The office space was an interesting experiment, but we decided early on that it doesn’t quite match up to the experience of singing in a space with a great acoustic and a real piano. So we have converted the front room of our house into a full time teaching room! I am so pleased with the result and can’t wait to start teaching there again.
This year has been a real education in risk assessments! I am a member of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and have been following their guidance throughout, so the room has been designed with all their recommendations in mind. We will stay 3m apart during the lesson, I have scheduled gaps between students so there will be no crossover between you and anyone else, and the room will be fully ventilated and cleaned between each lesson. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to see the full risk assessment, please get in touch and I’ll be happy to share it.
We have also made some acoustic adjustments, so it is a gorgeous space to sing in. The party wall with the neighbours has been fitted with soundproof insulation and acoustic plasterboard so we can make as much beautiful noise as we like without worrying about disturbing anyone else! What a great way to end the year.
After five long months of Skype and Zoom I am finally able to return to teaching in person.
We can’t use the room in my house any more, as the new safety guidelines specify a distance between singers of 3m so it’s too small. Instead, we have rented a space in the centre of Tonbridge. I spent my first day there today and it’s great!
It is very accessible – just five minutes walk from Tonbridge station, and a minute’s walk from the High Street, with lots of parking close by.
The new space allows me to keep three metres distance between me and my students.
Thank you so much to everyone that came to the concert yesterday afternoon. It was lovely for me to meet your family and friends and to see how impressed they were with your singing! You all did really well.
One of the things I find most interesting about teaching is choosing the pieces and working with my students on interpreting and developing them. We had a real mix of songs yesterday and each one of you brought something special to the performance that doesn’t happen when it’s just you and me in the lessons. Well done to you all.
Here is the full list of songs:
Never Smile at a Crocodile (from Peter Pan by Jack Lawrence and Frank Churchill)
Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal (by Roger Quilter)
My Brother Lived in San Francisco (from Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens by Janet Hood and Bill Russell)
Caro Mio Ben (by Giordani)
The Salley Gardens (by Benjamin Britten)
Taylor the Latte Boy (by Zina Goldrich)
Nacht und Traume (by Franz Schubert)
Amarilli (by Caccini)
My Funny Valentine (from Babes in Arms by Richard Rogers and Lorenz Hart)
I am so proud of my student Brian. This Christmas he has sung solos in five different local events and carol services.
This time last year he had very little confidence, and was thinking of giving up his singing, even though he gets so much pleasure from it. We have worked together on songs that he loves to build that confidence, and it is such a pleasure to see him being able to enjoy his singing again and also to see how much the audiences enjoy his performances.
Well done Brian! Your hard work and perseverance have truly paid off.
Next week (Tuesday 13th) sees the opening of ENO’s new production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Iolanthe. It has been such fun working with the fabulous comedy director Cal McCrystal and the brilliant Lizzie Gee who has choreographed some amazing routines for us all.
Its been a big challenge doing a show with this level of choreography and technical precision but all the hard work has payed off and I think we have a show that ENO can be very proud of and will certainly make a lot of people laugh.
I know it’s still only October (just) but have you ever thought about buying some singing lessons as a Christmas present?
If you know someone who might really appreciate them, or maybe as a treat to yourself then get in touch.
Here is some footage of the award winning ENO Chorus In our final music call before we go into rehearsals for our new [roduction of Verdi’s Aida
It’s going to be a great show. We have a cast of fabulous principals and a very talented group of acrobats, if you want to know if there are any elephants you’ll have to come and see it!!
Its the beginning of my second week back at work and my holiday already seems a long time ago. Its been fun to blow away the vocal cobwebs tackling some of the massive choruses in Verdi’s Aida and also there is something very exciting when you have your very first reheasal for a world premiere , as we did on Tuesday for Nico Muhly’s new commision Marnie It should be an exciting start to our new season.
It’s been exactly one week since I started my summer break from ENO and I am enjoying the self imposed period of vocal rest. When your normal working week consists of singing for up to 6 hours a day 6 days a week its important to have days when the only person you talk to is the occasional cold caller. (And the dogs of course!)
I have been busy doing some publicity for my singing lessons as I now have a few spaces available over the summer. And I may have stumbled into the Tonbridge Beer festival on Saturday before going to the final performance of Beauty and the Beast by Hillview School at the EM Forster Theatre. It was a great production, and I was especially proud to see my lovely daughter in the chorus.
An excellent start to my holiday! Looking forward to a few more weeks of it.