Singing Teacher
01825 733052

Individuals

I have taught 1 to 1 for many years, and find that my pupils really enjoy the sessions. Sessions are relaxed and friendly and usually take place in my studio in East Sussex.

My lessons are very flexible, and respond directly to the individual needs of the learner at each particular session. I am able to use techniques and ideas from a variety of singing traditions, which correspond to the vocal task the learner is trying to perform, and which caters for the learning style of the pupil.

It is important that my clients feel comfortable and that they are in an environment where they feel safe to experiment and explore their voices. Most important of all, the sessions are FUN!

Initial Session

A first session would typically take the form of an initial assessment in the form of a chat about the students musical interests and experience, followed by a performance by the student of a piece of their own choice. If they don’t have a piece I will get them to sing a vocal exercise. This would lead naturally into talking about how the voice works and what we need to do to achieve any particular vocal task.

I rely heavily on the use of Estill techniques here, which are a fun and interesting way of getting students to focus on how they make sound. Learning to sing is a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle – you need to identify all the pieces needed, and then put them together to form the whole picture.

Advanced students

With more advanced students, I would start with a warm up, addressing any technical issues that arise, and then move on to working on any pieces the student needs to develop. Here I will address any further technical issues, and also issues of performance style and musicality. This is where my experience as a performer really helps, and I find pupils greatly appreciate my insights and enthusiasm for singing and drama.

Genres

I am able to teach in most genres. Although most of my professional experience is in Opera, I have a love of all good music, and an understanding of what is involved in singing different genres. My Estill training is invaluable here. I also believe that all good music has a place in helping students express and project themselves.As you can see from my musical journey, who knows where it can take you.

Methods

I use a variety of methods to deliver my lessons. I have resources to cater for all learners – models and diagrams for those who want to see and feel how a larynx works, or videos of a larynx in action for those who are not too squeamish. I can demonstrate all the techniques and musical points I want to convey, and use a set of hand signals as a technical shorthand for those who find it useful. I also have some software which gives a graphical view of the voice which can be useful for some pupils.

A question I often ask a student during a lesson after they have performed a particular exercise is “how did that feel – where did you feel the work going on there?". This is a good way of assessing if they are doing the task in the most efficient way, and that they have understood what I have being trying to convey to them. For those students who want to do formal exams, I have the ability to prepare them to the required standard.

All my sessions end with a summarisation of what has been achieved during the session, and a set of practice tasks for the next session.

I have basic keyboard skills, which enable me to play for the exercises and provide basic accompaniment, but as a voice teacher I feel my main focus must be on the pupil. I can provide backing tracks – and have the equipment to write and record them myself.I can also record my pupils when needed – this can be a very good way of giving the pupil a view of where they are, and gives them a record of their development.

My musical experience as a youth, as a professional and as an educator give me a very useful set of skills to enable students to achieve their musical goals and to achieve those benefits of self confidence, achievement and ownership of their own development.