Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Natural Voice Practitioners Network

As well as being my birthday today (!), this weekend heralds the annual gathering of the Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network (NVPN) at Wortley Hall, near Sheffield. Each year a group of between 60 and 70 Natural Voice practitioners (from an overall membership of 240) from all over the UK gather for a weekend of peer group sharing, workshops, networking, dressing up and, above all, singing. The gatherings began as a way of celebrating the birthday of our founder and inspiration Frankie Armstrong.

All Natural Voice practitioners share a common philosophy towards voice work. Simply stated, we believe that singing is everyone's birthright, and that:

  • everyone can sing (whether they think they can or not!)
  • singing should be accessible to all (so many practitioners teach by ear rather than using written music)
  • the voice begins from the body and the breath.

Many members of the network run community choirs based on this philosophy, although we are a very broad church with members from all areas of voice work.

To get a good grounding in the Natural Voice approach, and a chance to learn how to set up and run a singing group, Frankie (along with her partner Darien Pritchard, a Feldenkrais and massage practitioner) leads an annual week's training workshop at Kinnersley Castle in Herefordshire. 2007's training week is 11th to 17th April. Full details can be found on the NVPN website under "Events/ Workshops".

One of the issues currently exercising NVPN members is how to put the network on a more professional footing. We're thinking of introducing a code of practice along the lines of the code recently introduced by Sound Sense, the UK development agency for community music.

As part of this exercise we are fine tuning our "unique selling point". How do we differ from, say, Sing for Pleasure, or the Association of British Choral Directors? And believe me we do!

I hope to go into these issues in more detail in a later blog.

go to Chris Rowbury's website

Chris Rowbury


Get more posts like this delivered straight to your inbox!

Click to subscribe by email.


found this helpful?

I provide this content free of charge, because I like to be helpful. If you have found it useful, you may like to ...

... to say thank you.





Monthly Music Round-up: