Vocal Rehabilitation Coach Pathway
Those seeking to become a Vocal Rehabilitation Coach have used the MA as a pathway to develop their knowledge. This separate page is designed to explain the role of the Vocal Rehabilitation Coach and to highlight the extent to which this pathway can facilitate learning in this area.
The role of the Vocal Rehabilitation Coach
The role of the Vocal Rehabilitation Coach within the UK is also sometimes referred to as a Singing Voice Rehabilitation Coach/Specialist. In the US, it is referred to as a Singing Voice Specialist. Those working within the field, will aid singers who have experienced vocal difficulties in their recovery. Some are situated within a clinic or they regularly observe and form part of a multidisciplinary team. Singing teachers sometimes refer to themselves as VRCs with minimal training but they are not deemed credible by those who take this role very seriously.
If I do this course, can I become a VRC?
Unlike speech and language therapists, the Vocal Rehabilitation Coach/Singing Voice Rehabilitation Specialist is not regulated by the HCPC. They will often work closely with the multi-disciplinary team and they will enter into the recovery journey when it is deemed appropriate to do so.
As it is not a regulated profession, you could theoretically set up as a VRC without any training as there is no licence to practice within the UK. Equally, you could attend a Singing Rehabilitation training course and then claim the title. Students often want to undertake this course in the hope that they can then apply for a VRC role. This isn’t how it works in practice as without clinical experience, you are unlikely to gain referrals although you may pick up referrals from individuals who have become lost in the system via google or a website. This is legitimate but it may not be ethical as those who take the role seriously and earn respect from those who work closely with this client group do so through volunteering within a clinic regularly for a lengthy period of time. BAPAM has constructed a professional register with core competencies which must be passed before approval is granted. BAPAM is a registered charity and not a regulatory body but like many associations, professional registers enable an unregulated industry to gain credibility alongside providing a layer of protection for those in search of recovery. At present, this is the only professional register in existence.
We have had a number of students use this pathway successfully to deepen their knowledge and understanding. Sarah Wright Owens and Pippa Anderson are BAPAM approved VRCs. Sharon Mari, is part of the Lewisham team and recently presented research undertaken on the course at the Voice Clinic Forum and has a busy practice. They have all taken the individual projects to fill in gaps within their understanding and have benefitted from the freedom of the projects to work in collaboration and advance as professionals with integrity. Verity Bramson has just begun her journey and she is currently gaining clinical experience. All of the students listed have one thing in common; commitment to working as part of a multi-disciplinary team. They either hold an NHS contract or they are a regular observer and contributor as a singing specialist within a clinic.
If you wish to pursue this course to train in this way, you can certainly use it to deepen your knowledge but we advise:
- Clinical experience – without this, your projects will be very limited. All projects must pass through an ethics panel and it is difficult to facilitate this without this
- Contact voice clinics and see if you can volunteer as an observer. The British Voice Association provides a list of available clinics
- We encourage you to gain a deeper understanding of the ethical implications and for all students, this has been the first stage of their journey
- We encourage you to work towards BAPAM accreditation or any other form of regulation should it arise. We hope the course will aid you in this journey as it has with those listed above but we cannot guarantee this as an outcome as it depends on many factors such as age, commitment, application and skill.
- We do not provide you with a licence to practice, instead view it as a knowledge deepening exercise to be developed alongside practitioner experience
- We encourage you to develop as a hybrid practitioner gaining further knowledge in singing teaching. The VRC role may not provide you with a sufficient number of clients to make a living
- If you’re passionate about this work, then pursue it with a realistic understanding of the nature of the role
If you would like further information then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org