Voice I

The details
East 15 Acting School
Southend Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
13 August 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA W496 Acting and Community Theatre

Module description

Voices and Choices

Students will begin to understand the separation of the 'developed' or 'habitual' voice from the 'potential' voice. This leads into work on articulation and an examination of the vocal equipment. Phonetics are introduced in the context of a practical environment alongside Received Pronunciation (RP) as both 'neutral' and character-based accent and as the beginnings of dialect exploration. In the second term students will continue to explore dialects and voices. You will develop articulation alongside phonetics and extend the building blocks of Received Pronunciation, using set phrases and sentences as both mnemonics and assessment tools. In Term Three students will move into conversational Received pronunciation practice with the aim of progressing to within a practical RP comfort zone in preparation for the demands of second year.

Body & Breath
You will begin by exploring the relationship between posture, breath and voice with a practical focus on understanding and releasing the accumulation of habitual tensions in the body, moving into developing spine and rib flexibility and discovery of the centred impulse for breath and sound support. In the second term you will work on developing greater rib flexibility, abdominal and pelvic release and will learn to identify the use of a free throat. Exercises will be used to connect breath to voice while developing abdominal support and increase of energy without increasing tension/aggression. By the end of the module you will have developed a cohesive working attitude to warming up and stretching the voice.

Exploratory Voice
Students will explore issues of resonance and resonant placement through a variety of approaches. You will begin to apply exercises to voice work to stretch the voice beyond confines of the habitual, and to explore and
develop the musicality of expressive language through pitch range, resonant balance, pace, volume, rhythm and cadence. In Term Three you will add range to their understanding of resonance and emotional pitch through the application of more complex theories and techniques to voice work.

Text Work
Beginning with storytelling and moving into the use of rhythmic text, you will be introduced to textual issues such as phrase, sentence structure, use of words and imagery. As the course progresses you will study sonnets with the aim of bringing practical work to rich texts, exploring the expression of passion through the use of released and energised body, voice, language and articulation. You will consider the connections between breath and thought, rhythm and emotion, word energy and articulation. In the final term of the course you will connect text work with technical and practical work through the choice and performance of Political Speeches, demonstrating flexibility and manipulation of the voice for deliberate emotional effect.

Module Content
Term One
1. The anatomy of voice and speech in relation to individual's own bodies
2. Use of physical release, flexibility and good alignment
3. Centred impulse and abdominal support for breath and sound
4. Constricted and free throat
5. Muscularity and resonance in articulated sound
6. The habitual voice and the potential voice
7. Maintaining technical focus during performance
8. Connecting breath to thought and thought to language
9. Exercises for vocal development
10. Exploring the voice freely
11. Connecting to an audience through voice and language
12. Recognising and writing Received Pronunciation
13. Anatomy of articulation & placement of consonants within the mouth.

Term Two
14. Further resonant possibilities in the voice
15. Development of full pitch and resonant range
16. Specific vocal choices
17. The basic phonetic symbols of Received Pronunciation
18. Received pronunciation as a workable accent
19. Stretching the voice beyond the limits of habit voice
20. Application of physical release and good alignment
21. Specific areas for developing personal vocal production
22. Identification of centred impulse and abdominal support for breath and sound
23. Identifying a free and a constricted throat
24. Development of muscularity and resonance.
25. Maintenance of technical focus during performance
26. Connecting breath to thought and thought to language

Term Three
27. Study of character speeches
28. Re-writing set text using phonetic alphabet to describe sounds
29. Conversational Received Pronunciation
30. Laban theories and techniques
31. Use of rhetorical gestures
32. Application of the Linklater resonating scale
33. Concept of chakras in connection with voice.
34. Political speech – sentence construction, rhetorical devices, antithesis, climax
35. Performance of Political speeches

Module aims

- To develop students experience of their own voice beyond the imposed limits of linguistic expression
- To connect imagination, emotion, sound and breath
- To explore the inter-relationships of sound and feeling
- To explore the actor’s connection to the audience through voice and language
- To develop RP to a more fluent level with a character speech of Shakespeare
- To connect text work with practical voice in order to develop flexibility and manipulation of voice for deliberate emotional effect.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module you will be able to demonstrate consistent use of:
- Physical awareness and breath
- Breathing and voice
- Resonance and range
- Technical application
- Warming up
- Articulation
- RP/Dialects
- Openness to process
- Emotional connection.

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

- Students work with voice tutors in group practical classes - Normally 4 hours of voice classes per week except during acting priority weeks - Learning also takes place in lectures and tutorials, workshops, presentations and performances. - Formative verbal feedback from tutors in classes. - Written reports with tutor comments and an indicative grade at the end of Terms One and Two.


This module does not appear to have a published bibliography.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Practical   Voice    60% 
Practical   Articulation    40% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Tara McAllister-Viel, email: tamcal@essex.ac.uk.
Tara McAllister-Viel
East 15 Acting School Gateway Building Elmer Approach Southend-on-Sea SS1 1LW



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
East 15 Acting School

* Please note: due to differing publication schedules, items marked with an asterisk (*) base their information upon the previous academic year.

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