I owe a great deal to the international opera coaches and repetiteurs who have worked on all sorts of Classical and Operatic repertoire with me over many years. I still train the voice and continue to learn so much, particularly from the fantastic Raymond Connell. Anatomical research by Professor Chapman and Dr Ron Morris has been extremely useful to my teaching, being an excellent assembly of the science behind the way we sing, often providing an explanation of discoveries I’d made in my own way. Classical singing is very demanding on the voice and it’s vital to keep body and soul healthy. I connect with a small group of professionals to whom I refer students who need physio or medical interventions.
There are several strands to my early singing lineage. The most important have been the following:
Classical English Singing
As a youngster I was awarded a scholarship to train privately with the then octogenarian Fabian Smith, retired head of singing at the Guildhall, who himself had worked with Sir Thomas Beecham! Through him I learned about the English singing tradition. I also studied with the renowned mezzo-soprano and exponent of English song Ameral Gunson (Trinity College).
Both my teachers Elizabeth Brice (who studied with Joy Mammen (Royal Academy) and at the National Opera Studio) and Paula Anglin (Guildhall School of Music and Drama) with whom I trained for several years, had themselves studied with Prof.Peter Harrison who worked with Yvonne Rodd-Marling, close associate of Frederick Husler. Peter Harrison currently teaches in Portugal, Paula Anglin in London and Vienna.
Bel Canto Training (Opera/Classical Song)
Paula Anglin trained with Vida Harford who taught a belcanto technique learned during her time in Dresden. Neil Semer (London, New York and throughout Germany) brought to my attention the crucial importance of posture and tongue release. I have studied the history of belcanto, florid singing and musical style as this can be applied to Jazz just as much as to Classical music.
Musical Awareness (Sound singing and improvisation)
This goes to the heart of sound and song as self expression. I believe my inclination towards improvisation may come from an Irish old-style tradition I have inherited. My meditation and awareness training also comes into play here as the two are very closely linked. You will find examples of improvised songs here as well as sister sites myselfexpression.com and singstream.co.uk.
I have a special interest in helping people back to vocal health (whether from psychological or physical illness) as well as fixing more common problems like wobble and metalic sound.
These techniques combined enable me to teach most repertoire and to help people learn to sing pretty much anything they want. They are also revealed in their very simplest form in my book “Sing Your Heart Out”.
More and more I am exploring different musical forms (particularly for improvisation) and am happy to help singers and singer songwriters of traditional music from many different cultures.
For more information please contact me direct.