South East Professional Development Day 2019

Sunday 24 March 2019

From bel canto to con belto
with Paul Farrington

We are delighted to welcome internationally recognised vocal coach and singing teacher Paul Farrington to lead the day. Paul trained and studied with Jo Estill, and was among the first in the world to be licensed as a ‘Vanguard’ by Jo herself, awarded in recognition as a pioneer presenter of Jo’s work in the UK. He has been Clinical Vocal Consultant at University Hospital Birmingham for more than 20 years and is internationally recognised as one of the foremost vocal trouble-shooters in the business, in demand for workshops and teaching worldwide.

The day will offer a mix of practical and classroom events, and deals with key issues for today’s singing teachers. Attendees will:

  • explore key terminology used by singing teachers; identifying its real meaning and application
  • consider different voice qualities and styles, with approaches to their application through both traditional and Estill methods
  • discuss the utilisation of different methods and approaches to help teachers give their students the tools they need on the way to becoming self-aware and self-sufficient singers
  • observe Paul in action as he works with students in a masterclass situation
  • take away practical advice and new ideas to integrate into their own teaching.

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: Ben Munden and Clare Sutherland.

Paul Farrington writes:

"As singing teachers we all come from different musical backgrounds, and with different influences, experiences and tastes. We all have basically the same anatomy and physiology, so how is it that we can make so many different sounds? Our day will endeavour to relate some of the terminology doing the rounds of the singing community, which can sometimes confuse, divide us and worse still cause conflict. We all have one end in mind: to inspire and develop the voices entrusted to us.

As someone who came from a very traditional voice training background, the introduction of Voice Science was life changing for me. It continues to underpin my daily work, but does not dominate it. I believe strongly that it is our responsibility to help our singers become aware, but not paranoid, of how to create the many sounds they make, and enable them to reproduce these sounds even when we are not in front of them, or having prepared them to sing – ‘warmed them up’. We are not reinventing the wheel, but all of the terminology floating around the voice world can often distract us.

On this day, I would like to share my experiences with you, presenting what I find works for the people I am fortunate enough to work with, from students, to opera ‘stars’ and everything in between. The sessions will be a mixture of classroom and practical including some masterclasses with live students.

None of us has all the answers, and I certainly don’t pretend to, but if we approach our work with honesty and humility then we can become the best teachers we can be.

Paul Farrington

Paul studied Voice & Piano at the Birmingham School of Music then sang for many years in recital, oratorio and opera, while working as stage and musical director at Guildford School of Acting and Birmingham School of Acting. Now Vocal Health & Technique Consultant at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and vocal coach to some of the world’s foremost opera and concert performers, he has specialised in working with the solo voice for more than 35 years.

Read Paul Farrington's full CV.