Voice training: Improving your child's communication skills
Radio Jockey, and Voice and Theatre artist Rima Medhi outlines the importance of voice training for your child.
By Janbal Dharmaraj
Ms Rima Medhi, Radio Jockey, Voice and Theatre Artist
Communication is a life skill. Your words present your personality. Words that are lucid and crystal clear to the hearer can alone achieve their purpose. Often, children find it difficult to elucidate every word and are sometimes unable to articulate well. This is where voice training proves helpful. ParentCircle met with Ms Rima Medhi, a former radio jockey with a top radio station in India and UAE, to learn about the importance of voice training. She is also a voice and theatre artist. She is currently engaged in working with children and adults to refine their vocal skills. Let's hear from her:
What kind of voice training do you offer to children?
Children need to be encouraged to unleash their unique expression leading them to communicate effectively. This will transform their entire personality. Every child is born with a unique voice; and, he or she needs to undergo some sort of voice training to enhance and strengthen this voice using various voice exercises and techniques. Voice training is not to be confused with vocal training received by singers. Voice training is aimed at enhancing communication skills starting with the most important tool, which is our natural voice.
What is the ideal age for kids to begin with such vocal training?
In my opinion, we should generally start with children as young as 4.5 years and above. It is very important to introduce voice training to children at a young age as this is a crucial life skill to be learnt. Currently, most people are using their voice only up to 10-20 per cent of its potential. Voice training helps children to discover and explore the full potential of their voice.
What are the benefits of public speaking/voice modulation training? How important do you think it is for the overall development of a child?
The benefits of public speaking are immense and cannot be ignored. In all walks of life; be it education, politics, or the corporate world, effective communication is of the utmost importance. Hence, public speaking is a necessary life skill that every individual of every age should nurture. When I train children for public speaking, I develop their personality: instilling confidence, helping them overcome shyness and defeat stage fear. I aim at building a future generation of open, effective communicators who can create value through their communication skills.
How do you help kids fight stage fright?
That’s a very relevant question! Let me be frank: stage fear is something that really doesn’t exist. It’s actually a figment of our imagination, meaning it's F.E.A.R; that is, “False Evidence Appearing Real!” As we get older, this false fear grips our mind in a very strong way making it impossible to break through. This is why it is important to overcome stage fright at a young age. We must recognise this and train children to master their mind and embrace public speaking in an easy and effortless manner.
How can such training help children with learning disability?
There are different types of speech and learning disabilities. I'd like to refer to them as speech “challenges” rather than disabilities. Voice training plays an extremely important role in nurturing the child’s confidence and encouraging the child to communicate well despite the challenge she faces. The child thus finds her unique style of expressing and communicating despite the speech challenge. This leads to developing an open and confident personality with a healthy self-esteem.
How do urban parents view such training? Is there an awareness of the importance of voice training for kids?
I was the first in Mumbai to pioneer into opening an academy that offers voice training to children. When we launched in 2014, the concept was unheard of, but we sparked the curiosity of parents and children. Initially, we had to educate people about our concept. But, after that there has been no turning back. Today’s parent is aware of the importance of a life skill such as effective communication, and so the response has been phenomenal in all the places that we have worked in so far, and the parents have been wonderfully supportive!
What are the career options available for those with exceptional vocal talents?
Your voice can open doors to multiple lucrative and interesting career options such as radio jockeying, video jockeying, news presenting/reporting, voice acting, dubbing, hosting TV shows and many more. For all of the above, a strong, well-trained voice is the asset you require and voice training institutes offer you a chance to cultivate and hone your voice and make it your asset.
What is your advice to young radio jockey aspirants?
Radio is an energetic, fun and youthful medium that can be put to use beyond entertainment and news. My only advice is that if you are passionate about radio as a medium and want to pursue a career in radio, then work towards making yourself capable enough to be part of the highly competitive radio industry. My academy, Creatiwitty.inc, offers personalised one-on-one training in radio jockeying and voice acting to young adults (17 years and above) and even adults to help create quality radio and voice professionals.
Your message to our readers...
Whether you are an adult or young adult, whichever industry you work in, do not neglect the area of communication that forms your personality. Effective communication can create immense value in our lives and the world in general. Let’s open the path to a harmonious society through value creating dialogue and communication.
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