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In 2021 AOTOS launched an accredited online course for singing teachers called ‘Essentials’. This course offers unique hands-on guidance to people who want to teach singing well and are starting out on that journey. It shows aspiring singing teachers how to acquire the basic skills needed to start teaching safely and with confidence.


Brand new for June 2024
About the Essentials Practical Teaching Day

We are delighted to add an in-person practical day to the Essentials Programme, the first of which takes place at C. Bechstein Centre, Manchester on Sunday 16 June.

What to expect:

  • A full and immersive day from 10am-5pm
  • Gain practical insights from experienced mentors
  • Safe learning environment: Feel confident sharing and learning in front of your peers within a supportive atmosphere
  • Intensive learning: Dive deep into focused learning with a limited group of only 16 participants, ensuring attention to detail
  • Specialised sessions to sharpen your knowledge: Explore topics such as voice physiology, changing voices and teaching techniques for all ages
  • Networking: Connect with peers, exchange teaching methods and receive active feedback from practitioners and mentors
  • Expert guidance from course leaders Joy Naylor, Rob Lines and Edwin Pitt Mansfield

What you will gain:

Whether you are an early-career singing teacher or an established professional seeking to refresh your skills, this CPD day promises to elevate your practical skills and develop your confidence.

The day is great value for money and includes a certificate of attendance.

The course cost is £95.

Timetable for the day:

  • 10am Registration and coffee
  • 10.30am Welcome and Warm-up!
  • 11.00am 'Speed teaching' (based on the concept of 'Speed dating') Each pair is given a topic to teach each other e.g. how do I teach articulation, breathing etc. After five minutes the pairs and the topics are changed.
  • 11.45am Coffee
  • 12.00pm Feedback from 'speed teaching' above! What did you learn, like etc.
  • 12.45pm Presentation by Rob Lines on 'Vocal Anatomy'.
  • 1.00pm Lunch
  • 1.40pm Presentation by Joy Naylor on the subject of 'Teaching different age groups'.
  • 2.00pm 'Song swap shop' – an opportunity to share favourite repertoire in different genres.
  • 2.20pm Presentation by Edwin Pitt Mansfield on 'The changing voice'.
  • 2.45pm 'Tag teaching' – the chance to work with a singer in front of each other. The delegates will take turns and will also be encouraged to offer advice and comments.
  • 4.00pm Tea break
  • 4.15pm Discussion/Questions/ Plenary
  • 5.00pm Course ends

Your course leaders for the day

About the Essentials Course

Aimed at people who have at least two students and have been teaching for a minimum of six months – and up to four years.

The course is run online in five sessions in a group setting facilitated by a course leader supported by engaging video material provided by experts in their field. Topics covered include:

  • basic pedagogy
  • vocal health
  • the changing voice
  • teaching different singing styles
  • running a business
  • setting up your studio
  • motivating your students

There is a maximum of twelve spaces on each course and bookings will close one week before the start date or when the course is full.

The course cost is £95.

Participants will also need to purchase the following books:

  • Teaching Singing to Children and Young People – Jenevora Williams (Compton Publishing)
  • This is a Voice – Jeremy Fisher and Gillyanne Kayes (welcome collection)
  • Anatomy of the Voice – Theodore Dimon (North Atlantic Books)

Participants will need to complete the course to get the accreditation. There is one bursary available for each course. If the cost is prohibitive for you, click here to view the Dorothy Richardson Bursary.

Forthcoming courses

Essentials 1 (5-week course)
Summer 2024

Dates: Tuesdays: 4, 11, 18, 25 June and 2 July
Times: 7-9pm 
Course leaders
: Alison Ling and Heidi Pegler
Cost: £95

Please contact Joy Naylor at if you have any questions.

There are 12 spaces available and one bursary on offer.

Essentials Practical Teaching Day
Sunday 16 June, 10am–5pm

Date: Sunday 16 June
Time: 10am–5pm
Course leaders: Joy Naylor, Rob Lines, Edwin Pitt Mansfield
Cost: £95

Please contact Joy Naylor at if you have any questions.

There are 16 spaces available and one bursary on offer.

Course Contributors (video material)

Joy Naylor – teaching a lesson (practical demonstration)
Linda Hutchison – vocal pedagogy
Rob Lines – warming up the body in preparation for singing
Melanie Mehta – what to do when a voice goes wrong – vocal health and support
Suzanne Chadwick – the changing voice
Adrienne Hale – teaching different singing styles (classical, MT and CCM)
Janet Shell – how to set up your teaching studio
Heidi Pegler and Janice V. Thompson – safe-guarding and GDPR
Janet Munro – motivating strategies for your students
Angela Durrant – marketing and developing your business

Click here for full information about all of the Course Development Team and Contributors

AOTOS membership

We also highly recommend that you become an AOTOS member if you are not already. Membership gives you access to our programme of conferences and development days, which we strongly recommend that you use as part of your continued professional development (CPD).

Find out more

If you would like further information about the Essentials course, please contact Joy Naylor at

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