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5th April, 2018

Finding a Voice

GuildhallSchool Red

Nearly 20% of the British population call themselves ‘tone deaf’, and probably many more would call themselves ‘non-singers’, holding negative thoughts about their own singing ability and voice. Against the view that ‘anyone can sing’, non-singers hold a powerful narrative that says ‘you can either sing or you can’t – and I can’t’.

Starting in April 2016, Finding a Voice is a 33-month AHRC-funded project focusing on people who don’t sing, engaging them in specially designed programmes. It will provide an understanding of the journeys adult non-singers take in learning to sing, and the ways in which they can be supported, by combining psychological, educational and artistic research.

The project will investigate the best ways of helping non-singers engage in meaningful participation in singing and improve their skills, and to show what their developmental journeys look like.

In a first phase (September 2016 to June 2017), the project worked with a group of people who considered themselves non-singers over the period of one academic year, engaging them in individual and group sessions to track both their progress and effective teaching practice.

A second phase will focus on the development of an app to train auditory imagery – the ability to imagine sounds in the ‘mind’s ear’ – and assess the effect of this on singing.

Recruitment for participants to the second phase of this project is currently open.

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