Saturday 4 April 2020
Leeds College of Music
The Free Voice with Jennifer John
Jennifer John writes… In this digital age of innovation and fragmentation, the fundamental need for human interaction can be easily and quickly neglected and at worst, forgotten. The ever brightening spotlight on mental health issues, the rise in homelessness and the displacement of people on a global scale has resulted, in my humble opinion, in the need for social cohesion now more than ever.
As human beings, we are social creatures. We generally prefer to be together than apart and evidence of this can be found when people express the effects of isolation causing anxiety and depression.
As a choir leader I know all too well how positively impactful, healing, empowering, life changing and socially cohesive the activity of group singing is. Whether in workshops, ensembles or choirs, it creates and strengthens communities, gives people a voice; literally and metaphorically and provides a wonderful platform upon which those taking part become better listeners and communicators. In addition, it also increases confidence and inspires participants to express themselves through musicality in ways they often never thought possible. The increased feelings of wellbeing have been well documented and lets not forget that, in the end, singing together is good old fashioned fun. It’s the feel good factor. It’s this idea that I particularly love about my job. That, coupled with the creative freedom of expression which reminds me why I loved singing in the first place… because it felt good. On that basis, I have called this session The Free Voice with the trust that through collective singing we will share an uplifting day of vocal exploration, increased physical awareness, harmonising and learn new repertoire that will leave us all feeling better than when we arrived.
Jennifer John is a highly skilled and experienced vocal coach, music lecturer and mentor. Based in Liverpool, she is also a composer, singer, songwriter and vocal arranger.
As a vocal coach, in addition to teaching technically, she specialises in artist development. She works with emerging and established artists, bands and choirs in bespoke ways to suit their requirements and really gets to the heart of why they do what they do. Her work takes the form of individual and group coaching, singing workshops and master classes.
Her impressive track record as the manager and creative director of singing ensemble Sense of Sound has seen her collaborate with Brian Eno, Imogen Heap, Yoko Ono, Take That and Damon Albarn. She is also a music mentor for Music For Youth and SONG Merseyside and a trustee on the Liverpool City Region Board. She is also the lead singer in Killerfernandez.