Calum Leslie

MA Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University

Voice coaching: what’s the fuss?

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So, voice coaching, eh?

Some people will have done it all their life. Singers. Actors. Musicians. Their natural place is alongside a microphone, offering up their voice for critical analysis with ease and confidence. Like depositing a cheque in the bank. Or making pasta. No big deal.

Me? The thought (on the first week of our MA in journalism at Glasgow Caley) made my palms sweaty and throat dry. It created a little lump of unease somewhere between my throat and stomach.

Mainly because I can’t sing. People who say everyone can be taught to sing haven’t ever heard me. If I wanted to sing in the shower I’d have to cover the walls in my bedroom with lino because the paint would peel.

Two rooms away, you say? Yes. Really.

Voice coaching – to me – meant singing. Or song. Or tone – which, in my non-musical brain and state of panic, meant singing.

That might sound daft given we’re on a journalism course and voice coaching is part of that, but when you dread something it finds a way of always being an active possibility in your head.

What if singing journalists were the next bow in the multimedia arrow?

So when I found myself in said coaching class walking in a circle telling the floor I was a king (or asking for one, or pointing one out, or calling him – you pick, really) I was surprised.

Even more surprised when I found myself crouched on the floor with my legs simultaneously twisted around one another and arched in the air.

Then there was the goo-gaa-bee-baa-gooooool episode (it makes sense in Spanish football, honest), vibrating eyebrows and talking out song lyrics.

Voice coaching.

It’s not – turns out – about singing. It’s actually quite fun.

And  – shock horror – helps with practical stuff, like reading a news script. What’s the fuss?

Two lessons are enough to know that. Sure, there’s yoga type stuff and a bit of ‘laaa-ing’ and ‘leee-ing’ now and again, but mainly it actually works on talking.

And that I can do in abundance.

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Author: calumlesliejournalist

MA Multimedia Journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University.

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