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.”