The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly known at that time as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) was the first conservatoire in the UK to introduce the vocal technique of Nadine George into its voice curriculum over twenty years ago. When we established our Centre for Voice in Performance in 2006, this voice work became the central approach to voice studies in the School of Drama.
Voice is a central component of all performance programmes and students are provided with a thorough theoretical and practical grounding in every aspect of voice and text work. Whether those texts are conventionally written or found or devised, whether poetry, prose or drama, whether classical or the latest in new writing – the challenge of investigating them physically and imaginatively in order to communicate them to others demands everything of the speaker.
Additionally, on some programmes, students study singing, dialects and Scots language for Scots and non-Scots alike. Within Musical Theatre programmes, the Centre is spearheading the unique relationship between its spoken technique and the various singing styles of musical theatre, to produce a distinctive training for our students.
Particular emphasis is laid on daily practice and the need for students to be independent learners taking responsibility for the development of their own voices and their individual vocal learning journeys. Centre staff continue to work on their own voices using George’s technique. They also regularly train together as a staff team, occasionally joined by performance colleagues, ensuring an integration of disciplines for staff and students alike.
‘These lessons have really helped me explore my voice, and realise how much more potential it has – I thought you were just born with it, and learned ‘to project’.’
‘I was amazed at how different placements really do change how we feel and how we are. It’s also lovely to see the rest of the class explore what they can do and see how they change and develop.’
‘I was so surprised at how full my voice actually is. I was quite overwhelmed by the power that came out but also excited to know that there is this deeper level that I am free to develop and explore.’