History of the Natural Voice (Practitioners’) Network

The Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network is an organisation for practitioners who share a common ethos and approach to voice and song work. The overall aim of the Network is to support and develop its members in their work.

– from Aims and Objectives, 1999


The Network was born in January 1995, at a birthday gathering for Frankie Armstrong at Kinnersley Castle in Herefordshire. Frankie has been running training weeks for natural voice leaders since 1988.

The idea of establishing a network of people who had trained with Frankie took root and quickly branched out to include voice leaders from many different backgrounds. The January weekend gatherings became a tradition that continues to this day.

The first steps towards formalising the network were taken in 1999, with the establishment of a website and membership system. The Natural Voice Practitioners’ Network was formally constituted on 4th November 2000. In 2017 the name was changed to The Natural Voice Network.

Since 1995 there has been a huge increase in the number of choirs and a growth in the evidence identifying the physical, mental and social benefits of community singing. (See the work of the Sidney de Haan Research Centre for more details of the evidence base.)

Many Network members work in specialised fields. Examples are: singing with people who live with dementia, breathing problems, or other health conditions; working in care homes, prisons and community projects; running fundraising events such as Sing for Water. You can find more details of individual specialisms on each member’s profile.

In 2020 the COVID-19 pandemic brought an abrupt end to singing together for a time. Many members rose to the challenge of meeting online, sharing expertise, learning and support with Network members. Happily, we are now mainly back in the room, with due care paid to prevailing conditions.

At time of writing (October 2022), there are 690 members in the Network. Members are based in the UK, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Sweden, and the USA.

We are a diverse Network working in different ways, united in our love of singing and our commitment to our Philosophy and Working Principles.

We welcome new members: find out more here.

Click here for a personal account from Frankie Armstrong.

In 2020, the NVN celebrated its 25th birthday. This video was made at the Annual Gathering in January 2020 to highlight the work we do and the development of the Network over the last 25 years.