Voice Training

Voice Training Directory

Part One: Training Needed -

Voice Training Part Two: For Preaching & Praying ---

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Introduction

This article is wonderful and should be required reading!!! Here is a sample quote: "The Lord calls upon all who are connected with his service to give proper attention to the cultivation of the voice, that they may utter in an acceptable manner the great and solemn truths he has entrusted to them. He calls upon them not to attempt to hold forth the word of life to others unless they can do this in a way that will honor him. Let them not mar the truth by defective utterance. Let not those who have neglected to cultivate the talent of speech suppose that they are qualified to minister; for they have yet to obtain the power to communicate. Let those who have not in the past felt it their duty to try to improve the voice, begin this work now, before any more time passes away."

The Need and Importance of Voice Culture. Part One - Training Needed

Ellen G. White

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Ms 181, 1901

[Typed] Jan. 16, 1901

Previously unpublished.

In all our schools, great attention should be paid to voice-culture. Let reading classes be formed, in which each student shall be given a thorough drill in pronunciation and emphasis. This is necessary in order for the students to be successful in the future in communicating that which they have learned. The student who leaves school unable to read and speak correctly is not prepared for a position in the service of God. {Ms181-1901.1}

Good readers are rare. Students should be taught to speak and read in an acceptable, impressive manner, pronouncing their words clearly and distinctly, and giving proper emphasis and expression to the thoughts. They should be taught how to control and modulate the voice, letting it rise and fall at the proper times. No tame, expressionless reading should be permitted. {Ms181-1901.2}

Vocal culture should be made one of the most important branches of education in our schools. In order for this to be, the teachers must themselves understand the art of speaking and reading. those who help to prepare students to act a part in God’s great work should be men and women who understand and appreciate the value of voice culture, who have studied this themselves and know how to instruct others. If teachers are defective in this respect, their work is of little value compared with what it would be if they knew how to speak and read. {Ms181-1901.3}

Let this matter be no longer neglected by the teachers in our schools. Let them teach the students how to read in clear, full tones and how to give the proper emphasis and expression to the thoughts. And let the students themselves strive perseveringly to become good readers. In every part of a student’s life, vocal culture is of the greatest importance. The intellect is of double value when there is joined with it the power to use the voice as it should be used. {Ms181-1901.4}

We may have knowledge, but unless we know how to use the voice correctly, our work will be a failure. Unless we can clothe our ideas in appropriate language, of what avail is our education? All the knowledge we may gain will be of little advantage to us unless we cultivate aright the talent of speech that the doors of the lips may open to allow ideas to go forth to bless others. Knowledge is a wonderful power for good when combined with the ability to speak them in a way that will command attention. {Ms181-1901.5}

We are bound by holy motives to do all that is in our power to meet the necessities for this time. Let us cultivate the talent of speech so that it will be a power in winning souls to Christ. {Ms181-1901.6}

Students who expect to become workers in the cause of God should be trained to speak in a clear, straightforward manner, else they will be shorn of half their influence for good. The ability to speak plainly and clearly in full, round tones is invaluable in any line of work. This qualification is indispensable in those who desire to become ministers, evangelists, Bible workers, or canvassers. Those who are planning to enter these lines of work should be taught to use the voice in such a way that when they speak to people about the truth, a decided impression for good will be made. The truth must not be marred by being communicated through defective utterances. {Ms181-1901.7}

The canvasser who can speak clearly and distinctly about the merits of the book he wishes to sell will find that this is a great help to him in selling the book. He may have an opportunity to read a chapter of the book, and by the music of his voice and the emphasis placed on the thoughts he can make the scene presented stand out as clearly before the mind of the listener as if it could in reality be seen. {Ms181-1901.8}

The one who gives Bible readings, in the congregation or in family, should be able to read with a soft, musical cadence that will charm the hearers. {Ms181-1901.9}

Ministers of the gospel should know how to speak with power and expression, making the words of eternal life so impressive that the hearers cannot but feel their weight. I am pained as I hear the defective voices of many of our ministers. Such ministers rob God of the glory he would have if they had trained themselves to speak the word with power. {Ms181-1901.10}

To be able to speak correctly is the life and health of a speaker. In speaking, the strain of the work should not be put upon the throat and lungs. The abdominal muscles are to do the heaviest share of the labor, the throat being used as the channel. Many have died who might have lived had they in the school room been taught that the voice is a precious talent, and must be used with the greatest care. {Ms181-1901.11}

No man should consider himself qualified to enter the ministry until by persevering effort he has overcome every defect in his utterance. If he attempts to speak to the people without knowing how to use the talent of speech, half his influence is lost; for he has little power to hold the attention of a congregation. {Ms181-1901.12}

Those who are engaged in mechanical lines of work will find it greatly to their advantage to cultivate the talent of speech. Thus they can make a success of their work when did they neglect to speak correctly, they would make a failure. {Ms181-1901.13}

Those who are planning to engage in business lines need to learn how to control the voice, so that when they go forth into their work, they will not, if something goes wrong, speak in tones that will stir up the worst passions of the heart. Too often the speaker and the one spoken to speak sharply and harshly. Sharp, dictatorial words, uttered in hard, rasping tones, have separated friends and resulted in loss of souls. {Ms181-1901.14}

Instruction in vocal culture should be given in the home circle. Parents should teach their children to speak so plainly that those who are listening can understand every word that is said. They should teach them to read the Bible with clear, distinct utterance, in a way that will honor God. And let not those who kneel around the family altar put their faces in their hands close down to the chairs when they address God. Let them lift up their heads, and with holy awe speak to their heavenly Father, uttering their words in tones that can be heard. {Ms181-1901.15}

Parents, train yourselves to speak in a way that will be a blessing to your children. Women need to be educated in this respect. There are many busy mothers who have never had time to go back and pick up the dropped stitches; but even these, if they will, can cultivate the talent of speech, and can teach their children to speak and read correctly. They can do this while they are about their work. Let working men and working women remember that it is never too late for them to improve. God calls upon parents to bring all the perfection possible into the home circle. {Ms181-1901.16}

In the social meeting there is special need of clear, distinct utterance, that all may hear the testimonies borne, and be benefitted by them. Difficulties are removed and help is given as God’s people relate their experience in social meeting. But too often the testimonies are borne with faulty, indistinct utterance; and it is impossible to gain a correct idea of what is said. The blessing is lost through a failure to use rightly the talent of speech. {Ms181-1901.17}

We have given altogether too little attention to this subject. Let those who speak and those who pray pronounce their words in clear, distinct, even tones. Prayer, if properly offered, is a power for good. It is one of the means used by the Lord to communicate to the people the precious treasures of truth. But prayer is not what it should be, because of the defective voices of those who utter it. Satan rejoices when the prayers offered to God are almost inaudible. Let God’s people learn how to speak and pray in a way that will properly represent the great truths they possess. Let the testimonies borne and the prayers offered be clear and distinct. Then the social meeting will be a place where God will be glorified. {Ms181-1901.18}

 

The Need And Importance Of Voice Culture. Part Two - For Preaching And Praying

Ellen G. White

Top

Ms 182, 1901

[Typed] Jan. 16, 1901

Previously unpublished.

Let all make the most of the talent of speech remembering that the voice has been given to them by God to be improved and used in his service. Let there be a reformation among us in respect to the way in which we use this talent. Let all take hold of this matter in earnest. God calls for a higher, more perfect ministry. He is dishonored by the imperfect utterance of the one who by painstaking effort could be an acceptable mouthpiece for him. The truth is too often marred by the channel through which it passes. {Ms182-1901.1}

The Lord calls upon all who are connected with his service to give proper attention to the cultivation of the voice, that they may utter in an acceptable manner the great and solemn truths he has entrusted to them. He calls upon them not to attempt to hold forth the word of life to others unless they can do this in a way that will honor him. Let them not mar the truth by defective utterance. Let not those who have neglected to cultivate the talent of speech suppose that they are qualified to minister; for they have yet to obtain the power to communicate. Let those who have not in the past felt it their duty to try to improve the voice, begin this work now, before any more time passes away. {Ms182-1901.2}

When you speak, let every word be full and well-rounded, every sentence clear and distinct, down to the very last word. Many, as they approach the end of the sentence, lower the voice, speaking so indistinctly, with such weakness of utterance that the force of what they say is destroyed. Words that are worth speaking at all are worth speaking in a clear, distinct voice, with emphasis and expression. But never search for words that will give the impression that you are learned. The greater your simplicity, the better will your words be understood. {Ms182-1901.3}

Has God placed in your hearts, young men and young women, a desire to do service for him? Then by all means cultivate the voice to the utmost of your ability so that you can make plain the precious truth to others. Do not fall into the habit of praying so indistinctly, and in such a low tone, that your prayers need an interpreter. Pray simply but clearly and distinctly. To let the voice sink so low that it cannot be heard is no evidence of humility. {Ms182-1901.4}

Learn how to offer up your intercessions in an acceptable manner. First consider your great need and do not think it necessary to tell God a long list of things about yourself as if he did not know. come right to the point. In a voice of urgent entreaty make known your great need. Be as earnest as a child is when asking for something it very much desires. Mingle joyous thanksgiving with your requests. Thank the Lord for his great love and mercy toward the children of men. Ask him to help you to be his instrument in saving souls. Ask for wisdom to help you to be his instrument in saving souls. Ask for wisdom to know how to approach your fellow-men. And let your heart always be filled with sincere gratitude for God’s great gift, the gift of his only begotten Son. Has not God given Jesus to die for you? And with this gift has he not given Jesus to die for you? And with this gift has he not given all heaven? Contemplate this subject and your heart will burn within you as you think of the infinite sacrifice made in your behalf. Oh, put your heart, all broken and subdued into your petitions. Do not, when you approach our heavenly Father to plead for the salvation of your own soul and the salvation of those around you, offer up a petition that is as prosy as a chapter of an uninteresting book. {Ms182-1901.5}

All that is done in the service of God should be done with whole-heartedness. Let ministers and teachers pray with hearts overflowing with love for God and their fellow-men. The people become weary of listening to prayers that are as dry, as destitute of moisture, as the hills of Gilboa were destitute of dew and rain. It is hard to imagine anything more icy, more devoid of fervor, than many of the prayers offered by ministers whose petitions ought to be warm with the fire of God’s love. Tame, spiritless prayers are a sign of a Christ-less heart. He whose soul is softened and subdued by the love of God will pray with fervency and zeal. {Ms182-1901.6}

But let no one try to make eloquent prayers. Such prayers God does not acknowledge. {Ms182-1901.7}

Prayer is an expression of the need of the soul. Our prayers should never be set and formal, but full of tenderness and love. Yearning for a deeper, broader realization of the Saviour’s matchless love, we should cry to God for more wisdom. If there was ever need for soul-stirring prayers and discourses, it is now. The end of all things is at hand. Those who pray now should pray with sincerity, under the deep moving of the Holy Spirit. O that we could see as we should the necessity of seeking the Lord with all the heart. Then we should find him. Our hearts need to be cleansed from selfishness. So much of this great evil is cherished that the Lord cannot find room to enter. {Ms182-1901.8}

May God teach his people how to pray. Let the teachers in our schools and the ministers in our churches learn daily in the school of Christ. Then they will pray with earnestness and fervor, and their prayers will be heard and answered, even as were the prayers of Daniel. Then the word will be proclaimed with power. {Ms182-1901.9}

Let us learn how to pray in the Spirit. Let there be no more formal prayers. Let us learn to love God with heart and soul and mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves. Let us read and practice the instruction contained in the fifty-eighth chapter of Isaiah. Then we shall offer prayers which bear the evidence of divine indicting. And such prayers will be heard and answered. {Ms182-1901.10}

“Thus saith the high and lofty One, that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a humble and contrite spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” [Isaiah 57:15.] {Ms182-1901.11}

To those who are planning to enter God’s work as ministers, I would say, strive with determination to be perfect in speech. Ask God to help you to accomplish this great object. When in the congregation you offer prayer, remember that you are addressing God, and that he desires you to speak so that all who are present can hear and can blend their supplications with yours. A prayer uttered so hurriedly that the words are jumbled together does the hearers no good, and is no honor to God. Let the ministers and all who offer public prayer learn to pray in such a way that God will be glorified and the hearers blessed. Let them speak slowly and distinctly and in tones loud enough to be heard by all so that the people may unite in saying Amen. {Ms182-1901.12}

Ellen G. White, Manuscript 182, 1901

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Voice Training Directory

Part One: Training Needed -

Voice Training Part Two: For Preaching & Praying ---