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Why do Teachers have to be so careful?Of all professional voice users, teachers are the occupational body to present with voice problems most frequently at speech clinics over the course of a career. No fewer than one in five teachers miss days at school each year because of voice related problems. Teachers depend upon their voices for much of their work. Their purpose is to communicate their knowledge, yet their very environment can make that work difficult and can indeed damage the voice upon which they depend. It is all too easy to take one's voice for granted, especially when under pressure to prepare and give lessons. JANET SHELL As a classically trained solo singer, Janet sings around the world. Whether at the Royal Opera House or the Royal Albert Hall, she is equally at home in opera or concert. She has given live broadcasts for Classic FM and the BBC and continues to combine a busy performing schedule with her vocal coaching. She teaches singing and is a member of the British Voice Association, through which she has developed many close contacts with other voice professionals including speech therapists and ENT surgeons. A qualified classroom teacher, Janet was head of department in a secondary school for several years before gaining a scholarship to study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and pursuing her career in music.

FAQs Can Talking Voice work with any number of participants? Absolutely. The beauty of TV is the flexibility within the structure; so I have worked with groups of 6, and given a lecture to over 200! Ideally the group sizes allow for strong interaction so, on average, groups tend to be around 40. What about IT/media requirements? If there is a lap top available it is often easier to use that as it is already compatible with the system. Then I can bring a data stick and plug it in. I use power point and need sound as I have videos I show. They run on 'Quick Time' or its equivalent. What kind of space do you need? Owing to the practical nature of the sessions, it is great if there can be enough space for people to move around. There is not a lot of writing required, although there will be some interaction around a table. I make downloads available or provide information to distribute. A flexible space is ideal. I see you have other professionals on board, how does that work?I have people I can call on during the all day sessions to provide a different perspective or they can provide separate sessions in their own right. Currently I have a speech therapist and an education coach who I feed in when appropriate You seem to expand into areas other than voice? That is correct. Talking Voice is about the art of communication alongside a strong emphasis on the spoken word and healthy speaking. There is an undeniable symbiotic relationship between the voice and body. Being excellent in the classroom requires a level of comfort both in how you speak, how you present yourself and the messages you pick up from others. Clients often ask me back to do follow up work in this area and teachers enjoy exploring how their own responses to a situation impacts upon the outcome. What would you say is your particular strength? As a qualified teacher, I have a body of knowledge routed in my previous classroom experience which is then expanded through over 20 years experience as a professional singer. I also have a deep understanding about voice loss having suffered vocal cord haemorrhaging, resulting in a crucial operation, and know the psychological impact this can bring. Sessions require the ability to work with groups of people effectively, leading them to expand their own practises: this is a challenge I enjoy!