November 17, 2014, the first-ever Voice Care for Teachers workshop was held at the Creativoices office in Makati. It was a free workshop in celebration of World Teacher’s Day. The workshop only had 3 participants, the first 3 Voice Care Ambassadors.
Fast forward to a year after, the Voice Care Philippines training team has travelled to various parts of the country to teach the Voice Care for Teachers workshop. From Luzon (Baguio, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Bataan, Cavite), Visayas (Iloilo) and Mindanao (Bukidnon, Zamboanga), thousands of teachers have learned the science and art of voice, and how it can be applied to their vocation.
Voice Care for Teachers is the flagship training program of Voice Care Philippines, a training organization whose mission is to equip professional voice users with knowledge and tools to save their voice, save their career. The organization was founded by Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales – veteran voice artist, experienced radio broadcaster, internationally-awarded youth advocate, author and highly sought-after motivational speaker and trainer. With an innate passion to teach and pay forward, Pocholo has high respect for teachers and recognizes the importance of their role in nation-building.
“When I started thinking about how I can be of service to teachers, I took 2 of the things that I do best – voice acting and motivational speaking – together and created a program called ‘Voice Acting for Effective Teaching’. The goal was to help teachers use voice acting techniques to capture and sustain their students’ attention, especially with the young people today having short attention span and access to more information than they know what to do with.”
Pocholo recalls how the program had a very short lifespan. “I only did the workshop ONCE, in March 2, 2013. After my talk, a teacher approached me and said (with a hoarse voice), ‘This is great, but how can I (teacher) use voice acting if I don’t even have voice to begin with?’ That question struck me, and I realized that more than being able to PLAY with their voice, teachers have a much bigger need to learn how to TAKE CARE of it. Right there and then, Voice Care Philippines was born.”
Several months of research made it clear to Pocholo that there’s practically no one teaching professional voice users how to take care of their voice and prevent voice problems, especially for teachers, whose occupation places a great demand on their voice compared to others. In 2014, Pocholo formed the Voice Care team, including Ada Cuaresma, who became the Executive Director, and Andrew San Fernando, who is one of the trainers of the workshop. Both Andrew and Ada were Pocholo’s students in Voiceworx, his basic voice acting and dubbing workshop.
Voice Care for Teachers is a 2-day workshop that teaches teachers the science of taking care of the voice, and the art of voice acting for effective teaching in the 21st century. In June 2015, the workshop was also brought into written form with Pocholo’s book, “Voice Care for Teachers.”
As a true visionary, Pocholo sees the country as the center of vocal health education in the ASEAN. “We have been hearing about ASEAN Integration, and education is crucial in ensuring that we are building a strong and forward-looking ASEAN community. I would like to do my part in making that happen through Voice Care Philippines. Helping teachers protect their primary teaching tool will not only save their career, but also save the future of the ASEAN region.”
For the first time in his 15 years as a motivational speaker and trainer, Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales comes back to his hometown in Mariveles, Bataan, to inspire and motivate his fellow Bataenos!
On November 13, 2015, hundreds of elementary teachers gathered in the covered court of Alasasin Elementary School as Pocholo and his team conducted a whole-day Voice Care for Teachers workshop. The program started with some opening remarks and introduction from one of Pocholo’s good friends in high school – now school principal – Elda Afable. She recounted her memories of the VoiceMaster back when they were students, and expressed her excitement to witness him become Bataan’s pride with all that he has accomplished. The VoiceMaster’s own father, Luis Gonzales, also took the stage to share his own introduction and remarks about his son.
After the opening ceremonies, Pocholo took the stage and delivered a motivational seminar entitled “Understanding the Generation Z.” He shared his knowledge and expertise in dealing with the youth, and inspired the teachers to be open and embracing of the new generation’s mindset and their need to be taught differently in the classroom. Pocholo also inspired the teachers to become an inspiration to their students, not by bombarding them with information, but by providing guidance and motivating their students to cultivate their talents and pursue their dreams.
Right after the VoiceMaster’s motivating and memorable talk, it was Voice Care Philippines’s Executive Director Ada Cuaresma’s turn to deliver the Voice Care for Teachers workshop. She started her talk with an activity to remind teachers to come up with creative ways to approach classroom teaching. She then went on to discuss the science of voice, and taught the participants exercises to correct posture and observe proper breathing. She ended her talk with helpful tips on how to take care of the voice.
Last but not the least, Andrew San Fernando did a talk on “Voice Acting for Effective Teaching.” He taught the basic elements of voice that teachers can utilize to make their teaching more engaging in the classroom. He also gave exercises where teachers got the chance to “play” with their voice and create fun characters.
The whole-day event ended with impactful and inspirational words from the VoiceMaster. He expressed how happy and grateful he was to be given the opportunity not only to speak in his hometown, but more importantly, to be witnessed by his parents as a motivational speaker for the first time. The VoiceMaster also left the teachers with a challenge to become a pride of Mariveles, by using their teaching vocation to inspire and bring out the greatness in the young people of the country.
The Speech and Theater Arts Guild in Education (STAGE) of the Philippine Normal University organized a lecture series called “PASSCODE: 3P – Pagsasalita. Pagkukuwento. Panonood.” The series aims to educate the students how performing arts skills such as speaking and storytelling can be used in the classroom.
On November 14, the first leg of the series, Pagsasalita, was held at the MB Auditorium. Around 50 students attended as the trainers of Voice Care Philippines taught about the importance of voice in teaching. In the morning, Voice Care Philippines’ Executive Director, Ada Cuaresma, delivered a talk entitled “Pagsasalita: Public Speaking 101,” where she shared her knowledge about effective public speaking. Ada started her talk with a dose of motivation, by sharing her journey as a motivational speaker and how she fulfilled her dream of becoming one. She then discussed the common fears in public speaking, as well as how to use the pitch, volume and tempo to create a more impactful presentation.
In the afternoon, the participants were treated to a mini-Voice Care for Teachers workshop, with Ada back on stage. She talked about the importance of voice, and the factors that make teachers prone to voice problems. Ada then walked the participants through exercises to correct posture and practice deep breathing. She ended her talk with useful tips on how to take good care of the voice.
After Ada, it was Andrew San Fernando’s turn to conduct his module, “Voice Acting for Effective Teaching.” Andrew started his talk by sharing his experience as a voice artist, and even showcasing his talent in imitating voices of some famous characters and personalities. He then taught the voice acting workshop proper, where he gave the students warm up exercises to explore pitch range, resonators and many more. He also explained how creating characters can help in teaching effectively in the classroom.
The “Pagsasalita” leg of the lecture series is, indeed, a success.
Over 100 Elementary and High School teachers of San Jose del Monte, Bulacan gathered at the conference hall of Grotto Vista Resort on November 2, 2015 for the 1-day “Voice Care for Teachers” workshop. The team of Voice Care Philippines came back to teach the second batch of teachers regarding voice care, following the success of its first run last September.
After the opening ceremonies and welcome remarks, the workshop began with an inspiring and motivating talk by Voice Care Philippines founder, Pocholo “The VoiceMaster” Gonzales. He brightened the morning with his wit, charm, humor and even voice acting prowess. The highlight of his talk, however, is on understanding the Generation Z – the new generation that fills the classrooms of today. With his extensive experience of working with the youth, Pocholo shares his learning through research and experience regarding the lifestyle and behaviors of this new breed of young people, and how to best motivate them to learn. The teachers learned about the language, applications, games and many other tools that kids of today use, and caught a glimpse of their ‘virtual world’. Pocholo also motivated and inspired the teachers to love their vocation, which he considers the most influential vocation in the world.
Shortly before lunch break, Voice Care Philippines Executive Director Ada Cuaresma took the stage to do the Voice Care workshop proper. Ada opened with an icebreaker to remind teachers to expand their horizons when it comes to teaching the Generation Z. She then went into the science of voice, and gave the teachers a simple yet helpful explanation of how voice is produced. She also gave tips on how to take good care of the voice.
After lunch, another one of Voice Care Philippines’ trainers, Andrew San Fernando, facilitated a workshop on
“Voice Acting for Effective Teaching.” Andrew shared his journey to the voice acting world – starting from when he became one of the VoiceMaster’s protégé, up to establishing his own name and career. He then talked about the elements of the voice that make a teacher sound more confident and effective in teaching their students. He also gave voice exercises for the participants to explore their vocal range and release tension from facial muscles that are essential to producing voice.
Overall, it was a day of fun-filled and memorable learning for the teachers, who have paid attention this closely to their voice, perhaps for the first time in their lives.