Recently, I had the privilege of participating in a workshop led by the esteemed Dr. Jenovora Williams, a leading expert in vocal pedagogy.

The event was a deep dive into the fascinating world of vocal growth and change in young individuals, offering invaluable insights and practical strategies to nurture and support their evolving voices.

Understanding Vocal Development

Dr. Jenovora Williams began the workshop with a thorough overview of the physiological and psychological aspects of vocal development. She emphasised that understanding these changes is crucial for anyone working with young voices. From pre-pubescent children to teenagers undergoing puberty, the vocal folds and surrounding structures undergo significant transformations that impact vocal range, quality, and stamina.

One of the key takeaways was the importance of recognising the individual pace at which these changes occur.

Dr. Williams highlighted that each child is unique, and vocal development can vary widely in terms of timing and progression. This understanding helps educators and voice coaches tailor their approaches to meet the specific needs of each young singer.

The Phases of Vocal Growth

Dr. Williams explained the various phases of vocal change, outlining the characteristics and challenges associated with each stage.

For instance, she described how children’s voices are typically light and flexible, with a natural inclination for high pitches. As they approach puberty, voices start to deepen and broaden, and this transitional phase can be accompanied by voice cracks and shifts in vocal range.

When I spoke to my teen groups this week many of them noted that they are experiencing; lowering of speaking pitch, voice cracking, increased breathiness, inconsistent range, insecurity of pitch and insecurity in their general singing voice.

The workshop covered how to manage these changes sensitively and effectively.

Dr. Williams provided strategies for maintaining vocal health during periods of rapid growth, emphasising the importance of proper vocal technique, hydration, and adequate rest.

Practical Techniques for Vocal Training

Dr. Williams demonstrated a variety of exercises designed to support vocal development at different stages. These exercises focused on breath control, pitch accuracy, and vocal flexibility, all while fostering a supportive and encouraging environment.

For younger children, she recommended playful and imaginative exercises that make learning fun and engaging. For teenagers, especially those experiencing vocal changes due to puberty, she suggested exercises that promote stability and confidence in their evolving voices, whilst also getting these young people ‘out of their heads’.

Dr. Williams also discussed the psychological aspects of vocal training, underscoring the importance of building self-esteem and resilience in young singers.



Dr. Jenovora Williams’ workshop on vocal growth and change in kids and teens was an eye-opening and inspiring experience. It wasn’t just about the science of vocal folds or the technicalities of singing; it was about understanding and supporting young people through one of the most dynamic periods of their lives.

My main takeaway from this workshop? It’s all about creating a supportive and encouraging environment. Dr. Williams emphasised that with the right kind of support, a dash of encouragement, and a healthy dose of silliness, teens can navigate their voice changes without fear or insecurity. Allowing them to be playful and experiment with their voices in a safe space makes these changes much less intimidating.

And let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a bit of silliness? Encouraging teens to embrace their goofy side not only helps them feel more comfortable with their evolving voices but also makes the learning process so much more fun. It’s a reminder that there are no judgements, no right or wrong when it comes to vocal development—just exploration and growth.

Dr. Williams’ insights reinforced the importance of a judgement-free zone where young singers can explore their voices without the pressure of perfection. This approach fosters a positive, nurturing environment where kids and teens can truly thrive.

In the end, it’s not just about hitting the right notes. It’s about building confidence, resilience, and a lifelong love for singing.

So, let’s keep supporting our young vocalists with open hearts, encouraging words, and plenty of room for silliness!