eZINE 80 – Vocal Process Accreditation
When we started our eZINE we never thought we’d still be publishing at 80! In this special 80th edition we invite four graduates of the Vocal Process Accreditation programme to share their experience of our most advanced training for teachers.
Ronni Bailey, Craig Faulkner and Kate Gavaghan talk about their professional lives before and after completing Module One, and Anne Leatherland (our only Associate teacher) chats about helping us create courses.
You can meet all our Accredited trainers at the Meet The Teachers event in Birmingham on October 15th.
About the programme
In 2015 we restarted our Vocal Process Accreditation programme with new content and a more practical teaching focus. Module One is a hands-on experience that takes approximately nine months of home study, online meetings and two weekends of Retreats to complete.
We make sure that each teacher is personally mentored and their teaching practice individually assessed. In addition to the taught courses (in person and online), we include teaching and written assignments assessed by Gillyanne and Jeremy, and 10 hours of practical teacher mentoring and career advice, both face-to-face online and by email.
Craig Faulkner – Accredited Teacher
“I’ve been teaching for 16 years, covering every level from reception to degree and have been an Estill teacher since 2009. I decided to do the Singing Teacher’s Retreat, mainly because I never felt that I had found my own authentic teaching style, despite being quite successful. It was an amazing course, it immediately changed my thinking and I’m still applying many of the teaching concepts a year and a half later.
After doing the ADVANCED Retreat Gillyanne asked me if I wanted to join the new accreditation programme. I looked at the specs it was clear that it was very different to what I had done before and so I decided to do it.
The online training aspect is fantastic if, like me, you have a family and work lots. The support is very focused, the feedback accurate, helpful and kind. I adored the work on vowel tuning and realised that I was actually really good at hearing it in others and putting it in my own voice. I was loving analysing different styles and singers and modelling it. Some of my existing thinking was reinforced and some things had to change. My diagnostics, which were already quite developed, became much better and my students got better much faster.
If you’re thinking of doing it then be prepared to do lots of work. I was delighted when I passed but in hindsight the process was as important as achieving the accreditation.
My teaching has changed beyond recognition. It was massive fun and the friendships that I made along the way I value very much. Where will it take me? Who knows, but I have a cunning plan, to quote the words of Baldrick. Watch this space!”
Craig’s first point of contact with us was the Singing Teacher’s Retreat. It’s a great Retreat to join if you only know us from our books and haven’t worked with us in person before. The next run of this popular course is 28th to 30th October. Click here to find out about the Singing Teachers Retreat content and to book your place.
Kate Gavaghan – Accredited Teacher
“I discovered Vocal Process in 2010 via Jeremy’s wonderful downloadable larynx!
My teaching has never looked back and I’ve been on every retreat and had them deliver yearly workshops to the degree students I teach. When the accreditation was offered I jumped at the chance to further develop my skills. I had been studying voice for a few years but my understanding felt muddled and often at odds with my instincts.
What these courses have given me is clarity and concrete diagnostic tools to use in my studio. In particular the new science surrounding registers – how the vocal folds change when moving from modal to falsetto for example – has been invaluable.
Being able to explain to a client exactly what is happening in their voice as they sing takes the ‘magic’ from the teacher and gives it to the student. They now possess the knowledge and the tools to make practice at home more productive and lessons eventually become a creative process where teacher and student can experiment with techniques to discover new sounds in different genres. It’s all very exciting!
For anyone considering taking the Accreditation – or any vocal process course – do! I felt (and still feel) supported through the whole process by Gillyanne and Jeremy who genuinely care about sharing what they know – which is a great deal! I am more self-assured as a teacher and confident in my skills and ability to diagnose vocal habits and also vocal potential.“
Kate’s first in-person contact with us was on the ADVANCED Retreat, where she got to grips with falsetto versus modal (and the new science surrounding registers). We only run the ADVANCED Retreat once a year and the next dates are at the end of this month. Click here to find out more and to book your place (we only have 4 places left).
Ronni Bailey – Accredited Teacher
“Studying with the Vocal Process team, Gillyanne, Jeremy and Anne has helped me to become an even more effective and confident teacher of singing.
I decided to join the Accreditation programme after working successfully with Gillyanne and Jeremy on many occasions over the last 6 years. I respected and admired their expertise and knowledge when teaching across different styles of singing and their effective ways to communicate concepts about the voice. They understood which areas I needed to focus on to advance my teaching skills and for me to achieve a higher level of specialist knowledge.
The programme was full of factual information and practical exercises that kept me engaged. I very much enjoyed taking part in all the assignments and although it wasn’t always easy, balancing study with work commitments, it was worth every bit of the effort.
Completing the Accreditation programme has helped me develop new strengths, experience and knowledge, giving me even more insight into the voice.
I feel proud and honoured to be one of a select few in the country so far to be able display the Vocal Process Accreditation badge.”
Anne Leatherland – Associate Teacher
Anne Leatherland is our only Accredited Teacher at Associate level. Anne completed three Modules of training in the previous incarnation of the Accreditation programme, and now works with us helping to create Vocal Process courses.
“I am proud to be a Vocal Process Associate. Following completion of all accreditation levels in 2012, Gillyanne and Jeremy continued to mentor me and gave me opportunities to facilitate on VP courses. I now have the teaching and presenting skills to be able to teach alongside them.
Recently, I became a tutor on the new accreditation programme and am delighted to have helped in planning this course. I enjoy my relationship with VP and know that it works because my personality and skills complement those of Gillyanne and Jeremy, whilst adding something unique.
Throughout my training I received bespoke guidance whilst being encouraged to grow. I gained deep knowledge and confidence in every aspect of my teaching. Gillyanne and Jeremy inspired and helped me to find the best way forward at each stage. With their nurturing, my research was presented at PEVOC (Prague) and I was a Van Lawrence prize finalist (British Voice Association, 2014).
Opportunities have opened up for me which I could not have previously imagined. I now train students for the professional musical theatre (in Liverpool), give workshops, write teaching materials and have a diverse teaching and mentoring practice. I am fascinated by voice and search to find new ways to understand and teach it.
I have had to work very hard for my achievements but Gillyanne and Jeremy have made it possible. I would recommend the VP accreditation to any teacher wishing to improve their knowledge and practice. Taking it was a changing point in my career and in my life.“
All of our Accredited teachers will be at the Meet The Teachers event in Birmingham on Saturday 15th October. This is our most affordable event this year at only £40 for a whole day with us, sharing and brainstorming techniques and repertoire.
We have people coming from across the UK, Switzerland, France and Spain. It’s a diverse group with a mix of teaching disciplines, genre specialities and levels of experience. You’ll meet local teachers and leaders of international music degree courses. We’ll also be introducing the current Accreditation students, and sharing details of the next Accreditation dates and programme content.
You can update your knowledge on:
style indicators for different genres
vowel tuning for classical AND commercial singing
comfort zone and pitch centres (and Gillyanne’s PhD research)
and using apps in the lesson.
We’re also organising discussion groups and a round table with Gillyanne, Jeremy and the Accredited teachers (see the mindmap image below for some of the pre-submitted questions we’ll be answering).
We have so much planned for this event – it’s going to be a brainstorming, sharing, networking joy! Click here and make sure you reserve a place.
In the next edition of the eZINE we’ll have reports on our This Is A Voice days in Chester and Oxford (where over 100 people signed up to sing and learn), and Jeremy’s musical theatre masterclass in Minehead.
Jeremy and Dr Gillyanne