Vocal Process Learning Lounge - Review
Anyone who knows me will know just how much of a voice nerd I am! I absolutely love the voice, understanding how it works, and exploring the technical capabilities of the mechanisms behind singing. I personally believe the voice is one of the most magical accidents of Human evolution. It all started with a functional need to regulate airflow in and out of the body for survival, and it just so happens that the evolution of the system allowed for some pretty cool mechanical properties that, with the help of some nifty tricks of physics, ultimately evolved into a system that could be manipulated and controlled to make sounds. Over time, we further developed the ability to form and structure those sounds, eventually leading to comprehensive speech and musical communication.
Now, obviously that's a highly abridged and non-scientific account of millions of years of evolutionary history, but the point I'm trying to make is that our little internal air-regulating-sound-producing factories are incredibly complex, serving multiple functions - some vital to survival, and some key to communicating with others in our tribes through a series of infinitely more complex inter connecting sub-systems like; emotion, inflection, vocal texture, colour, rhythm, volume, and so on.
As singers and singing teachers, we must understand how this system works so that we can optimise it for the sounds that we want to generate, and we also must understand how to layer all of the additional components in order to deliver a comprehensive performance to compliment the sounds.
I know what some of you might be thinking right now...
How on Earth do I even begin to understand how the sound production system works? And how do I know how to modify the sounds I produce with emotion, texture, colour, etc.?
So this is where I want to introduce you to two incredible vocal pedagogues who are even nerdier than I am! Meet Dr. Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher of Vocal Process:
Dr. Gillyanne Kayes - one half of Vocal Process - is a voice researcher, trainer and singing voice expert, internationally recognised for her insight into function of the singing voice. In her doctoral research Gillyanne investigated acoustic, physiological and perceptual aspects of female voice use in different genres. Her current mission is to influence and inspire vocal trainers to collaborate and grow.
Jeremy Fisher - naturally, the other half of Vocal Process - is a national prizewinning collaborative pianist, CPD accredited vocal coach and multiple bestselling author on vocal and performance techniques. He uses a combination of cutting-edge vocal physiology, high-level musicianship and performance intuition to help singers and singing teachers find their own unique voice and style.
Together, their mission is to help performers be the best they can be, to help teachers understand what they do & to promote excellence in voice training. They have published bestselling books, a warmup app (#1 on Google Play) and multiple voice training resources for singers in different genres. I've been fortunate enough to collaborate with both Gillyanne and Jeremy recently, co-teaching our online SOVT Streaming Course (which you can checkout by clicking here).
However, that's not why I wanted to introduce you to them... Wouldn't it be amazing if there was some way to access the combined knowledge of Gillyanne and Jeremy (Vocal Process) across their vast experience and knowledge? Like, downloaded straight into your brain kind of access?! Whilst that may not be possible just yet, I wanted to share the next best thing with you...
Introducing to the Vocal Process Learning Lounge:
The Learning Lounge is an online platform hosted on Teachable, which encompasses the combined knowledge of the last 15 years of voice-training from Gillyanne and Jeremy in one single repository. There's more than 500 training videos in total, which include every single professional development webinar they've produced over the years, as well as online copies of their famous training DVDs, as well as awesome endoscopy videos, lesson plans, audio guides, and live-lecture recordings. I'm really happy to also say that the Mastering Musical Theatre training day that we collaborated on also features in the Library.
Some of the key highlights include detailed explorations of the science, techniques, and applications of vocal physiology and singing mechanics. You'll literally see and learn how the voice works - it's awesome. There's also a brilliant video in the Library that was originally created for the Science Museum in London entitled "So How Does Your Voice Work"... and let me tell you... Joining the Lounge is worth it just for that ONE video! It's everything a voice geek wants and more!
Placing the anatomy and physiology aside for a moment, Gillyanne and Jeremy really excel in delivering quality techniques to help singers (and teachers) move from classical singing to musical theatre, as well as providing techniques for CCM singing, belting, and recording artists. Throughout the training videos there's a mix of lecture style learning, live demonstrations, participant examples, and "fly on the wall" teaching observations. It really accommodates a range of learning styles and formats. Plus, they've included a range of ready to go lesson plans to help newer teachers get started too.
What's even cooler, is the Lounge is structured in such a way that if you were only interested in say, understanding "chest voice", you can follow only those pathways and learn everything you need to know. Or if you're interested in troubleshooting issues with vocal range, you bet you can do that too. AND you'll earn up to 28 hours of CPD accreditation across the curriculum as well.
Some important things to note when considering if the Learning Lounge is right for you...
There is a LOT of content. For some, this might actually be a little overwhelming, which I totally understand. At the time of writing, I've been a on the platform for a couple of months and I'm only 14% complete. Though, I did film/edit some of the videos on there, so if we included those with that calculation then I might be a little further along - but the point is, it's very easy to get lost down a rabbit hole of awesome vocal nerdiness and not surface for a few days.
Please don't let this put you off though. Gillyanne and Jeremy have done a really good job of providing you with some "maps" which will help you navigate the Lounge based on your learning interests, which I would highly recommend you explore as a starting point. Plus, you can also email Jeremy and he'll be able to create a custom viewing order for you as well, which is a nice touch.
The other thing to be aware of is that because the content spans across 15 years of training, some of the videos are better quality than others in terms of literal video resolution. So if you're someone that gets annoyed if a video isn't super-ultra high definition 4 million K quality, then perhaps reconsider... But if you're someone who values incredible, thought provoking, inspiring, and practical training content over pixels, then look no further. This IS for you.
Convinced? Why not sign up for a month a give it a go: click here to sign up now.
And lastly, the cost...
I wanted to save this 'til last because I genuinely wanted you to understand the value the Learning Lounge offers first. Vocal Process has opted for a subscription model at two different tiers: monthly and annually. The cost of a monthly subscription is £39.96, and for the year is £439.56 (which includes 1 month free).
Now, you might look at those figures and think it's a little too pricy for you, but hear me out... Honestly, I actually think it's very fairly priced considering what you're actually getting. You get unlimited access to the platform with over 500 training videos, lesson plans, audio CDs, and more from two of the worlds leading pedagogues in vocal technique and singing. Plus, you can learn at your own pace - and importantly, you can cancel at any time. In theory, you can binge the entire thing in a month and cancel. I wouldn't actually advise this though, as I think you'll have a better experience if you take your time with the content and absorb everything being offered, but the option is technically there.
Think of it like this, the knowledge and new understanding that you'll come away with will help you become a better singer/teacher. So if you think of it like an investment into your continued professional development, then the cost actually falls somewhere around the average lesson mark per month. If you're a teacher, you literally need to teach one lesson per month to cover the cost, and if you're a singer, it's the equivalent of taking one lesson per month. In my opinion, that's so worth it.
What I really love about this entire package is just how passionate Gillyanne and Jeremy are about their work - you can tell that from the way they deliver their content and the energy they bring. More so though, I absolutely guarantee that if there's something you're not quite sure about, or if you have any questions at all, you'll get a detailed reply, probably from Jeremy - because they really do care about YOU and your experience and journey as a singer / teacher.
And, to be fair - at only £39.96 for just 1 month, you might as well give it a ago. Even if you're not quite sure if it's for you, I promise you'll learn something you didn't know before within just a few minutes of watching!