Elocution, Speech and Voice
Elocution - just the word is sufficient to conjure up images of Victorian
or Edwardian gentlemen getting their pupils to recite long poems and ridiculing
them for their mis-pronunciation of vowels and consonants.
Perhaps the most well know elocution teachers of the early 1900s were Samuel and
Alice Hasluck. This married couple ran the highly successful Polytechnic School
of Elocution situated on Regent Street, London. Gentlemen and gentlewomen of the
day would enrol for instruction in elocution, which involved students learning to
'roll their r sounds' and to project dramatic verses to the back of the theatre.
Elocution still suffers from these old images and many people who would benefit -
both personally and professionally - from speech and voice lessons are deterred by
these old ideas.Indeed 'Elocution' is an outdated word and no longer used by speech
and voice teachers.
There's been a great deal of research into linguistics, phonetics and phonology
since the days of the Haslucks. The Wooldridge School of Speech and Voice employs
the approach developed by Robin Wooldridge, based upon his postgraduate research
into linguistics. This is a new approach to the teaching of speech and voice and
is unique to the School. The simple approach can be learnt and applied by anyone
in a relatively short period of time.
Modern speech and voice lessons offered by the School give a practical way to learn
how to acquire a pleasant 'neutral' accent - without having to learn long, complicated
poems or difficult extracts of Shakespeare.