Central Professional Development Day 2019

Central Professional Development Day 2019

Sunday 7 April 2019

10.30am to 5pm, Hallmark Hotel, Derby

with Gillyanne Kayes

Teaching musical theatre in the 21st century

Musical theatre is a specific genre that shares its roots with operetta, popular music forms and theatre. With the ABRSM having recently released the first of its new MT exam syllabi our students’ interest in this genre is likely to grow. This can be challenging for teachers who have come from a classical music background, with no experience of the MT genre. Having trained a classical musician and singer herself, Gillyanne understands the journey that must be made to adapt vocal techniques for singing musical theatre repertoire, as well as typical stylistic elements.

The day will be part presentation, part interaction. Do come prepared to try out new sounds and ideas within a group setting. Gillyanne will offer practical tips on general vocal development, song communication and suitable exercises. During the afternoon, she will share some relevant case histories of singers she has worked with. Techniques and approaches to performance will be demonstrated with singers in an informal masterclass setting, and there will be time for questions and discussion.

Gillyanne Kayes

Dr Gillyanne Kayes is a singing teacher, author and voice researcher. She has more than 30 years’ experience working as a singing teacher, and is a recognised expert on vocal technique and problem-solving. She has a PhD on female voice use in different musical genres and frequently leads training workshops for teachers in the UK and Europe. Her published works include Singing and the Actor, chapters for the Oxford Handbook of Singing, the Singing Express series, and This is a Voice, co-authored with husband Jeremy Fisher and commissioned by the Wellcome Trust. She has just been appointed Visiting Professor to the London College of Music.


10.30am: Registration – refreshments available

11am: Morning session

Musical theatre and classical singing – differences and similarities
Updated thinking since Singing and the Actor was first published on 2000
Experiential work for the group, allowing time for feedback.
Demonstration with one singer.

1pm: Buffet lunch

2pm: Afternoon session (with break for refreshments at 3.30pm)

Problems of training for ‘industry sounds’ versus the individual singer
Case histories of MT singers
Experiential work for the group
Demonstrations with 2 singers
Q&A and round-up

5pm: Finish
National Youth Choirs Great Britain

As well as students of AOTOS members participating in the masterclasses, we are thrilled to have members of the National Youth Choirs Great Britain Fellowship Octet: George Cook and Sam Gilliatt.



Tea, coffee and water are provided. Lunch will be included.

Cost (includes morning and afternoon refreshments, buffet lunch, free parking and wifi)

  • Members: £50
  • Non-members: £60
  • Students: £25
  • Members bringing a non-member guest or guests: £45 each

Getting there

By train the hotel is opposite Derby rail station

By car free parking is available at the venue