2.2 Communication


In rehearsal it is important to speak loudly and clearly. The musicians need to be able to hear and understand you without difficulty. If you are in a small room with an ensemble of 8 musicians, you may not need too much adjustment from your normal speaking voice. If you are talking to a large orchestra of 80 in a large, resonant acoustic, with people to the side of you as well as in front, you will need to speak slowly and with projection. This might sound trivial, but if the musicians can’t hear what you are saying they either have to interrupt and ask you to repeat yourself (frustrating, and wastes valuable time) or they just ignore you (obviously not what you want!

Speaking Clearly

(Allow around 5 minutes for this activity)

Take a friend or colleague into a large hall and practise speaking to each other from opposite corners of the space. Try giving each other the sort of instruction you are likely to use in a rehearsal situation. If you cannot find a large hall, try speaking from the other side of a big garden or across a field. Did you encounter unexpected challenges in doing this? What were they?


The main point of this exercise is to project the voice and to speak slowly and clearly. You might compare it with having a conversation during a noisy sporting event or in a busy restaurant.

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