Autumn 2022 Conference

It's all in the mind!

Sunday 30 October 2022
St Paul's Girls' School, London and Online

I would like to invite you to my first conference as your new Chair - It’s all in the mind. This conference will focus on the psychology of music education and surrounding challenges; exploring not just how we teach technique, but employ educational theory and knowledge to enhance our practice as singing teachers.

We are delighted to welcome Professor Graham Welch presenting the Ontogenesis of Singing. This session will address how we are naturally musical from birth and how we can help foster and build this musical ability. Teresa Shaw will ask “did you listen to the question” in an introduction to coaching triads with a live demonstration. Mary Hammond will present a session on performance anxiety and lead a masterclass with talented young singers during the afternoon. The day will finish with a round table discussion from all our presenters and there will be plenty of time to meet and share ideas with colleagues throughout the day.

Come and join us at St Paul’s Girls’ School, London to hear our presenters, meet with fellow professionals to explore this fascinating area of teaching.

Edwin Pitt Mansfield


Cambridge headliners (2)


10:00  Arrival
10:45  Welcome and EGM
11:00  The Ontogenesis of Singing with Professor Graham Welch
12:00  Did You Listen to the Question? with Teresa Shaw
13:15  Lunch
14:30  Performance Anxiety with Mary Hammond
15:00  Masterclass with Mary Hammond
16:00  Round table discussion with all presenters
16:30  Conference close

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Pricing and booking


Full conference: £65 AOTOS members /  £85 non-members / £25 students (show current student ID on arrival)

In-person attendees will also have access to the the recorded sessions for 30 days.

Please note, bookings made after midnight on Sunday 23 October 2022 do not include lunch. You will need to bring your own lunch on the day.


Day pass: £45 AOTOS members / £65 non-members / £15 AOTOS student members

Online attendees can join the livestream on Sunday 30 October and will also have access to the recorded sessions for 30 days.

In full-time education? Join AOTOS now for free, to take advantage of the heavily discounted student rates.

There is a bursary available for this conference if you would like to attend but the cost is prohibitive. Members only.
Visit: for details


St Paul's Girls' School

Brook Green
W6 7BS

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About the sessions

Session 1: The Ontogenesis of Singing

Professor Graham Welch
Professor Graham Welch

Humankind is musical by design – it is our birthright. We are surrounded by sound and use our own sounds to communicate with others, such as through speech and song. Our earliest experiences of voices and singing are prior to birth inside the womb during the final trimester. We then enter our world already with experience of our mother's voice and also of how voice and feelings are interwoven. The presentation will review related research into early vocal experiences and how our childhood singing behaviours can be both nurtured and hindered by experience. For linked reading, explore the Oxford Handbook of Singing (Oxford University Press), especially Part 3 on the Psychology of Singing and Part 4 on Singing Development across the Lifespan (all chapters are available on See also the evaluation report of the Voces8 Foundation's 'Sing Every Day' singing mentoring programme.

Professor Graham Welch

Graham F Welch studied education 3-13y, as well as music, at the Froebel Educational Institute and University of London prior to completing his Masters in Music Education and Doctorate at the same institutions. He taught in London Primary schools for 14 years, and also spent over two decades as a part-time professional singer in London. He holds the UCL Institute of Education (formerly University of London) Established Chair of Music Education since 2001, is Chair of the Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (SEMPRE), and is a Past President of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). He holds Visiting Professorships at universities in the UK and overseas, and is a former member of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Review College for Music. Publications number approximately four hundred. Key research themes embrace musical development, music education, teacher education, the psychology of music, singing and voice science, and music in special education and disability.

Session 2: Did You Listen to the Question?

Teresa Shaw
Teresa Shaw

Teachers increasingly need to take on the roles of teacher, coach and mentor in their day to day work. This will be a highly practical and interactive session in which we will open the conversation about teaching modes and explore the skills and techniques that we can employ to help us be more reflexive and flexible in our approach.

Teresa Shaw – Mezzo Soprano

Teresa Shaw enjoyed a long international career as a soloist and appeared with many of the leading orchestras ( including BBC Symphony Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, London Sinfonietta) and opera companies (including English National Opera, Opera North, Opera de Lyon) in the UK and Europe to critical acclaim. Since beginning her career, she has long been committed to music education and over her years of teaching and performing developed a deep interest in the psychology of the performer. This interest turned into an academic passion and, on completing an MA in Vocal Pedagogy, her MA research case study was published in the journal 'Frontiers in Psychology' in 2020. Teresa's teaching and research specialises in MPA (Music Performance Anxiety), Coaching and Mentoring and Performance Psychology. Teresa currently runs a private singing practice, and is a senior lecturer for the Voice Study Centre where she tutors MA students and continues her research into the creative self.

Session 3: Performance Anxiety

Mary Hammond
Mary Hammond

Mary Hammond

Mary Hammond trained in both singing and piano at the Royal Academy of Music, where she is now a Fellow and Sondheim professor of Musical Theatre Voice. She was invited to form the RAM Musical Theatre programme – now a Masters – in 1993, while working on professional shows and artists.

As a singer for 25 years, Mary worked on all music from Heavy Rock to Covent Garden which stimulated her interest to work on understanding new vocal techniques. As a voice coach and consultant, she has worked on 129 West End and Touring productions both in the UK and Europe. She has judged many competitions including Voice of Musical Theatre for the BBC and The Voice for BBC and ITV.

She has been a board member and actively involved with the British Voice Association for more than 30 years. Mary also currently works with many commercial artists.

Session 4: Masterclass with Mary Hammond

Mary Hammond
Mary Hammond

Mary will be delivering a masterclass on 'exploring the link between thought and how it can change the singing voice'.