When I was attending the musical theater academy that shall not be named they made us take a class called VPS. That is short for Voice Production and Speech. The idea was to teach as all about things like vowel placement, tone quality, and breath control. It helped all of us who refused to believe we have accents finally acknowledge what we were doing differently. I understand why they originally thought this class would be beneficial but I can't justify three full semesters of it.
In semester one we had a teacher with a mullet who made us all sit in front of mirrors trying to talk with corks in our mouths. For those of you who just misread that, I said CORKS. I don't really remember what the point was supposed to be. I think a lot of people tend to speak without opening their mouths properly. Regardless, it was a little odd.
Semester two was a real trip. I had a teacher with a bowl cut (Bad hair is a necessity when teaching voice technique.) who would make us all lie on the floor and put ourselves in uncomfortable positions until our tired muscles started to tremor. The goal was seriously the trembling. It was incredibly awkward because it looked like a room full of people orgasming and occasionally the teacher would come over and try to help you. Please explain to me what that could possibly have to do with your voice? Is it for relaxation?
Finally we made it to our third semester and I don't have any memory of that teacher at all. Probably because we were so busy playing with masks and crawling around on the floor. I'm not kidding. I remember some of the masks were cats or just the regular zoro type eye cover but for some reason I thought it would be fun to get a clear glossy mask with the eyes painted in a drag queen sort of way. It doesn't sound too bad but when I put it on it was creepy as hell. One day the teacher asked us to put on our masks and start moving around the room making noise. This escalated into using levels which meant getting on the floor, crawling, and climbing up on boxes. Finally the teacher announces we are animals. Whatever animal came to mind in the moment. We had tigers, bears, birds, and elephants. What was I? Of all the animals I could have chosen I became a damn snake. I don't mind snakes but when you are squirming around on the floor trying to "interact with the other animals" it can really bruise your ribs. I had to keep chasing everyone around because they were afraid of me. I think this moment in time might have damaged me for life. Now tell me, WHAT does that have to do with voice production and speech? What? It was such a pointless, useless class and I spent several dollars on that mask. That was weed money! Back then. Not to mention thousands on the class. That school was such a scam. I wonder if they would hire me as a VPS teacher?