Gesture and Voice

Gesture and Voice

Understanding the relationship between gesture and voice helps both conductors and singers to gain more control over their artistic products.

Summary Description 

Nonverbal communication studies has long been interested in the relationship between gesture and speech – but has largely ignored the relationship between gesture and singing. Singers and conductors, meanwhile, have a strong practical but largely unarticulated understanding of how their gestures work. This workshop draws on research that brings these areas together in order to help conductors and singers increase their reflective awareness and thus develop greater control over what they do.

Who is it suitable for? 

This workshop will be of most benefit to groups where there is a close bond of trust between conductor and singers, and a desire for all to develop together.


By the end of the workshop, participants will:

  • Understand how gesture relates both to thought and to vocal production
  • Have experienced how changes to gesture manifest in changes to vocal sounds
  • Have a repertoire of exercises they can use to develop control over their gestures for artistic purposes.
  • Introduction of key concepts that explain the relationship between both gesture and thought and gesture and vocal production
  • Exercises to explore the relationship between a singer’s own gestures and their use of the voice
  • Exercises to explore the effect of a conductor’s gestures on the choir’s voices
  • Moderated discussion

Resource document that summarises the concepts introduced and activities undertaken during the workshop, and gives suggestions for further reading and practical resource suggestions.

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