I am interested in a wide range of student abilities, from the professional singer to the committed, musically competent amateur, aged 18 or older. Having a student base of varying vocal abilities and interests keeps me flexible as a teacher. It also means that over 35 years I have developed broad and deep experience of many different vocal questions, challenges and solutions. Students need to able demonstrate reasonable musical ability (see below).
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 the Four Core Areas:
- Vocal Technique (& the voice science behind it) – understanding and mastering your instrument first, and how to apply the knowledge to songs, learning to diagnose and fix your vocal problems, and look after your voice
- Interpretation & Expression – working on songs, repertoire, and the artistic questions of how to convey emotion, meaning, story and character as a singer
- Performance Skills – preparation, handling nerves, thriving in the performance space, building on performance experiences
- Learning & Psychology
We could be a good student-teacher match, if …
… you fit the basic criteria outlined on this page, including being at least 18 years old, 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 musically prepared for the lessons – Our work together focuses on the voice, interpretation and performance skills, not on developing basic musical proficiency. So you need to develop elsewhere any musical knowledge you might need for our vocal lessons, e.g. ear training, music reading, singing harmonies, learning the melody of your chosen song.
… 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
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, or complete this enquiry form (Word document). This often works better than our playing endless ‘phone tag’ with messages.