Lessons

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).

Whilst lockdown restrictions remain in place due to Covid 19, I am able to offer lessons on Skype or Zoom.

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 clients 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 accent softening as well as learning specific accents such as Neutral British or General American for auditions, casting or other professional and personal reasons.

Singing students include children and adults 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 and am particularly experienced in guiding young male singers through their voice change.

My approach

I have developed an approach to voice that balances the physiological and anatomical aspects of voice production with the imaginative, creative process involved in working with music, text, language and communication. I use a range of practical voice and singing exercises from theatre-based voice training, as well as exercises from Alexander Technique and Yoga and technical work is applied from the beginning to appropriate texts and songs.

My aim, as a voice and singing teacher, is to help you achieve your full vocal potential and develop a voice which responds naturally to your thoughts, feelings and imagination enabling you to express yourself and communicate freely and authentically. I will help you identify any particular issues surrounding your voice and speech which may be holding you back, and offer ways to resolve them.

What can I expect from taking lessons?

During the first session we will discuss your voice or singing and what you hope to achieve through taking lessons. I will then suggest a programme of work aimed at improving your voice and the way it functions. This will include exercises aimed at improving posture and releasing unwanted tension, improving breath capacity, developing range, flexibility and resonance, 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 framework of melody 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, developing resonance is of particular importance.

How soon will I notice an improvement?

The amount of time needed to bring about lasting improvements will vary, of course, depending on the individual and the amount of time one is prepared to practice. For spoken voice, some people come for weekly lessons over a period of several months, while others come fortnightly or monthly. But regular lessons are important – especially during the early stages – in order for the work to deepen and develop, and with daily practice, results can usually be felt and heard after about four to six 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 pupils come for weekly lessons whilst more experienced singers may come for a shorter period of lessons before an audition, competition or performance.

Fees

Adults £40 per hour

Children (from 8 years) £30 (40 minutes)

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