History of Vocal Presence

Vocal Presence is a system based on a methodology developed in the 1940’s by Alfred Wolfsohn, the founder of a style of voice training, today popularly known as the Roy Hart Theatre approach. His experiences of the cries of dying soldiers during World War I, and later his disgust at the artificially broadcast voices heard everywhere in Hitler's Berlin, led him to explore the nature and possibilities of the voice.


A pioneer in the realm of voice research, Wolfsohn’s avant-garde studies revealed the potential of the voice as not only an instrument of artistic expression but also of human development, psychology, and therapy. Wolfsohn's goal was to learn how to develop an unchained voice that allows you to become more aware of all aspects of your voice and to identify where it is strong and effective and where it needs tuning up – and to use your voice to your advantage.


Roy Hart was a talented actor from South Africa at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. who became a pupil of Wolfsohn's for many years and then furthered the work on voice after Wolfsohn's death. Hart's genius and charisma led to the founding of Roy Hart Theatre in 1968 and the further development of the Roy Hart Theatre approach, which is still taught and practiced in the south of France at Malérargues and around the world today. Roy Hart called the voice the muscle of the soul, which I believe is true.


Over the last 20 years, Barbara McAfee developed the current system of vocal presence, aligning vocal sounds to elements (earth, fire, water, metal and air) and matching these sounds to specific leadership skills. My vocal presence coaching is based on Barbara’s system.

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