It is my firm belief that singing is a fundamental part of being a human being, and how we connect to others. Regardless of culture, people come together to sing at times of joy and happiness, and also in times of trouble and sadness; singing also provides us with a direct pathway to our own emotions and when this pathway is open we feel truly our selves.
For this reason I believe it is everyone’s right to sing, and I feel very privileged to be able to be able to help adults find this route to greater understanding of themselves, especially when their difficulty with singing as adults is very often the result of having been failed by the education system as children.
As well as being a singer myself; a BSc(Hons) in psychology; time spent as a research assistant in the field of neuroscience; a Post Graduate Certificate in Education with a music specialism; several years as a specialist music teacher in schools; attendance at an advanced-singer teacher training programme in Australia; and more than 10 years experience working with adults in group situations and individually, both in college settings and private practice, have all provided me with knowledge about vocal anatomy and technique; how people learn; and an understanding of how our psychological and emotional experiences interact with the activities that we undertake, such as singing. As a result I am able to adapt and tailor exercises to individual students and their needs.
In fact these children just hadn’t found their voices yet! In my experience, unless there is a vocal injury or an inability to perceive pitch variation, which is an extremely rare neurological condition, all people can learn to sing but they need to be taught in a specific way to experience success. This success can then be very rapid once the basic understandings are in place.
You can organise for a SingerWithin workshop / short course to come to your area wherever you are in the country (or the world) to help you and your friends find your voices, so that you can take part in locally run activities.
For people in London I currently offer individual, paired and shared lessons, and a Find Your Voice group for beginners
As well as individual, paired and shared lessons, I run the Sicure Voci Project. This is designed for singers interested in singing a classical choral work, usually with orchestra, and is carried out in a series of weekend workshops. The project aims are to help late-starter and returning singers develop their singing technique, confidence, and musicianship skills, whilst having fun singing together; solos from the work are sung by the chorus members and singers are double cast in case of illness, but also to provide support for each other.
The project got its name because the multiple meanings of the Italian word ‘sicuro’ (singular of sicure) were very appropriate to the ethos I wished to create, and the elements I wanted to explore. Eg. safe, secure, reliable, steady, clear, assured. As a noun ‘sicuro’ even means safety place, whilst ‘voci’ means voices.
The 2016 Sicure Voci Project is still open to new members, especially in the lower voices. The project runs between January and June and any participant will have the option to sing a solo or take part in a small group ensemble within the work. Solos will be allocated on a first come first served basis, so the sooner you sign up, the more scope I will have to choose something suitable for your particular voice.
The main choral work for this year is Handel’s Dixit Dominus. There will also be other music covered in the workshops. Rather than working towards a concert (which implies a level of pressure and need for perfection) we work towards a final workshop which is an open rehearsal with musicians. This provides the challenge of singing to an audience whilst giving us the freedom to have another go if anything goes wrong.
The cost of participation in the project is £185. This covers 10 weekend workshops and attendance at 4 out of the 9 evening consolidation classes. Participants are encouraged to attend as many of these consolidation classes as possible and additional ones can be paid for at £10 a session.
For more detailed information, dates etc...