New graduate-level voice training for stage and screen at the University of Melbourne

Senior Lecturer VCA Theatre Leith McPherson leads students through a Voice workshop. By Stephen McCallum.
Senior Lecturer VCA Theatre Leith McPherson leads students through a Voice workshop. By Stephen McCallum.

A new masters course has been launched to provide students with industry-leading knowledge and skills to work as a professional voice coach in the performing arts, film and television, media and business.

The new 18-month, full-time Master of Theatre (Voice), offered by the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) at the University of Melbourne, will be led by Leith McPherson, a professional voice coach and senior lecturer in Theatre at the VCA.

“This is the kind of course that will serve anyone who wants to empower people to use their voices professionally or personally in a dynamic and exciting and engaging way,” said McPherson. “It’s a practical course, so you are working on your own instrument in order to help others to work on theirs. It develops physical awareness, vocal strength, range, flexibility, articulation, your ability to engage with text, to bring it to life and to help other people to bring it to life …

“Whether it’s working on an independent theatre show, helping people with voiceover work, or being on a green screen film set surrounded by 400 crew, these skills and your confidence to help people and your passion for helping people can take you anywhere.”

The course – which launches in 2020 – will provide a collaborative learning environment. With mentoring from staff of international standing, students will develop the interpersonal skills that enable a voice coach to become an integral part of a creative or educational team. They will be given the opportunity to collaborate with performers, directors, theatre-makers, and film-makers. The course includes specialist training provided to students through a professional industry placement, or through coaching a production within the Faculty.

“There’s actually a shortage of well-trained, emotionally intelligent, creatively connected voice coaches,” said McPherson. “My job and my passion, and what I’ve been working to for years, is finding the students and then helping them get those jobs. I want to give students the passion and the experiences that I have had so that they can help people in all sorts of areas of the performing arts and beyond to become their best selves and to speak with clarity and strength and power.

“We have created this course and assembled this teaching team because we’re so passionate about what we do. If you have that same passion you will own a qualification that will be industry changing and world-recognised coming from one of the greatest universities in the world.”

Applications for the Master of Theatre (Voice) – 2020, start-of-year intake – are now open and close on 31 October. More information.