Short Courses & Events

A Voice for the Voiceless

Thursday 5th October 2023, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (London Time)

This course is about helping the voiceless to find their voices. It offers strategies and tools for working with those who consider themselves ‘tone-deaf’ or ‘non-singers’.

But who are ‘the voiceless’? Only around 3% of the population fall into the category of ‘amusia’ while over 17% consider themselves ‘tone-deaf’; and this does not account for ‘non-singers’, a wider group sometimes described as ‘tuneless’.

The course will fall roughly into two halves. In the first half, after an introduction with a few thoughts about what we might mean by ‘voiceless’, William will briefly explore the history of singing and the study of singing, especially the various movements to encourage community singing over the years. Why indeed do we sing and why has there long been an emphasis on the health-giving and social benefits of singing? There is also a long history of how voice was studied. William will consider what the purpose is of training a voice, when it is considered such a natural human attribute. However, why on earth would a ‘tone-deaf’ person want to learn to sing? Some of the scientific research into ‘tone-deafness’ will be described and William will recount some of his own case histories.

The 19th century novel ‘Trilby’ tells how a tone-deaf woman was transformed into a great singer by a somewhat sinister man called Svengali. But ‘tone-deafness’ is a complex syndrome with different manifestations, many causes, and a multiplicity of ways of helping a person overcome it – without resorting to hypnosis! In the second half of the course, we will examine strategies for teaching non-singers through different sorts of choirs, small-group classes and private lessons. William will also explain several of the techniques he has used to work with individuals.

At the halfway stage, there will be a short break during which participants can record any questions they might have for later. They are also invited to consider a questionnaire that William used in his ‘Tone Deaf? No Way!’ class which is intended to add more information as well as being part of a study too. After a summary, the evening will end with a ten-minute Q&A. Participants will be offered a selective reading list and some other supporting documents.

🏷️ Price £30 (UK VAT inclusive)
🎥 Recording automatically sent to all who book (even if you cannot attend live)
▶️ Rewatch as many times as you like
📜 Certificate of attendance available

William Leigh Knight

William Leigh Knight (AGSM, FISM, ProfDoc) is a singer and voice teacher who trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (GSMD). His performances have ranged from song recitals and chamber opera to mediaeval church music drama.

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Attend this course for as little as £22 as part of the Voice Professional Training CPD Award Scheme.

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