Voice & Speech Training

Voice Training for the Actor

Through the work in the great Voice & Speech curriculum at Terry Knickerbocker Studio, our Meisner students are guided to experience their voices as thought/feeling impulses, infused with breath and vibration, and freed out through open channels and amplified by the body’s resonators.

Through the two year curriculum, students develop their self-awareness and understanding of relaxation and openness. They begin to visualize and cultivate new images of the inner workings of their body and breath. They will focus towards the release of tension in the jaw, tongue, soft palate and throat. They will also find a wide open physical channel for a fuller, more direct expression of your thought/feeling impulses.

Then, students focus on the exploration and awareness on their individual speech and personal ‘accents’ as they play with sounds as the building blocks of language. Explore vowels and consonants through an active physical engagement of the International Phonetic Alphabet.

This exploration stokes the desire to communicate and brings fullness to any spoken text. Through whole-body physical and vocal exercises, release and experimentation, students become aware of and explore their own specific way of speaking.

Whether speaking English with a general American accent, with regionalisms shaped nearby or in a distant country, students work to attain maximum intelligibility and freedom to create the possibility of communicating honestly and fully in any accent. This work is specifically explored in our General American Speech Workshop in the Spring.

Finally, students learn to work to a variety of demanding texts that stretch and develop your individual eloquence and expression by practicing and exploring the dynamics of speech through poetry and heightened language. The work focuses more on performance, using classical and contemporary platform speeches of between 3-5 minutes.  The precision of the language work continues while the actors include a practical study of rhetoric and argumentation.  There is a final performance of the speeches at the end of the course.

Students are encouraged to enroll in Conservatory Essentials for comprehensive actor training.

For more information please contact our Administration.


Conservatory Voice

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Hear From Our Students

Matthew is just so brilliant. He’s a brilliant teacher and a brilliant soul. It was awesome to work with him.

– Michael S.



“Being in Andy’s class makes me feel like I’m a kid again….”


Voice Over has been a class that I have been wanting to take at the Studio for quite sometime and I figured there’s no better time than now! Being in Andy’s class makes me feel like I’m a kid again. During this time in the world, having this creative space and opportunity has been so comforting, due to Andy’s encouragement, knowledge, and ease as a teacher. Andy has taught us to “embrace the discomfort of our quirks while living truthfully in the work as this is what makes us all unique.” Through this I feel the work has been instinctual, connected, and fun! This class is teaching me so much about the person and artist I am, and I’m grateful for that. I am excited to apply everything we are learning in this class, and at the Terry Knickerbocker Studio, to our future work as artists.

– Jackie C.


Jackie C

I think about when I’m 50 and I just got nominated for my Third Oscar and the guy asks “Where’d you find your voice?”

And I say, “I had this burning desire to find my voice when I was young and Terry Knickerbocker summoned it from this grave in me where I buried all my feelings.” That was the start. That everything I felt was OK and needed to be heard. That’s what we found.

– Braxton M.


“All of the teachers here are top notch, professional and immensely passionate and caring….”


Truly, I cannot recommend training at this studio enough. Studying with Terry has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Not only is Terry filled with knowledge and wisdom about acting and the industry, but he is also incredibly perceptive, kind, and overflowing with truth and empathy. This program has changed my life and has helped prepare me to be the best actor I can be. All of the teachers here are top notch, professional and immensely passionate and caring. The Studio itself is beautiful, clean and very welcoming. I am forever grateful that I was able to study here.

– Erin B.



“He makes the work feel accessible and helps us take ourselves a little less seriously when we get in our heads….”


I’ve had an amazing experience in Voice with Matthew Dudley. He’s helped me pinpoint physical habits I have that not only interfere with my voice but also with my power as an actor (learning how to be still and sure as opposed to “leaking” energy). I remember in Voice I reading “A Poem to My Voice” was really powerful and the first time I think I felt how seriously I could be taken. I’ve also seen really tremendous breakthroughs in my classmates. I was really moved by her discovering a true need and desire to communicate and watching her has been illuminating to me.

Matthew’s demeanor in class is gentle but direct, often tailored to what each particular student needs. He’s patient but strongly motivating and clear. His sense of humor is also really awesome because I think the concept of voice and speech as an actor can be intimidating at first. He makes the work feel accessible and helps us take ourselves a little less seriously when we get in our heads. The sound and movement exercise has also been really useful for me to find clarity in my instrument and connection between my body and my voice. It’s something I think I would have been too timid or embarrassed to participate in a year ago. But the energy of the class has always been incredibly encouraging. An overall amazing experience and I think useful, not only for the technical aspect but the emotional aspect as well!

– Schuyler Q.



“Matthew is focused and gets work done….”


Matthew is focused and gets work done. He has a joyful spirit and also knows that there is a lot to be done and goes at a nice steady pace to accomplish things. During one-on-one work, he coaches in a way that pushes us hard and leads to us getting out of our comfort zones and seeing what we are capable of.

– Laura O.



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