The empowerment of others through voice is truly powerful. Arthur Joseph is known as one of the global leaders in communication. He believes that if you own your voice, then you own your power. Arthur is the founder of the Vocal Awareness Institute, where you are trained and taught to become a master of communication.
“THE ROOT OF THE WORD INTIMATE IS INTIMUS, MEANING INTRINSIC OR ESSENTIAL. IT IS INTRINSIC TO BE WHO WE ARE, AND ESSENTIAL THAT WE MUST BE.
What are the fondest memories you have of your childhood?
My fondest childhood memories actually begin when I was two, when my Mother took us to see the classic British film, “The Red Shoes” in 1948. The arts were always very important to her, so when she wanted to see something I accompanied her. The first transformational moment of my childhood occurred when I was four and I had my first accordion lesson. I knew then that music would be my life. At the age of 12, in the 7th grade, I joined the choral group, the Hi-tones, and knew that singing was my musical direction. My next seminal experience came at 15 when I began studying voice with my first teacher, Mrs. Julia Kinsel, whom I studied with for several years.
As a teacher with over 57 years of experience, when did your love for academia begin and what would you credit your success to?
My love for academia has always been in my DNA. Ever since childhood, I have been a voracious reader and loved learning. Discovery, researching and truly understanding a myriad of subjects are foundational to who I am.
Having had the privilege to teach for almost 60 years, I credit a good portion of my success to the originality of the work, my integrity and the integrity of the Vocal Awareness process. In addition, when someone works with me, they implicitly know that I care, I am passionate about what I do and am trustworthy. Voice is the most intimate art form. The root of the word intimate is intimus, meaning intrinsic or essential. It is intrinsic to be who we are, and essential that we must be. When one allows me to train their voice, they are also entrusting themselves to me, and that trust is sacrosanct.
How was your experience mentoring individuals, from politicians to professional athletes, and what did you learn from this?
One of the aspects I have always been fascinated with about my work is the breadth and depth of my relationships. There are certainly myriad numbers of voice coaches, teachers, and media trainers… but there is no other practice that I am aware of that trains across the board in virtually any discipline from the arts to athletics, singing, broadcasting, public speaking and leadership. Everyone learns the same Vocal Awareness techniques; learns to embody the same rituals. Depending on whom I am teaching, and for what purpose, the application may change, but the principles never do. One of my paradigms is, “Structure does not impinge; it liberates. Freedom without direction is chaos.”
“I WILL NEVER MAKE YOU INTO SOMEONE YOU ARE NOT; RATHER, I WILL HELP YOU DISCOVER AND MAXIMISE WHAT IS POSSIBLE.
How did you embark on your journey as the founder and chairman of the Vocal Awareness Institute?
I began teaching at 18. Vocal Awareness was fully concretised in my early 20s. My entire practice has virtually been built through word of mouth. From the very beginning, I have been cognizant, albeit it has certainly evolved over the years, that I am teaching Mastery. Mastery in any discipline is only achieved when one integrates mind, body and spirit. In that regard, I have had the same spiritual/meditative practice for 56 years and have literally never missed a day. I say this for no other reason than to say that whatever I do in life, personally or professionally, I strive to do while integrating mind/body/spirit. (Again, the root source of two important words in my lexicon—integrity and integration—have the same root source. They mean wholeness.) The point of sharing this is that from the beginning of my career to the present day, I and the work continue to evolve but the foundation has and will never change.
What tips can you gain from the programmes taught at the Vocal Awareness Institute?
I always tell my clients/students, “I will never make you into someone you are not; rather, I will help you discover and maximize what is possible.” I also say, “I cannot empower you; that is arrogant. But, I can help you empower yourself.” Thus, each of the 7 Rituals, beginning with Stature, which is preparation for the Rituals, are quickly and easily accessible by anyone. When you claim yourself as an individual of Stature, you immediately learn how to be who you are instead of present who you are. Or experiencing the 1st Ritual, which is to say “Thank you to Source.” In both instances, the body’s first impulse is to inhale. Thus, you are beginning to change state. In this regard, through these first two Rituals, we are beginning to establish new neural pathways.
I used to train the noted motivational speaker, Tony Robbins. He would refer to my 7 Rituals as ‘pattern interrupts’. He would say “To break an old pattern, you have to exaggerate behaviour to create a new one.” For us to break the patterns of ‘habit’ requires us to be in the 6th Ritual of Vocal Awareness, “Pay Attention; Deeper Listening.” We become very keen listeners inter- and intra-personally through this work.
To assure that I do not make you into someone you are not, I ask you to craft your Persona Statement. The root of the word ‘persona’ is through the sound. One’s identity is largely conveyed through the sound of the voice and an opinion established instantaneously. Thus, your Persona Statement answers the question, “How would I ideally like to be known?” Then going forward, everything we do in Vocal Awareness strives to align with your aspirational Self. There are certainly so many other critically important principles and techniques. Even with these few, you can begin to claim the person you desire to be.
What does it mean to change the world through voice?
My Mission – To Change the World Through Voice – has never wavered. Voice is vibration. It is energy. Over 50 years ago, I was at a seminar with the creator of Transcendental Meditation, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, when I heard him say, “I want to have a billion meditators on the planet to shift the vibration on the planet.” I want to have a billion people embodying Vocal Awareness to shift their own vibration and energy, claim their sovereignty and thus impact the vibration of the planet. As I approach my sixth decade of teaching, I realise this is my ‘legacy time’. I have been given profound work to share with the world. Thus, I am looking to create a movement I call the ‘Human Achievement Movement.”
I have created a teacher training program to enable this work to be carried on for future generations. I am partnering with my dear friend/student, the extraordinary Jennifer Hill, in creating a number of online courses. With another amazing student/partner, June Bayha, we have created a program for youth she calls Work Wonder, and Vocal Awareness is a critical component of their learning. I am also in the process of writing two more books. My Journey is a privilege, and I am truly blessed to share it with so many.