Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Singing Lessons for Trainers

By Joe French, Training Consultant

Like most other trainers, when not delivering courses, I spend a lot of time learning the subject matter, course materials, student activities, exam developments etc. But it was only at the beginning of last year that I realised I had never done anything to develop the tool I use more than any other: my voice.

As it happens, I am quite musical, and I fancied improving my (musical) voice anyway, but I thought I could also take the opportunity to get some advice about voice technique for training. I found a nearby singing teacher/voice technician and, trepidatiously, went for my first lesson.

The first surprise was that we hardly did any singing at all for the first half hour! We looked at posture, back position, exhaling and "getting in touch with the animal within" (it got quite drama-schooley at times!)

After floor exercises, breathing routines, and a few fine adjustments to posture I found, as if by magic, that the note that came out when I finally did sing was about twice as powerful as I had ever sung in my life. It was quite miraculous!

In total I only had three lessons, but that has given me permanent benefits in terms of singing, and has, I believed, improved my abilities as a trainer. Hard to measure, but for those parts of a course when one has to talk through slightly dry subjects, I find I command delegates' attention a little more than before, and have received positive feedback on that aspect of my training.

The singing led me into the Alexander Technique: a general approach to posture and movement which is used by all sorts of people but especially singers, musicians and actors. Whether or not singing is for you, I would recommend the Alexander Technique, to anybody. You will be amazed at how much it can improve all sorts of aspects of your professional and general life.

I once read a training article which said that the greatest visual aid any trainer has is his/her own body. I wholeheartedly agree. Add the amazing audio aid we have all been given in our voices, and you wonder why so few trainers emphasise developing these aspects of their work!


  1. I also agree on the point that greatest visual aid any trainer has his/her own body. As through right posture and emotion a trainer can teach the lessons of singing to other and make other to understand.

  2. HI Frora, Thank you very much for your comment!