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Communication: Sharing and Exchanging Ideas and Information

 

AT Teacher Jill Payne reports on this second meeting on the theme of "Communication" held at the Friends Meeting House in Westminster on 26 February.

 

At the February meeting of the Friends Dorothea Magonet gave an interactive presentation on the theme of "Communication".

 

We began with games in a large circle, initially calling vowel sounds across the circle, then speaking names. From the feedback it was clear that names are much more engaging than abstract sounds.

 

We observed our state of performance anxiety and anticipation during the games, and how it affected our use when we were not inhibiting.

 

Dividing into groups of three we discussed the theme, considering what we invest in communication, what is involved and where we place our attention while communicating. This gave a broad scope for discussion, particularly as the Friends is comprised of teachers, students and pupils with varied experience.

 

The different groups arrived at varied answers, raising topics such as being understood, persuasion, the quality and tone of language, and the investment of time, energy and emotion. Listening and reciprocation is important; listening being just as active as speaking.

 

Next we tried different spiralling exercises to promote muscular release and ease the production of sound in performance. It helped to remember the space all around, and to follow the eyes as they looked around. We tried some Whispered 'Ah's', imagining blowing a feather away from the lips, and found that the breathing was easier.

 

On the subject of Inhibition while speaking, FM always advised taking a step back before speaking, and Dorothea reminded us that taking time and pausing is essential for effective communication. In the words of Glynn MacDonald, "the pause is where the angels speak."

 

It was a varied evening and, as usual, many interesting perspectives were raised.

  

Jill Payne May 2008

 

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