Teaching

I have been inspired to develop my teaching skills by some amazing singing coaches over the years. My teaching journey began with Helena Schenel, legendary teacher to Shirley Bassey, in my earlier career. Helena had a fantastic coaching style and lessons where always fun and transformative focusing always on technique. (It apparently took her quite a while to hoist her precious grand piano up the outside of the 30 or so story block of flats she lived in in Maida Vale. True dedication!)

Christine Cairns is one of the kindest, most generous teachers I have ever worked with. A classical specialist Christine has a busy teaching career, both at the Birmingham Conservatoire of Music and privately at home in Oxfordshire. She was herself an extraordinarily successful singer touring the world with Andrew Previn earlier in her career. Christine has an incredible ability to tease beautiful sounds from her students using her gentle, highly skilfull approach & good humour.

Much of the methodology I use in my teaching practice comes from the excellent 'Vocal Process' work of Gillyane Kayes and Jeremy Fisher. Vocal Process has its origins in the Estill Method, and Gillyane was an early pioneer of the Estill Method in the 90's. Gillyanne is a writer, researcher, teacher and singing voice expert  mush sought-after as a consultant, advisor and workshop leader worldwide.Vocal Process is an up-to-date singing method that can be applied to teaching across musical styles from classical to pop, rock, jazz.

I have also had the great pleasure of more recently working with the funny & super-talented Allan Wright based in Paris. Allan's study of the physiological and acoustic aspects of the singing voice led him to start coaching injured singers needing rehabilitation work and, in 2010, to set up the evidence-based technique programme ‘l’académie du chanteur moderne’ (the modern singer’s academy), which has gone on to become one of the most popular singing programs in France (and is now fully funded by the French government for working singers). TCM is an evidence-based approach to vocal health and singing. He also loves cheese an french wine, who doesn't!

The Natural Voice

I am especially interested your voice, and how it can flourish according to your own desires and requirements. Some of the most memorable performances that I have enjoyed in my life have been by people with no training and a lovely honest approach to singing, being in the moment. However if you have begun to ask yourself questions like, how can I change the sort of sound I am making, how can I sing in a less breathy way, how can I more easily reach the high notes, what can my voice do, how can I sing longer phrases more easily, and many more questions, then singing lessons or workshops would be a helpful next step for you.

The Flexible Voice

Perhaps you sing in a choir that works in many different styles, or perhaps you love lots of different styles of music and would like to learn more about how to sing them authentically.
I love to work with singers to help them develop their ability to sing in different vocal styles.

The Performer

Perhaps you are a singer songwriter, or a one day singer-songwriter, and you are looking to develop a signature sound of your own. I love to work with singers who like to experiment and want to develop their own unique style.

The Singer as a Musician

Want to learn how to improvise, how to read music, how to sing in harmony, how to write songs? Singers with multiple skill sets are more in demand and anyway its more fun to learn as much as you can about music. Improvisation is great for creativity, harmony singing is fantastic for your ear training and is just as much fun.

If you would like to talk to me more about singing please email me steph@stephpirrie.com