The SingerWithin Ethos
It is my firm belief that singing is a fundamental part of life as a human being, and is a key method by which we connect to others. Regardless of culture, people come together to sing in times of trouble and sadness and also at times of joy and happiness. Singing provides us with a direct pathway to our own emotions and when this pathway is open we feel truly our selves.
For this reason I believe it is everyone’s right to sing, and I feel very privileged to be able to help adults find this route to a greater understanding of themselves. This is particularly true because many adults have difficulties with singing that are the result of having been failed by the education system as children.
Learning to sing, like learning to read, or to throw and catch, is a developmental process that some children pass through faster than others. However this has only recently started to get public recognition. Many of today’s adults experienced negative comments from peers, parents or teachers whilst they were at school, that knocked their confidence so much that they stopped trying to acquire the ability to sing.
The job of the singing teacher in primary schools, is to provide sensitive support, based on a knowledge of the skills to be acquired, and the multiple ways in which different children will approach and master these skills.
When a child, who is having trouble finding his or her voice, does not have the chance to work with a teacher in this manner, they are likely to develop a complex about their singing.
For a few children a difficulty with singing can also contribute to developing difficulty expressing their emotional experiences, as the sounds we make when we cry and express all of our other emotions are linked to the ways that we make sound for singing. If the child sets up a block to the singing process they are cutting off some of the communication pathways to the expression of these emotional sounds.
In extreme cases this in turn can lead to an inability to feel these emotions in everyday life. Blocks can also be set up by the body and the brain to prevent awareness of emotional distress and will often manifest as vocal problems in singers.
My job as a teacher of late starter adults hoping to find their voices for the first time, is to bring my understanding of early childhood music education together with my understanding of neuroscience and psychology, to create a learning environment and approach that allows my students to access the technical information I have to offer about voice production.
You Can Sing
Many adults who consider themselves non-singers were told as children that they couldn’t sing. In fact these children just hadn’t found their voices yet. In my experience, unless there is a vocal injury or an inability to perceive pitch variation, which is an extremely rare neurological condition, all people can learn to sing, but they need to be taught in a specific way to experience success. This success can then be very rapid once the basic understandings are in place.
With Covid All Teaching Has Moved Online
Group Singing - fun from home. 40 minutes of songs in many styles including some rounds and part songs.
Individual singing lessons
Hourly lessons are offered to students of all levels.
Vouchers for multiple lessons booked all at once are available at discounted rates.
Lessons can also be shared by 2, 3 or 4 people, to make them more affordable, or for those who feel less confident about singing alone.
Historically Taught Anywhere by Arrangement
These programmes were suspended during Covid but will be resuming soon
Find Your Voice Course
(15 hours tuition as an intensive weekend or spread across one week)
Protect & Project Your Voice Workshops
(suitable for teachers, lecturers and anyone required to do public speaking)
Singing and Yoga Retreats
(with a yoga teacher)
Examples of Termly Courses Run in the Past
Find Your Voice
Develop Your Voice
Work With Professionals
I offer both on-going and one-off consultation lessons to professional singers who feel that they have problems with their voice that have not responded to attempts to change their vocal technique, and require the exploration of psychological approaches to working with the vocal mechanism.
Individual Lessons via Skype/FaceTime and Group Classes via Zoom
Since Covid all my teaching has been online. However this is not a problem as I have always worked with professional students living overseas in this way. Similarly it has always provided an alternative for students who became ill at short notice, in order to avoid cancelling the lesson without spreading germs.
Historically I also offered Skype/FaceTime as a way for students to join group sessions if they were sick or traveling for work and could not attend group classes in person. Now with the support of Zoom I teach the whole group online.
Beginner students and I initially had concerns about not being in the room with each other to build confidence and rapport, however, it turned out that being in a safe space (their own home) and with the chance to use the mute facility whilst testing new techniques, many students actually preferred the online experience in the early days of exploring their voices.
What my clients say
I had long held an aspiration to sing, but friends and family tended to react by leaving the room. Whilst my efforts sounded alright to me, it was pointed out on many occasions, that I was ‘off-key’, ‘out of tune’ and ‘couldn’t hold a melody to save my life’. I do admit to not really understanding what these comments referred to. I also recall being told by a music teacher as a teen that I was ‘tone deaf’ again a mysterious indictment. Despite all this, I did not give up and whilst I’m not sure Why not? there is something about the experience of singing that is transcendent, even when it’s not great to listen to for others. And I did receive the odd encouraging comment that my voice has a nice tone.
After some deliberation, I mustered the courage to ask Lucy for lessons. I went to that first lesson feeling like an imposter, with a keen sense of self-delusion. Lucy listened to my experiences and doubts and set out unhesitatingly to discover my ‘inner singer.’ Lucy is both architect and builder for the voice, she explains how the body is your vocal instrument, and develops your awareness and sensation of how sounds are produced. Through customised exercises, you discover things about breath and pitch that you had never considered. She is always encouraging, gives lots of affirmation, and is attentive to details, with lots of tips for improvements. She guides you step by step building both your vocal ability and your self- belief. And most of all she makes it all fun, so that the trepidation you felt on the first lesson, is now an elation for a high spot in the week. Now, thanks to Lucy, I can sing with the confidence that I will no longer empty the room.