Exploring this website should give a good feel for how I approach our work together. The Four Core Areas page sets out the topics we can cover, and how I organise and sequence the teaching. The Voice Pentagon model describes a whole person approach to singing development, taking account of the relationship between mind, body, emotions, and values.

Here are some of the values that guided the work in my teaching studio. They applied equally to myself as the teacher, as well as to the student: 

  • curiosity and experimentation
  • there’s no such thing as a stupid question
  • mistakes are useful data, and a biological necessity in the learning process (read more)
  • evidence-based (question and test everything)
  • clarity of information and explanation
  • consistent terminology
  • understanding how learning works (the basic neuroscience), and what works for us personally
  • necessity of repetition and practice (read more)
  • the importance of critical thinking skills – developing the ability to observe, analyse, question, spot assumptions, weigh alternatives, make informed choices
  • patience
  • we can always learn more
  • developing emotional intelligence is integral to the work
  • kindness
  • humility
  • taking emotional and artistic risks, but not physical ones
  • straight-talking
  • confidentiality
  • student’s responsibility for their voice
  • respect  – for oneself, others in the musical community, audiences,  creators
  • thoroughness
  • perfection is overrated (and unattainable anyway) – but excellence is worth pursuing, as is joy
  • distinguish between external standards (set by the ‘industry’, the commercial marketplace and audiences, exam boards, educational institutions), and internal standards (what gives us personal satisfaction or a sense of meaning)
  • begin work on repertoire, exams, auditions, performances, role preparation at the right time (not too soon or late), for well-considered reasons
  • it’s worth working hard, but we’ve got to have fun as well!