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The language of teaching voice: a qualitative study

Faculty Advisor




voice pedagogy, voice coaching, voice training, education, language, metaphor, literal language

Abstract (summary)

Voice practitioners use a variety of language to describe the act of sounding. Because practitioners cannot literally “see the voice,” they rely on imagery, imagination, anatomical descriptions, and acoustic feedback to encourage positive results for clients. There is often a debate among voice practitioners about the value of science and art when choosing both the type of voice exercise to give and ultimately the language to use with clients in order to achieve positive vocal training outcomes. This article outlines a qualitative research study assessing the effectiveness of using metaphorical or scientific language or both for improving student and client outcomes in the voice studio, the speech language pathology clinic, and in performance. The results of the study suggest that there is a pedagogical advantage to using both metaphorical and literal language with voice clients. Because of this, there is a potential need to advocate for the increased intersection between art and science in teaching voice. Suggestions for this approach are given, and the implications for training future voice practitioners are discussed.

Publication Information

Sadoway, Dawn. "The Language of Teaching Voice: A Qualitative Study." Voice and Speech Review 15, no. 1 (2020): 51-63.


Item Type

Article Post-Print




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