Got charisma? Look for it in your voice

Considering a run for political office? How you sound may be just as important as what you say in terms of projecting yourself as a dynamic leader.

Studies led by Rosario Signorello, a postdoctoral scholar in head and neck surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, found that successful politicians share vocal qualities that influence how their audience responds to them — unrelated to the meaning of their words or ideas expressed. His findings suggest that anyone can start sounding like a leader with voice training.

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Conference featured in UCLA Newsroom

From the UCLA Newsroom:

UCLA will open the floodgates of Bruin faculty and student musical talent Thursday, Jan. 29 with “UCLA Sings!” Featuring a musical smorgasbord ranging from pianists to punk rockers, this all-hands-on-deck production will showcase the full range of talent at UCLA’s Herb Albert School of Music and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Schoenberg Hall and will include performances by the UCLA Opera, the Early Music Ensemble, the Bulgarian Quartet, the Monk Institute Jazz Singers, the Trap Girl punk band and original compositions by music faculty.

The concert will kick off a two-day conference devoted to the central attribute that these musicians share — the human voice. On Friday and Saturday, Jan. 30-31, “Voice Studies Now” will convene 20 scholars from the arts and sciences alike to  contemplate the weekend’s single overarching question: What is voice? Many of the scholars are featured authors in the forthcoming “Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies,” edited by UCLA musicology assistant professor Nina Eidsheim and Katherine Meizelvisiting assistant professor at Oberlin Conservatory.

The conference’s keynote speaker is the American avant-garde composer, musician and vocalist Diamanda Galás. Said to be “capable of the most unnerving vocal terror,” Galás borrows from a range of influences that include Johnny Cash, Maria Callas and her own Greek heritage to give voice to such topics as AIDS, mental illness, despair and injustice.

Panel discussions in connection with “Voice Studies Now” run through Saturday, Jan. 31. All events are free and open to the public. Find more information here. Get tickets for the concert and register for the conference here.


Welcome to the Voice Studies Now Conference! This meeting brings together authors featured in the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies (Nina Eidsheim and Katherine Meizel, editors) and provides a chance for all to learn from each other and engage with the larger voice studies community. Contracted with Oxford University Press, the project presents diverse approaches in order to: 1) address the question what is voice?, 2) affirm the development of voice studies as a transdisciplinary field of inquiry, and 3) establish a dialogue to foster a more complete understanding of voice and its meanings. The presenters represent multiple fields of study, including musicology, ethnomusicology, performance, medicine, speech science, linguistics, comparative literature, psychology, broadcasting, gender and Queer studies, disability studies, and media studies. It is our hope that the conference will help us begin to identify the many points of intersection in these disparate approaches to voice, and to facilitate interdisciplinary communication and collaboration.

-Nina Eidsheim and Katherine Meizel

The Voice Challenge

Introducing The Voice Challenge! In the weeks leading up to the Voice Studies Now conference, we would like to start a virtual discussion on the nature of voice. Each week we will present you with a challenge question, asking you to engage the issues through vocal exploration. In the spirit of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, we invite you to nominate friends, family, colleagues and others interested in voice to join the conversation.

Additionally, we would like to create awareness around and support the Marshallese Educational Initiative, supporting a community that suffers a range of vocal limitations and damages due to US nuclear testing.


Welcome to the Voice Studies Now Conference!

We are pleased to announce Voice Studies Now, an exciting interdisciplinary conference in conjunction with the Oxford Handbook of Voice Studies.

The public is invited to hear and engage the authors of Oxford’s innovative essay collection present and discuss their work. These interdisciplinary participants represent scholarship from the humanities, the performing arts, the social and “hard” sciences, all seeking to share ideas, questions, and methodologies toward a transdisciplinary, holistic dialogue about voice.

Voice Studies Now will take place at the University of California, Los Angeles, from January 30-31st, 2015.

Please stay tuned as we add more information to this page under construction.