eZINE 70 – Once upon a time

GillyanneKayesJeremyFisher22014 was the year that we really lived up to our “sharing information, promoting expertise” byline with articles, Webinars, blogs, masterclasses, Skype coaching, a vocal tech report, new training aids and the publication of our chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Singing. So into the woods without delay for a whirlwind tour of what’s happened in the last 12 months.


There’s more to learn of what you know

At the beginning of this year we asked you which topics you’d like us to cover in our professional development Webinars. The answers came loud and clear from six continents!

You want Webinars on breathing techniques, working your range, and applying technique in songs. So we added to our existing catalogue of downloadable Webinars, bringing the current total to 18.

On the Vocal Process website we added a constellation of new blog articles on

  • resonance
  • performance
  • rhythm
  • losing the “dead fish look”
  • acting truth 8 shows a week
  • a singer’s ‘intellect versus performer’.

And Jeremy presented the world with 70 Budget Opera titles that didn’t quite make it.

OxfordHandbooksOnlineThe new Oxford Handbook of Singing went online with a chapter written jointly by Jeremy, Gillyanne and Lisa Popeil, covering Pedagogy of Different Sung Genres.

Gillyanne has already submitted a new chapter for the Handbook on Structure and Function in Singing Voice. This is the opening chapter of the whole book and covers the anatomy and physiology of the voice in “intelligent layman” terms. It’s due for online publication in 2015 – we’ll keep you posted!

I sort of hate to ask it, but do you have a basket?

2014 saw the unveiling of our new-look Vocal Process website and shopping cart. We trimmed our original 400 pages down and regrouped them into sections including Train with us (masterclasses, one-to-one coaching and mentoring), Learn from us (our books and DVDs), Engage us (onsite training and Skype masterclasses), and various collections of free articles, blog posts and voice-related stuff. And of course a section for the eZINEs themselves.

Everything you learn there will help when you return there

Singing star-ling

Singing star-ling

The Singing Retreats at our home on the Welsh Borders continued to expand. The current Singing and the Actor Training and the Performer’s Retreats were joined by a new bespoke training weekend specifically to support teachers – The Singing Teacher’s Retreat. And we had people fly in from all over Europe and the Middle East to take part.

We set up a special Retreats page on our store with details of all our current Retreats – just click on a Retreat title to read about the course content. But remember, “Straight to the woods and don’t delay” because all three Retreats are already booking up…

You can’t just act, you have to think

DoctorKitFeltGillyanne was awarded her PhD, and accepted a research post at York University investigating the vocal health of choral singers. The research project is funded by Vision On Innovation for Choral music in Europe (VOICE), a multi-million-Euro, pan-European project for the sustainable development and innovation of choral singing. Many of you may have participated in the online survey and the team have some very interesting data that will be shared in due course.

Jeremy in the meanwhile was accepted to study for a PhD at RNCM and MMU in Manchester, on Duetting with a Stranger (or Accompanist’s Telepathy).

Anne Leatherland, our Vocal Process Accredited Teacher

Anne Leatherland, our Vocal Process Accredited Teacher

Anne Leatherland, our accredited Vocal Process teacher, was a finalist in the Van Lawrence Prize for voice research with part of the thesis she wrote for her Vocal Process Level III exam.

Gillyanne was an invited speaker for the BVA for their Recovering Voices day with a demonstration talk on “Problem-solving troubled voices in professional theatre performers”

Frith Trezevant, singing teacher and British Voice Association Director, gave us a breakdown of her first ever Webinar experience (“What’s not to like?”).

But now there’s you, me, her and him

We love sharing knowledge and techniques with singers and teachers in masterclasses or one-to-one, and 2014 was a busy year for us travel-wise:

We visited the Netherlands for the first time at the invitation of Ineke van Doorn and Jolande Geven (Nascholing Zangdocenten) to give masterclasses and private lessons. The trip was very successful and we’ll be returning this Spring

We have three long-term relationships with teachers across Europe:
We continue to travel to Barcelona regularly to mentor Maria Torras’s pupils at Set D’Accio school;
We return to Gothenburg each year to teach at Dansforum;
For more years than we can remember we have been coaching the students at New College Lanarkshire (formerly Motherwell College), Europe’s first accredited Estill Educational Affiliate college

Closer to home, we’ve been working in London giving coaching sessions to various West End singers. We’ve also had the stars of musical theatre from further afield fly in for coaching sessions. And we’ve been nominating singers for cabaret and show performances including Carner and Gregor’s concerts in London

Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell

Vocal Process Professional Development WebinarsOur online presence increased this year with several new videos uploaded to the Vocal Process YouTube channel. We’re showing before and after at one of our choral training days. And Jeremy fulfilled an ambition by creating his first whiteboard animation cartoon.

As part of our contribution to vocal knowledge and shared information, we launched the 2014 World Voice Day Quiz:
13 questions, answers from singers, actors, dancers, teachers & therapists in 30 countries, and over £7000 worth of Webinars given away

And Jeremy continued his run of Skype masterclasses with another hour-long performance class for Southampton Solent University.

Both Gillyanne and Jeremy give private one-to-one coaching and mentoring using Skype or Facetime, and this year we’ve mentored clients in Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Japan, Vietnam, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, America (Los Angeles) and of course all over the UK.

To teach, to join, to go to the Festival

LessonPlanCo-ordinatingBreathAndToneWe’ve been calling on the teachers we’ve worked with to input into our newest resource, the Lesson Plans. Anne Leatherland, Pamela Hall (Integrated Voice Level II graduate) and Gillyanne created a Lesson Plan each on Co-ordinating Breath and Tone, Taking Text into Song, and Breath Awareness respectively.
We have already had requests for more topics so if you would like us to create a Lesson Plan for you on a particular subject or technique, just let us know.

Anne Leatherland is a self-confessed vocal techie geek, so we asked her to contribute a report for our new series “Six of the best…”. Anne chose to explore the most useful iOS apps for singers and singing teachers. Click here to collect your free report on six of the best iOS singing apps


Be ready for the journey

Good things coming up for 2015 include:

  • Singing and the Actor Training Retreat (14-16 February)
  • The Singing Teacher’s Retreat (20-22 February)
  • The Performer’s Retreat (28-30 March)
  • We have plans for a Webinar on teaching adolescent and child voice
  • There are more of our downloadable Lesson Plans in the pipeline
  • And we’re planning a new competition for you to enjoy.

More details in the next eZINE


And happy ever after!

Have a happy holiday, and here’s to a creative and productive 2015
Jeremy and Dr Gillyanne
PS And if you’re wondering why the eZINE has such crazy titles, Into The Woods the movie was released on Christmas Day, so we thought it was appropriate to include some of Stephen Sondheim’s great lyrics.
Now you can sing the eZINE as well as read it…