“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything”,
I always loved music and singing and could hold a tune, but never did I dream of being involved in performing arts. My parents were both classical musicians, but I never showed too much interest in playing an instrument. I can’t remember why I started singing, but I do remember it made me so incredibly happy, belting out every ABBA tune possible. It gave me a huge confidence boost.
I begged my parents for singing lessons and after a while they gave in thinking it was another small term interest. I had other ideas. My focus was to appear on a children’s variety TV show, which I did successfully.
I left my original singing teacher and started attending vocal lessons with a well-known “celebrity” voice teacher, she proved well at taking my money, but was not qualified and I began to develop sore throats. She was one of a few I studied with who boasted about teaching famous people, which was their selling point. It is true that most of these types of teachers have no formal qualifications and are more business orientated. Luckily, I moved on.
Being a singer and performer with over twenty-eight years’ experience has had its trials and tribulations. I have performed in musicals, cabaret, and television and worked seven nights a week for months at a time which is a great achievement. The reason I have been successful is not just luck or talent, it is simply hard work, classes and daily practice.
I enjoy being a singing teacher because I like helping people. Teaching singing is very similar to being a Councillor. I hear about my students’ families, work, struggles and good times. I enjoy seeing them achieve their musical goals, but not all my students want to be performers. Singing is more than just performing. Many people come to me to help build their confidence and self-esteem. I have had students who have struggled personally, and I listen and try to help them to rebuild their lives. Singing is a great healer.
My belief is that singing is a journey. I encourage my students to set goals and work hard to achieve them. Currently with the advent of television reality shows, much of the art form of singing has become lost. I want to change this mentality and encourage students to look beyond this. People often ask me if I still study singing and I reply, “The day I stop learning” is the day I retire.
We as singing teachers have so many more resources than they did years ago. With the advent of endoscopy and training programs such as Estill we can resolve different vocal issues and help students understand how the voice works.
I want to continue to sing, teach and perform for the rest of my life. If students have the passion commitment and dedication that I have had, they will never do anything else.