the power of acoustics. By observing our surroundings and making adjustments to the elements, we can improve acoustics so that our voice gains clarity and projection. By training our Critical ear, we discover the meaning of reverberation, noise and echo and use these to create a ‘sound landscape’ of our classroom.
Day 4 – Perfect your skills
Meditation, silence, words, poetry. Discover improved intonation, rhythm, pausing and breathing; putting hearing above all the other senses. By actively listening to the students and observing their body language, we can improve motivation and interaction in our classroom.
Day 5 – Reflection & Course closure
Background noise and communication. We work on what we’ve learned through practical exercises. Drawing an outline of a new acoustic project for the participants’ schools and present our projects, before reviewing the most important points of the course.
Course evaluation: round up of acquired competences, feedback, and discussion;
Awarding of the course Certificate of Attendance;
Day 6 – Excursion
Excursion and other external cultural activities.
- Teachers: primary, secondary, vocational, adult, special needs;
- Teacher trainers;
- Careers officers, educational guides and counsellors;
- Headteachers, principals and managers of schools.