Tuition is given in the essential skills needed to become a convincing singer and instruction is given in all facets of vocal production including how to care for the voice, together with training and instruction in breathing technique (the voice comes from the body and can only achieve optimum use with the full and correct use of the breath); posture; position of the head (to allow the throat to emit the voice with ease); position of the mouth (to allow the freedom of sound); voice support; placing the voice, ‘messa di voce’ (control and tuning to enrich the swelling and diminishing of the full sound); resonance; vibrancy; start-of-the-note and vowel on/off-set; vocal agility and range; vocal tone; intonation; a good legato without exploding or forcing the sound, but with a steady, smooth flow of tone; trill and leaps; scales and arpeggios; diction; articulation; aural training; music interpretation. Developing musicianship is more important than teaching singing per se.
- Enjoyment of the lessons and learning to sing are the most important aspects of vocal coaching
In teaching singing, all styles are acknowledged, and training is a mixture of singing songs and practising vocal exercises to train the various aspects of technique together with the elements to be found in songs in order to produce a rounded singer and musician with a focused tone and good ‘muscle memory’ with general relaxation and without any unwanted tension. Warm-up and breath exercises are used to develop a singer’s technique, enabling a stress-free vocal mechanism with sufficient range and well-managed register changes maintaining an even timbre throughout the passaggio (‘passage’), as well as the ability to sing with an even tone and intensity with a good natural vibrato which should always be present with meticulously formed vowels to encourage proper resonance together with accurate and precise tuning along with constant attention to the meaning of the text.
- Interesting, varied and structured vocal coaching
Songs are chosen appropriate to a singer’s age, vocal range, abilities and musical interests to enhance their vocal and expressive range. Also, encouragement of versatility and understanding of style, coupled with an ability to deal with songs of different character, mood, tempo and era. Singers are trained to develop a good listening ear for music, enabling them to hear and reproduce rhythms, phrases (the melodic contours of which are best understood by singing them or singing the main outlines), melody and harmony lines, interval pitching etc., and to focus on the quality of sound with subtle variations of vocal colour and volume. The more each element is practised, the more beautiful and full the tone. The voice will be gradually strengthened, but always maintaining an ease of sound production with expressive presence and imagination.
Teaching the technique of the voice and teaching music through the voice
Tutor Dr Michael Spacie
Independent – Innovative – Individual – Inspired