Hi, Zara here. My mission is to guide you to be the best singer you can be, whether you are a complete beginner, or have been singing for many years. I teach adults (17+), in person and online (currently online only). I'm based in Malvern near Worcester UK; students come from nearby towns and cities such as Worcester, Ledbury, Upton-on-Severn, Pershore, Evesham, Tewkesbury, Droitwich, Hereford, Gloucester and Cheltenham.
I'm a specialist tutor for adults in modern vocal styles including pop, rock, blues, folk, musical theatre etc.
With me you will receive individually tailored, sympathetic one-to-one vocal tuition in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
The study of singing encompasses two main aims. Firstly, learning basic singing in a relaxed and healthy way and, secondly, adding style and character to your voice. Some of this breaks the 'rules' but gives you the tools essential for creating a performance rather than just letting what happens happen - think how an artist uses a different brush according to the effect they want to create.
As well as 15+ years' experience teaching singing, I have over 30 years of professional singing, including genuine recording contracts, releases and TV appearances, 100s of sessions and 3000+ gigs. With a long and successful singing career I am able to teach you far more than the mechanical basics of how to sing. You will gain a real insight into how to get the best out of your own unique voice and work with me in developing your very own great style, whilst having a lot of fun along the way.
If you are ambitious and talented I have positive, invaluable advice to help you realise your career potential.
You will need a PC or Mac with Skype installed, broadband, a webcam and microphone, or a headset. Some students find it works best to have a second device e.g. a smart phone, to play sound files (.mp3s).
Calls are free with Skype, you'll pay only for the lessons. The availability of lessons is subject to a successful test run.
Q. What, exactly, do you teach?
A. According to your identified needs and wishes we'll cover voice care, breathing, breath control, tone enhancement and control, pitching, agility, expression, dynamics, vibrato, embellishments, harmony, rhythm, elements of style, improvisation, tour survival and more. To achieve this we'll use a variety of exercises and songs compatible with your musical taste.
Q. How much do you charge, and how often should I have lessons?
A. £30 per 1 hour lesson, paid in advance. I recommend you have a lesson every week to make the fastest progress. Some students choose to have lessons less often. My booking system is flexible i.e. you don't need to book the same day or time every week.
Q. I'm so nervous when I perform! Can you help me?
A. Yes, absolutely. I was, too, when I started out. Now, singing to 10,000 holds no fear. I will show you techniques to banish those dreaded nerves forever!
Q. Would you teach someone like me?
A. My students are age 17-90, from all walks of life. They tend to fit into the following categories:
- singers seeking general improvement,
- beginners who want to learn to sing,
- singers with a specific vocal problem,
- professionals requiring a vocal coach.
Whatever stage you're at, I'll be able to take you forward at a pace to suit you.
Q. Can you correct a specific vocal problem?
A. I have particular success in sensitively identifying and rectifying student’s problem areas through demonstration and corrective exercises.
Q. If I get voice training will I end up sounding like an opera singer?
A. Not if you come to me! Although some aspects of singing are common to both classical and contemporary singing, you will be learning different techniques.
Q. Do you teach classical?
A. No, I am a contemporary singing specialist. Most of my students want to be pop, rock or jazz singers but I also teach folk, blues, musical theatre, anything except classical.
Q. Will I have to take exams?
A. Only if you want to obtain recognised certificates to mark your achievements. If this is your requirement I will be teaching you using the Rockschool syllabus.
Q. Where are the lessons held?
A. Currently online, but in normal times also at my home in Malvern, Worcs., UK.
Q. Do I have to be able to play an instrument?
A. No. For some exercises you will need access to an instrument of some kind to get reference notes, I'll guide you through this. Alternatively there are some online pianos that you can play from your computer's qwerty keyboard or mouse (Here's one: Apronus Piano ).
Q. Will I have to learn to read music?
A. Yes for Rockschool, otherwise no. If you are serious about your singing it will be to your advantage to be able to read music, though. I can teach you the basics of reading alongside your singing instruction if you wish.
Q. My child wants singing lessons. Will I have to be present, and how young will you teach?
A. Sorry but due to chaperone necessities I don't teach under 17s.
Q. Will there be work to do outside the lessons?
A. For most students, yes. Your voice is an instrument and you are learning to play it, so there are techniques to learn and practise. Also, voice training is a bit like a cross between training to be a gymnast, and weight training, and it takes time to build up the muscles used, as well as training your muscle memory. You can't possibly do this in one session a week, so for best results you will have to invest some time daily outside lessons. However, some students just want to have fun, learn more about singing and take things at a more leisurely pace, and that's fine too.
Q. How do singers like Mariah Carey and Sia get those impressively strong high notes? When I sing in that range my voice is weak and breathy.
A. They use a technique called Belting which, unless done correctly, can easily damage your voice. If singing like this is your goal, I can help you learn to belt safely and consistently.
Q. Can I increase my range? I want to be able to sing really high notes.
A. You will find that as you train your range increases. I can help you reach your potential, however, there is a natural limit to what your voice range is going to be. This is based on the physical shape and size of your vocal apparatus and you have to work with it, not against it. Some students have aspirations to be a different type of singer but this is unrealistic and pretty pointless, because whatever voice type you are there are plenty of great songs out there for you. When it comes to range, size isn't everything!
Q. Do you teach voice care? I have my first tour coming up and I'm scared I'm going to lose my voice.
A. Yes. I include this very early on as part of my general teaching for all students, as neglecting even one aspect of voice care can have disastrous consequences.
Q. Are you qualified?
A. Degrees and qualifications in contemporary singing and performance are a fairly recent phenomenon. If you value a degree more than 30 years' experience then I'm not the teacher for you.
Q. I've never trained but have been singing for some time. Will I have to start my training from scratch or can I skip some of it?
A. There will be lots that you have learnt which I won't need to teach you, but if you are reading this you will fall into one of two categories. The first is that you are having problems. Most likely you have learnt some bad habits. These will have to be 'unlearnt' and replaced by safer, more effective techniques. The second category are those who have become aware that they need to get some knowledge to avoid problems in the future. Whichever category you are in, you will be surprised how much insight you get from having lessons with me. Look forward to several 'Eureka' moments!
Recording Studio. Exclusive to students and former students, I have professional quality equipment* and a studio where I can record your singing. I'm an experienced vocal producer/engineer and know exactly how to guide you into delivering your best performances. *Logic Pro X DAW, Neumann TLM49 Condenser Mic, Focusrite Scarlett 18i20 Audio Interface.
Songwriting Lessons. Dream of becoming a singer/songwriter? With my song-writing course you'll be writing well-constructed, memorable songs in a matter of weeks.
Audition Preparation. Worried about that audition? Let me show you how to focus on what they'll be looking for and guide you through what you'll need to do to succeed.