Essentials: Course Development Team and Contributors
Adrienne Hale, DRSAM, cert Mus Ed. After studying at The Royal Scottish Academy and Moray House College, Adrienne began her teaching career in Dunblane High School. Straight away she followed a path of teaching and performing which she has continued throughout her life. In her early career, she sang briefly with Scottish Opera, performed professionally with many choirs, recorded for radio and became primary music specialist for Central Scotland.
After becoming head of Performing Arts at The Royal High school in Bath, Adrienne left class teaching to devote her time to vocal coaching, she joined AOTOS and is currently the representative for the South-West. Some of her students have gone on to Guildhall, Royal Academy, Central School and have become successful recording artists. Adrienne believes that vocal teaching should cross boundaries and give students the ability to sing all genres and therefore is delighted to be part of this Teaching Development project.
Welsh Soprano Alison Ling studied at the RCM for 5 years gaining her Honours Degree, the AB Singing Teaching Diploma and a Diploma in Singing Performance. She is a highly regarded Singing Teacher, Vocal Coach and Mentor with over 36 years of teaching experience, based in South Wales. For the past 8 years she has taught singing in the Junior Department of RWCMD and has a thriving private teaching practice. Her teaching experience covers all ranges but she has a particular interest in the 8-20 years age group, including trebles and boys with changing voices. Many of her students have been successful in achieving Scholarships to Universities, Music Conservatoires and Drama Schools, going on to pursue careers in the Music Profession.
Alison is Vocal Coach for Cardiff Polyphonic Choir and in this capacity has presented at ABCD Annual Conference, and worked with well known Choral Conductors such as Neil Ferris, Paul Spicer, Adrian Partington and the Three Choirs Youth Choir, as well as local amateur adult and children’s choirs. She has been an external examiner for Cardiff University. Alison has been an active member of AOTOS for many years. She was a participant on the Teacher Training Course, served on the Council as Councillor at Large, has been a Mentor Teacher on the AOTOS Pathways Access days and presently runs the AOTOS Glamorgan Pod Group. She has thoroughly enjoyed being part of the AOTOS Teaching Development Steering Team.
Angela Durrant was born in Birmingham and moved to Wales in the 90's to attend the Welsh College of Music and Drama. Her uncle was the famous film entertainer and ukulele player George Formby, and as all her family were professional stage entertainers Angela followed in their footsteps studying singing before embarking on a professional career.
She took a change of direction in 2009 opening a voice studio. In that time she has worked with hundreds of singers. She branched out to create the Online Singing Academy in 2018 and also Maverick Communication in 2019 where she works with business owners and senior leaders, executives and organisations on how to speak with impact. During Lockdown Angela created The Visible Club which is a membership for self employed business owners and creatives to get support and marketing strategy help to grow their business and raise their profile. Angela is passionate about helping others with their voice and visibility.
Heidi Pegler studied at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and Trinity College of Music, London. As a professional singer, she has recorded for film with London Voices and has specialised in early music. Heidi is the Deputy Director of Music and Head of Singing at St Paul’s Girls’ School where she steers a team of 10 singing teachers. She is an adjudicator and recently ran the Richmond Music Festival online. Heidi is an examiner and trainer for the ABRSM and was part of the working party on A Common Approach published by the Federation of Music Services.
She has published several books including the award winning series The Language of Song (Faber); It’s never too late to sing (Faber) and It’s never too late to sing Christmas and The Best of Singing (Faber) Grades 1-3 and 4-5 selecting highlights from the ABRSM singing syllabus. Heidi was the chair of AOTOS from 2018-2020 and steered the charity through the pandemic and change to a CIO. In her role as Past Chair, she has co-ordinated the teacher development sub-committee.
Janet Munro is a singing teacher and lecturer in Music education at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. During her career as a performer she maintained a private teacher practice as well as working in schools and further education. Having initially studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music she returned to study for a BA in Music Education at Middlesex University and a MA in Music Education at the Institute of Education in London. She has also worked as a mentor for singing teachers for the ABRSM on their professional development courses. Her students have gained places at all the major conservatoires in the UK as well as winning many scholarships and prizes. Janet has presented research on vocal pedagogy at various conferences including the Reflective Conservatoire, the International Symposium of Performance Science and the Pan European Voice Conference.
Janet Shell is a qualified classroom teacher and after 5 years, retrained at Guildhall School of Music and Drama as a professional singer, winning several major competitions after leaving and becoming the first mezzo to be taken on by YCAT. She has worked in opera, oratorio and recital and was the first singer ever to sing live on Classic Fm She has broadcast for BBC ‘Friday Night is Music Night’ and continues to perform as an oratorio and concert artist. She has also returned to broadcasting for an internet radio station and runs a classical music programme.
With over 25 years singing teaching experience, Janet currently works at Eton College alongside her busy private practice. Through her company Talking Voice Ltd, Janet trains classroom teachers around the country, focusing on healthy voice awareness and developing vital interaction skills. Her published book, Talking Teachers underpins this subject. Janet is now a certificated NLP Master Practitioner and has developing interactive sessions to bring this to education. She is a member of AOTOS, and the Communications Officer and Trustee for the charity.
Janice V Thompson
Janice V Thompson MA, BA(Hons), LRAM, ATCL is an alumna of the Royal Academy of Music, City of London University and the University of West London. She is the present Conference Director and a Past Chair of the Association of Teachers of Singing. She is a former professional choral singer and is an independent singing teacher, vocal coach, accompanist and repetiteur of more than forty years’ experience. Janice’s students, present and past, can be seen on the West End and in international Opera Companies.
Janice holds an MA degree in Arts Management and is the Artistic Director of the JTPTrust (www.JTPTrust.org), an educational charity in her name. The charity offers vocal development, performance opportunities and workshops for children and adults in her local area. In this capacity Janice has facilitated numerous community projects, large and small, including ‘Swindon: The Opera’ in 2012 for which the charity was in receipt of a Big Lottery Jubilee Fund. As a long-time member of AOTOS, Janice cares deeply about Teacher Development and is delighted to be part of its Teaching Development steering team.
Joy Naylor [G.R.S.M., A.R.C.M., CT ABRSM] trained at the RCM, and following a successful singing career on the concert platform and opera stage, now concentrates on teaching. She has been the Northern Area Representative on AOTOS Council twice, and currently co-hosts the Pod Group supporting New Teachers. In 2009 she represented AOTOS at the European Voice Teachers’ Association’ Vocal Pedagogy Course’ in Sweden. She has also been a Mentor on the ‘Pathways to Teaching Course’ as well as giving presentations at AOTOS conferences on topics such as ‘Warming up the voice’, and ‘Teaching young students how to sing in French, German and Italian.’
From 2014-2020 Joy was the Professional Development Assistant to the Training Director for the prestigious PDC for advanced teachers. Joy has a thriving private practice and is also a Vocal Tutor at the JRNCM in Manchester. Her students have included a BBC Choir Girl of the Year, members of the NYC GB, the Rodolfus Choir and Eton Choral Courses. Many students have been awarded Choral Scholarships for Oxford and Cambridge Universities, or have gone on to study at the major Conservatoires of Music and colleges of Music and Drama.
Linda Hutchison is a singing teacher involved in the multi-disciplinary world of voice. She is a member of the NHS Lewisham Voice Clinics’ team and runs her own rehabilitation clinics there. She is a BAPAM (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine) registered Vocal Rehabilitation Coach.
Alongside workshops and masterclasses, Linda gives presentations dealing with the anatomy, physiology and care of the voice. She has created and directed professional development courses which balance the science of the voice with artistic freedom.
She works with a wide range of professionals. She is on the Vocal Staff at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama working with the singers and actors. Linda has been President of the British Voice Association, has been a member of its Education Working Party and has served on the Council of the Association of Teachers of Singing. She co-authored If in Doubt, Breath Out!, a book on breathing and support for singers.
Lucy began her working life as PA to the Director of Opera Planning at the English National Opera, and it was there that she began a more serious interest in the voice. She later took a BA in Music and English, studied singing with Mollie Petrie, and immersed herself in all things vocal. Lucy has sung operatic roles including The Queen of the Night, given numerous recitals with her husband, Marcus Sealy, and her sister’s quartet, Ensemble Champagne, and poetry and song evenings with the late Jean Crowther. Her primary interest is the teaching of the voice, and this has kept her busy for the last 20 years with pupils ranging from 8 to 80.
Lucy has been a member of AOTOS (Association of Teachers of Singing) for 18 years, during which time she was a Council member and Rep for the South West. She is also a member of the BVA (British Voice Association) and ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians). Lucy is a keen advocate of CPD and it was participating in an AOTOS Teacher training week in 2003 which helped propel her teaching forward, opening her eyes and ears to continued learning and good teaching practice. Over the years, she has undertaken many courses and workshops to include, the Accent Method with Sara Harris and Dinah Harris; Core Singing with Meribeth Dayme and, most recently, an introductory course to Kodaly method; Vocal Health First Aid, and Embodima with Nicola Harrison. She says it is a privilege to be involved in the development of new AOTOS teacher training courses.
Melanie Mehta BSc (Hons), MA (Voice Studies), MRCSLT, HCPC registered. Melanie qualified as a Speech and Language Therapist (SLT) in 1997 subsequently specialising in Voice Disorders. She worked for Hospitals in Kent, Devon and London including the Royal National Throat Nose and Ear Hospital and Guy’s and St Thomas’.
She completed an MA in Voice Studies (2003) and has been working as spoken voice teacher and SLT, teaching and consulting at Colleges and Conservatoires including London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Millennium and Arts Ed in addition to Private Practice. She was a Tutor for the Voice Care Network, currently works with Teaching Unions delivering voice care workshops to Teachers and Lecturers in addition to working with Subtitlers and Audio Describers on clarity and vocal variety. She has been involved in training cross disciplinary groups in the overlap of voice teaching and SLT skills and she is looking forward to continuing this with AOTOS members.
Rob Lines BA(Hons), Dip.Mus, MISM, Vocal Health First Aider is an alumnus of Arts Educational Schools, London. He has had the privilege to work in many areas of the industry as a Singer, Actor, Vocal Coach and Producer. Rob currently works as a Freelance Vocal Coach, in Manchester, London and also Internationally. He coaches privately for Film and TV, but Rob’s speciality is in Musical Theatre, working with West End clients who have appeared in Jersey Boys, The Phantom of the Opera, Matilda, Godspell, and more. He frequently teaches workshops and classes in Drama Schools around the country and helped developed the Performing Arts BA for ShockOut Arts, University of Bolton. He is also currently training for his Vocal Health Practitioner certification. Rob is passionate about helping new teachers to develop their skills and has an open studio policy for teachers to observe lessons and is delighted to be a facilitator on this new course.
Suzanne Chadwick, MA (Voice Pedagogy), MA (Music) is a graduate of the University of St Andrews and the University of Wales Trinity St David. Originally hailing from Leeds, she spent many years of vocal study in New York and has performed widely within Europe and the US.
Now based in Dublin, Suzanne maintains a vibrant teaching practice and combines her many years of teaching experience with an active engagement in voice science and research. She currently lectures in Voice Pedagogy at the University of Limerick where she is also a PhD candidate, studying voice change in adolescent boys. Her research interests include the adolescent voice, vocal registers, breathing methodology for singing and vocal health, and she has presented research papers at conferences in the UK and Ireland. A passionate educator of young singers, Suzanne is delighted to be contributing to the AOTOS Teacher Development Essentials Programme.