Singing | Shared
Lessons | Choir
Languages | How
Long Does It Take? | Style
Health | Techniques
Taught | Protecting
Since 1981 I've been
teaching piano and theory to a very wide range of
students. The vocal side of my work, which began in 1988, soon
dominated my teaching load, with voice students making up slightly more
than half of my appointments.
Most lessons are one-to-one, but
I often teach two people at
For more info about my background in singing, see Learning
About The Voice.
On my qualifications
page you can read about
my first prizes in singing.
Any style of music, beginners to advanced. Technique and voice care for
any style or level.
I mainly teach pop, musical theatre and classical singing. Most of the
non-classical students learn speech quality singing & Broadway
belt. My students sing anything from Elton John to Nirvana, Blues,
Jazz, Soul, Scarlatti & other classical.
SHARED SINGING LESSONS
This has always worked well for the first
month or two of
lessons. Find a friend!
Do you have trouble with your voice at choir rehearsals? Pitch
problems? Strain? Hoarseness? Range is difficult? Let's fix it so that
you can once again gain pleasure from your choir! (Includes voice
production, voice care & health.)
As a university student, I sang with many choirs. For many years I
conducted a couple of adult beginner choirs, and also
taught every member of those choirs before they were
allowed to join. So, I'm sure I can help YOU if you are a chorister in
need of assistance.
Singing in a choir can be a wonderful experience but it can
also be fraught with vocal complications. I'll
sort it all out for you,
no matter how complicated or obscure the problem. Make sure you read about singing in choirs
(ignore to your peril!)
STYLES OF MUSIC
Though my main background is classical, I have taught a large number of
rock, pop and music theatre singers. And a few jazz singers. But make
no mistake: my rock singers sound like ROCK singers, NOT classical
Most of my students do non-classical music.
They do originals, or covers like Leonard Cohen, Mariah Carey, Celine
Dion, Aerosmith, Shania Twain, AC/DC, etc etc. All kinds of things,
including rap and grunge! Some of these songs are very close to speech
technique, and I teach speech technique so I can definitely help you
there. See my page all about musical styles.
My classical (and musical theatre) singers do learn some of the same
voice control and development techniques as the band singers, but the
emphasis is completely different. And the songs and sound qualities are
different, of course. Classical students learn vocalises, which are
used to develop many different technical skills. These include
vocalises for long notes, leaps, smoothness (legato), eveness
throughout the range, and development of tone and agility.
Many of my classical and music theatre students have done very well in
AMEB exams, and won prizes in local eisteddfodau. They sing lieder and
art song, arias from operas, cantatas and
oratorios, and other songs.
I teach songs in English, Italian, Latin and German. And I particularly
enjoy French melodie/chanson, but I only do this repertoire if the
student has already learnt a fair bit of French themselves. I have also
taught singers with Chinese and Indonesian songs.
Each language has its own beauties and its own challenges. It must be
remembered that, with any language, the way it is sung will
occasionally differ from the way it is spoken (but try telling that to
a language teacher, especially Italian!)
For more info about my language background, see Learning
About The Voice.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?
I often get asked this question, which is pretty difficult to answer.
If you want to be another Dame Joan Sutherland or Luciano Pavarotti,
you're looking at six years just to get past the beginner stage. And
you wouldn't do that with just the one teacher.
If you want to improve your Hall and Oats covers, well, you may find a
big improvement after a couple of lessons. I have had new students tell
me that the other members of their band thought they were singing much
better after just the first introductory lesson.
Usually, all students can expect very quick and very tangible results.
In this day and age it
shouldn't take months to fix obvious vocal
STYLE OF TEACHING
A feature of my style is the development of the student's
awareness, right from the very beginning. I work on the awareness of
types of sounds, the feeling of
the sounds, and the feeling of the various muscles of the vocal
instrument. This is a very powerful way to teach, and probably explains
why students often improve heaps
after just a few lessons.
With all my singers I spend at least a little time, sometimes a lot of
time, working on pure vocal health. When you get that right it can make
a tremendous difference to a singer, regardless of the musical style. See my Disclaimer
for Voice Students.
Breathing: sometimes "low" breath support, sometimes
"diaphramatic-intercostal breathing" (D.I.B.), sometimes "splat"
breathing, and sometimes "speech" breathing.
Placement of sound. This gives you a much finer
control of the
resonance of the sound, and helps singing in tune.
Development of resonance, including the Singer's
Range extension, especially how to sing high notes
Efficient articulation. Consonants must be done super
otherwise you're getting tense. Do them right and not only do the
consonants sound great but your vowels are also improved.
Various voice qualities and voice maneuvers: