Where I work
I work from my home in Teddington, South West London, which is within easy reach of Richmond (Bus R68, 33), and Kingston (Bus 281, 285), and on a direct line from London Waterloo (approximately 30 minutes).
Who comes for lessons?
My pupils and students come from all walks of life and seek voice or singing lessons for many different reasons. My spoken voice students include business people seeking to improve their fundamental voice, speech and communication skills for professional purposes, students and young adults preparing for interviews and auditions for school, conservatoire or university entrance, and people who are experiencing difficulties such as lisping or stammering. I also work with actors (and non-actors) on learning accents such as Neutral British, or General American, for auditions, casting and other professional or personal reasons.
My singing students include people who simply enjoy singing, actors and singers wanting to maintain the skills they have already developed, and young singers aspiring to a professional career who work towards the ABRSM graded exams or auditions for choirs, choral scholarships or conservatoire entry. I have taught many choristers from the Chapel Royal and other choirs and am particularly experienced in guiding young male singers through their voice change.
My approach to voice is based on a balance between the physiological and anatomical aspects of voice and the imaginative and creative process involved in working with music, text, language and communication. I use a range of exercises taken from the Italian bel-canto school of singing and theatre-based voice training, as well as exercises from Alexander Technique and Yoga and these are combined with appropriate songs, poems and speeches.
I aim, as a voice and singing teacher, to help my students develop a voice which responds naturally to the musical, emotional and technical demands of their songs and texts as well as to their thoughts, feelings and imagination, enabling them to communicate and express themselves freely and authentically.
What can I expect from taking lessons?
During the first lesson we will discuss your voice or singing, any particular issues you may have, and what you hope to achieve through taking lessons. I will explain how the voice works and offer you a set of exercises to help release unnecessary tension, find a balanced posture and increase breath capacity, and develop and maintain resonance, pitch range and flexibility, articulation and clarity.
Singing and spoken voice overlap in my teaching, and I use certain exercises for both. There are, however, some fundamental differences. In singing, breath needs to be sustained for longer periods than in speech as do vowel sounds and pitch, and a singer also has to work within a stricter framework of melody, pulse and rhythm. The voice also needs to project easily (and safely) above an accompaniment – whether it be piano, guitar, rock band or symphony orchestra. To enable this, opening and developing the resonators is of particular importance.
How soon will I notice an improvement?
There are no shortcuts or quick fixes in voice work and the amount of time needed to bring about lasting improvements to the voice will vary, of course, depending on the individual and the amount of time one is prepared to practice the exercises. Certain skills, such as articulation, however, can be developed and integrated quite quickly because the muscles and movements involved are relatively small. Regular lessons are important – especially during the early stages – in order for the work to deepen and develop, but with daily practice, results can usually be felt and heard after about four to six weekly sessions.
Developing the singing voice is a more gradual process which takes longer. We have, in effect, to build the instrument whilst at the same time learn to play it. Most beginning pupils come for weekly lessons whilst more experienced singers may come for a shorter period of lessons before an audition, competition or performance.
I work mostly with older children and young adults from around 15 to 16 years, but am always happy to consider taking younger pupils from the age of 7. If you are interested in lessons for your younger child, please feel free to contact me.
I hold a current DBS certificate updated on 19/1/2023
Please contact me directly for details of lesson times and fees.