This year, the conference promises a fresh look at some familiar and, for some of us, unfamiliar topics supported by practical sessions for everyone. Our aim is to give you something to take home to add to your arsenal of teaching tools.
The weekend is not only interactive, but also multi- and cross-disciplinary. Whether you are teaching absolute beginners or advanced professional students, the conference is structured to cover a broad spectrum of voice teaching, with tools that all teachers can apply to their own specific practice.
Our keynote speaker is Dr Gillyanne Kayes, a former Estill Vanguard licensee with a doctorate in voice research. The work of Jo Estill has been influential in the UK, and Gillyanne will reflect on the teaching of singing after Estill, taking a fresh look at the teaching landscape in the light of contemporary thinking on vocal function and new research findings. Whether you are new to the work of Jo Estill or have previous experience, this talk and workshop will be engaging and beneficial. In Gillyanne’s second session, she will talk about her own research into genre and show how the findings can be put to practical use by mapping the singer’s voice type according to ‘comfort zone’, then matching it to the song tessitura.
Marcia Carr works extensively with singers and voice users using Feldenkrais – a method that aims to make connections between the brain and the body and so improve the co-ordination between movement and thought. These principles can be applied to singers at all levels, and this can have a clear and lasting effect on vocal technique.
Emma Winscom is greatly in demand as a singing teacher and singer. She brings her wealth of teaching experience. Her talk ‘Careless Talk Costs Voices – Interpreting Your Client’s Sound’ is in two parts, and she will explain how to integrate multi-genre teaching into the heart of the studio.
Supporting our understanding of the anatomy and bio-mechanical aspects of singing, we are fortunate to have Linda Hutchison. As well as teaching at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music, Linda has extensive experience working in the Voice Clinic in Lewisham alongside Dr Nicholas Gibbins, who gave some illuminating insights into their work – correcting many of our assumptions – at our last Autumn Conference.
No look at the teaching world would be complete without paying attention to the digital world that now has such a powerful influence on our lives. To help us develop our business using online opportunities and social media, Ian Anderson Gray will be taking us through the key elements of marketing and technology.
Finally, Juliana Janes-Yaffé and her husband, pianist and conductor John Yaffé, will share with us some exciting new repertoire drawn from their funded Yiddish Folksong Project – especially valuable to those of us who would like to augment our repertoire of classically arranged folk songs and help our students extend their own horizons in the area of folk song.
All this for a bargain price in wonderful surroundings, with plenty of opportunities to catch up with colleagues and make new friends. Come and recharge your batteries, meet new people and share ideas in an open and stimulating environment.