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Voice
Vocal Enrichment:
Enlightenment Through Voice

Hazel Menehira


A guide/workbook to assist speech and drama practitioners and individuals wanting to improve their speech habits and public presentations.

Places vocal enrichment back in its rightful balanced position as a path to confident communication, well being and self-realisation in all its aspects.

Provides a simple inspirational framework that is not age or ability contingent for individuals, students and educators to use for study, practice and teaching purposes.

Covers spiritual as well as physiological and psychological practices.

ISBN 9781921479052
RRP AU$25
Speech / drama
PB, concealed wire-binding, 88pp

HazelM

Hazel Menehira, FTCL. ANZDA. RTSCA

Hazel was born in London in 1933, and educated at Letchworth Grammar School in Hertfordshire. She emigrated to Wanganui in New Zealand in 1956.

A Fellow of Trinity College, London, she is an internationally recognized speech and drama teacher, examiner and adjudicator with 50 years experience.

Hazel has directed and/or performed in more than 150 theatrical shows. She also founded and directed Wanganui Rainbow Theatre for youth, which performed Peace Child productions in London and New Zealand.

Her background includes 45 years in journalism, sub-editing, and freelancing, award winning plays, two staged musicals, a series of Fingertips oral resource texts, and a radio play, Green Stone Guardians, produced by Radio N.Z. Her anthology Snowbird Collectables was released in 2006.

She is currently completing  Three Dramatic Decades –Four Seasons Professional Theatre, which will be launched in Wanganui in February 2009.

Hazel has studied at Krotona School of Theosophy in California, Adyar, Chennai, India, at Tauhara, New Zealand and Springbrook, in Australia.

She  and partner David have a large whanau of four children. 14 grandchildren and 9 great-grandchildren. They enjoy a quiet lifestyle in a Cairns tropical villa and leisure park.

Sample

There is a way to well-being that has probably never crossed your mind.

Voice production can be used as an effective tool to health and spiritual well-being.

This factor has been mislaid by society because the intrinsic relationship between voice production and holistic well-being is largely unrecognized and certainly undervalued.

The Western world has continually regarded enriching the voice as a means to achieve a competitive edge for business, power, acquiring wealth, to influence or manipulate others. It is now time for individuals to acknowledge that we humans are holistic beings and that an enriched voice can bring untold benefit and spin-off into areas of vitality, healing, and spiritual development.

A rich voice (meaning vocal sound as differentiated from speech which is how that sound is articulated and omitted) is a positive indicator of good health. Similarly a weak thin voice is a reflection that health and well being is impaired in some manner.

The value of this reciprocal relationship holds the key to well-being physically, mentally and spiritually. In brief, it is this factor which has been mislaid by society.

Enrich the voice and you enrich your life because it follows natural law. It is that simple and it is a process available to everyone who wants to participate. The only cost to you is a small mind shift and a commitment to the study and practice in these pages.

Can I do this myself?

Yes you can.



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Reviews

Hazel has an insightful understanding of the correlation of voice, health and how important a healthy voice is to the confidence of a communicator.

If you are interested in improving your vocal quality, or simply wanting to find another way to improve your vocal communication, the resources that Hazel has placed at
your disposal will be beneficial.

The layout of the book makes it a useful working resource, with margins on the
side of the page to make or record your own notes.

I found it absolutely fascinating how she connected vocal well-being to the
metaphysical and spiritual understanding. While this is not new, her approach makes sense. Hazel has included exercises which are easy to understand and guidance through the pages clarifies her ideas.

I have been using Hazel’s chapter on Rainbow Healing and I look forward to
working with her to deepen my understanding of her philosophy and her approach to healing your own life through voice.

Hazel has a wealth of experience over many years and her numerous students
have achieved success through her teaching.

Vocal Enrichment: Enlightenment Through Voice is a thoroughly useful and inspirational approach to helping improve one of our most valuable assets our voice.

Maggie Shephard, North Queensland Academy of Dramatic Art, B.NIDA, LTCL.


Our author opens with the words “There is a way to well-being that has probably never crossed your mind.”  And she is correct I feel. 

She then proceeds to take us through logical steps to prove how voice production can be used as an effective tool to health and spiritual well-being.

At first glance I thought the author was drawing a rather long bow between voice and spiritual well-being, but as we read through the book, it all becomes quite clear.

We begin with the mechanics of voice production, through the breathing process and onwards into how breathing takes us to a rhythm of life.

I particularly enjoyed the Rainbow Healing Processes, and the final chapter of ‘Keeping on Track’ will be very helpful to all who wish to enrich their life through  being aware of how their voice can be the starting point to spiritual well-being.

The chapter covering Rhythm of Life has suggested passages from some classical plays and these should be most beneficial to those who are in the performance fields, as well as those interested in this aspect of voice.

The book has a beautiful cover; however I found it a little disconcerting to find that inside is in fact the real book, and when reading it the covers fall away from each other.

Our author is a very accomplished, qualified and experienced professional, and her book shows her expertise and understanding of our inner selves.

A great book to have in your library for not only reading through for pleasure, but using as a tool for vocal enrichment.

– Patricia Ryan, Toastmasters, Cairns

 

“Why another voice book?”, some may ask. The answer is that this is a voice book with a difference. In her book Vocal Enrichment Hazel is exploring the idea that voice training is more than producing a pleasant sound or getting a better job or joining another social group. It can and should be a way of getting in touch with the inner self.

Our voice is very personal. As much as our finger prints or the colour of our eyes it defines us to others. No two voices are the same. What we feel, what we think is transmitted by our voice. . Ben Jonson the playwright said “language most becomes a man. Speak that I may see you”.

Many voice books give the reader the mechanics of good voice production. The really excellent ones talk about developing the whole self. Hazel now shows us that our spiritual path can be enhanced by training the voice. This is implicit in these good voice texts but Hazel makes it explicit.

Since time immemorial there has been a belief that language can tap into divine events or even sometimes trigger them. Think of the role of the voice in all the world’s religions: the Gregorian chants, the muezzins call to prayer, the lovely intoned “Om”, the “He Ram” chant to the rising sun. Psychologists talk of the growth in well being of those who sing in choirs. It is a recognized therapy. TV viewers embraced the Choir of Hard Knocks and the members of that choir grew as a result of their participation. As we speak, the Australia Sings program is being expanded.

Breath is the foundation of the voice and breath is the foundation of life. Learning to breathe well is essential to learning to speak well, so through breathing we can be led into that place where we are centred and complete.

Hazel’s book will be of benefit to those people who wish to pursue a course of vocal development with or without formal classes. It will open the mind to infinite possibilities and limitless pleasure while acquiring a strong, rich voice. I welcome it appearance in the library of voice texts.

Margaret MacIsaac, LTCL

Over the years I have become aware how voice place a part in our lives, how we are attracted to people often primarily through the sound of their voice. Many would be aware of the power of sound through the chanting of mantras and the mind and mood altering qualities of music. Toastmasters has taught me how to use my voice to best effect, and it also made me aware how difficult it is to change one’s own voice. So when I saw this book my curiosity was raised.

The author, born in the UK and now residing in Cairns, has a long list of credentials in this field, and her book goes much further than I expected. First it goes over the mechanics and the processes of our voice and speech before exploring the importance of relaxation, breath and proper care in good functioning of our voice. The book gives practical exercises for mental and physical relaxation, including breathing exercises with an exploration of the concept of prana and how it affects our health and aura. Then there are exercises on how to improve one’s speech and advice on public speaking and speech writing.

The second part of the book looks more at the inner aspect of our voice and delves into meditation, rainbow healing, colour healing and sound and silence. I particularly like Hazel’s description of meditation: “we need to understand that the mind only knows continuation and just a moment of discontinuing – that is meditation. Whilst the mind is capable of going far, mediation, the emptiness of the mind is the doorway to mysticism.” I came away after reading this book, feeling that the title is as much about enlightenment through voice as about enlightenment ‘without voice’; the pauses, the stillness and the quiet being just as important in life as the talking, in fact our life is enhanced by creating a balance between the two and being aware of the interplay between the two. Language is rooted in duality and certain things cannot be communicated through voice but experienced through stillness and quiet. Like calligraphy, where the strokes are as important as the blank canvas...

Frank Burton, Connect Magazine