Author: Max Hafler
Reviewer: John Roberts
Max Hafler has been teaching voice for well over a decade and his new book Teaching Voice – Workshops for Young Performers will easily become a go-to book for any theatre practitioner who works regularly with young people and or has to teach voice.
The book is spilt into several sections – firstly there are two 90 minute core sessions which look in depth at the essential foundations of voice work including; breath, diction, resonance and relaxation – followed by seven themed workshops which look at areas including projection and rhythm, alongside emphasis and the power of language as if that wasn’t enough there are also suggestions for mini sessions in case time is of the essence.
Hafler writes with a clarity that is so often missing in textbooks of this type – here he manages to explain the techniques and theory of voice in an easy to understand manner, which means anyone is able to pick up the book and confidently deliver a workshop in voice. His step-by-step approach means there is a natural progression with the sessions and guarantees that anyone participating in any of the workshops getmaximum benefit from them. – I can safely say with first-hand experience, they work – having tried out a few of the workshops personally with some of the young people I teach on a weekly basis… However it’s not just about teaching voice, Hafler has provided excellent advice and resources to help you further your own understanding and build up your own teaching knowledge in this vital area.
At £12.99 Teaching Voice becomes a real bargain especially considering how much it would cost to learn just a fraction of the stuff written in the book at a practical workshop… This is a must for any Youth Theatre practitioner or director – in fact, it also provides plenty for the professional actor too.