I am passionate about the effects of harmony and what is possible when a group comes together to sing, even when the participants are unsure of their voices.
My heart lies in teaching aurally so that one becomes reliant on the self rather than the intellect and to that end I rarely give out sheet music. From an early age I loved to sing and with no formal music training I follow a life-long passion.
My Scots father was a great influence and instilled his love of music into his children. We were a family of eight who grew up singing Caruso and Wagner. Jim Reeves and Perry Como. Dixie and Barbershop. Rogers & Hammerstein. A diverse mix that my father would reproduce with gusto on the mouth organ and spoons!
Folk and Country music became my great love, and inspired by Simon & Garfunkel in the early 1970’s I learned to play the guitar and began song writing. Joni Mitchell influenced my singing style at that time and then I turned to Irish session music, learning to play the whistle and bodhran. I toured widely for a number of years as a solo performer before turning to teaching.
I have worked with many inspiring people including Black Umfolosi, Edisher Garakinedse, countertenor Michael Harper, James D ’Angelo, The Bisserov Sisters, Johnathan Goldman and Dessislava Stefanova. Working with schools, Adult Education, Norfolk Music Works and the WEA, has also enabled me to develop my teaching skills and further my education in the field of voice work and singing.
I reason that understanding myself first is a gateway to understanding others and I also discovered that working with groups is both complex and fascinating. Taking three years to complete a part time course I gained, in 2001, a diploma in person-centered, psychodynamic counselling. I continue to explore myself, that I may be more effective with people and life.
Qualifications & Experience
- Freelance Music Teacher. Primary, Middle and High Schools. 1992. 1998/99.
- Adult Education tutor. Simply Singing 1995 – 1997
- Founder and Director of ‘The Big Heart & Soul Choir’. 1995 - 2005
- City & Guilds NVQ Level 3. Teaching Adults. 1997.
- Instrumental Music Facilitator provided by Access To Music. OCNSEM. Level 3. 1998
- Oxford Cambridge RSA Examinations. Certificate in Counselling skills. 1999.
- Author of ‘Voicework For Keystage 3’. Progressive Instrumental Teaching Course. 1999.
- Access To Music. Vocal Workshop Facilitator for mature students. 1999
- Natural Voice Practitioner since 2000.
- West Suffolk College. Diploma. Person-centred, psychodynamic Counselling. 2001.
- WEA Tutor. Singing for the Frail Elderly. 2001 & 2003
- Musical Director of ‘Singers Inspired’ 2004 – 2006
- Founded Sing For Wellbeing in 2009.
- Founded Folk Choir 2011.