I am interested in a wide range of student abilities, from the professional singer to the committed amateur (but I rarely teach young people under 17). Having a student base of varying vocal abilities and interests keeps me flexible as a teacher. It also means that over 30 years I have developed broad and deep experience of many different vocal questions, challenges and solutions.
I must emphasise that I am not ‘talent spotting’ or assessing whether you have a good voice, or potential for a career – though I do teach people with successful singing careers. I believe that talent is something every person can create for themselves through attention to detail, deep practice, hard work and persistence, and willingness to take emotional risks. For more on this, read Dan Coyle’s book, ‘The Talent Code‘.
My priorities as a teacher are:
- producing good vocal tone, consistently and healthily, with no more, or less, effort than is necessary,
- the ‘inner game’ of mental mastery when singing and learning, including connecting to your own authentic self expression
- maintaining good vocal tone and physical ease and comfort, when adding melody and/or words,
- interpretation of music and words, working on repertoire,
- performance skills,
- competitions, exams, auditions and career development.
We could be a good student-teacher match, if …
… you fit the basic criteria outlined on this page, including being at least 17 years old (apart from in exceptional circumstances – see article), and able to meet at my teaching studio in East Oxford, Mon-Fri 9:30-6:30
… you welcome a systematic approach to learning, are patient, capable of self reflection, self organising, and accept that while people often find they make some immediate vocal progress, development of true vocal mastery is a longer term project
… you are confident and reliable musically – e.g. can pitch notes with your voice accurately, ‘hold a tune’, and after a few repetitions can pick up by ear the short musical exercises that I give you; you don’t necessarily have to be able to read music, but our work is on the voice, not on developing basic musical proficiency (so you need to develop elsewhere any musical knowledge you want, e.g. music reading, singing harmonies, sight reading)
… you are interested in the ‘inner game’ – learning how to navigate the central aspects of thought processes and emotions in order to attain true vocal mastery
… you organise yourself to be making music and/or practising regularly (e.g. in a band, in a choir, in a musical show, working on solo performances) – your musical and vocal development is much more likely to happen if you are using your singing voice regularly, which gives you an opportunity to apply what you are learning in lessons
Please remember that I only teach young people under 16 in exceptional cases and all enquirers for young people must read this before contacting me.
If you want to enquire about help with your voice, it really helps me if you write something about your vocal and musical background in an email, or, better still, simply fill in and submit the contact form on this website. This often works better than our playing endless ‘phone tag’ with messages.