eZINE 66 – The June Update

GillyanneKayesJeremyFisher2Welcome to the June Update of our eZINE

In this edition we announce our newest Singing Teacher’s Retreat

Gillyanne has a new singing voice research post

We share more articles on singing, acting and learning

And we end with thoughts on budget operas


Teaching singers - the Retreat

Teaching singers – the Retreat

The Singing Teacher’s Retreat

It’s one thing to know your anatomy and physiology, it’s another to know how to apply it

It’s one thing to know that your student has problems, it’s another to know which one to fix first and why

It’s one thing to be a good singer, it’s another to find and develop the singer in your own pupils and students

We’ve put together a brand new Retreat for September. The Singing Teacher’s Retreat is for YOU, the teacher, to get input on

  • improving your vocal diagnostic skills
  • adding to your knowledge about the voice and learn how to apply it
  • finding new ways of communicating concepts about voice and music to your students
  • getting specific advice on how to fix problems your students experience in your teaching studio.

We show you how to take a holistic view of your student and their needs – and how to know which ‘issues’ to prioritise in specific situations. It’s a real pick-me-up for teachers who have been giving for years!

Places are already disappearing so if you want to know more, visit the Singing Teacher’s Retreat webpage and book your place



Gillyanne Kayes is a researcher on the Voice Project Europe

The Voice Project European Map

Gillyanne’s new research post

You may not know that Gillyanne started her career as a professional choral singer, performing for 10 years in many of London’s major churches and in professional choirs.

Gillyanne has accepted a new research post at York University. The topic being studied here is very close to her heart – the vocal health of amateur choral singers.

She is sharing the role of Research Associate with Dr Jenevora Williams, under the leadership of Professor David Howard and Dr Christian Herbst. The research being undertaken at York University is part of a much larger project funded by the EU with a budget of 2.4 million Euros.

VOICE – Vision On Innovation for Choral music in Europe

VOICE is a pan-European project for the sustainable development and innovation of choral singing, a first-time major cooperation between choral operators, music educators and researchers.

Gillyanne, Jenevora and David represent the UK part of this multi-nation project.

The research will promote life‐long learning and life‐long use of the voice, improve the health status of voice users, implement preventive health measures, improve the quality of vocal music and thus advance innovation in the world of choral music

The UK project is starting with a short Survey for singers who work in a group (choir, chorus, quartet, ensemble etc)

Click here to take part in the Survey – the project needs your input!

You can also:

Click here to visit the VOICE Facebook page   or   click here to visit the main VOICE website


More Vocal Process articles on singing voice

The new blog on the Vocal Process website is proving very popular, so we’ve been uploading more articles, rants and thoughts for you to enjoy. You can click on the Blog button on the www.vocalprocess.co.uk navigation bar to find out more

We don’t just cover vocal technique – here’s an exercise on what to do during the song intro

The Dead Fish Look when you are singing is so attractive
The Dead Fish Look when you are singing is so attractive

Lose the dead fish look, or how to sing the song intro

Most singers identify with melody, shape or lyrics, and many come alive when they are communicating through them. But the song intro and postlude are part of the song experience for the audience. Of course, the singer doesn’t sing during them.

It’s one of my pet hates in auditions: the pianist has started the song but the singer just isn’t present, and by the beginning of the postlude has already gone for a coffee. It demonstrates two things – no respect for the pianist, and no understanding of the song’s purpose, its atmosphere and when it begins and ends.

So here’s an exercise to help singers deal with the silent parts of a song intro:

Click here to read Jeremy’s article on singing the song intro



Finding truth and believability in your performances is a fundamental skill for good actors. Check out this article from Jeremy on one way to find acting truth every time you perform

Speak TruthActing truth 8 shows a week

Acting truth, being in the moment (whether you’re singing or speaking) and yet being able to repeat the piece for 400 performances, is a challenge.

How do you stay faithful to the script yet keep the acting truth in your performance through wind, rain and illness 8 shows a week for a year?

I came across a paper in my research (more on that in another blog) from Helga and Tony Noice that put the problem (and the solution) in a nutshell:

Click here to read the Noice’s advice on finding acting truth in every performance


How do you balance vocal technique and performance focus?
How do you balance vocal technique and performance focus?

Singer’s intellect versus their ‘performer’

Gillyanne and I were talking today about how singers learn. We’ve seen the difference between a singer or actor following a technical instruction, and actually knowing how to apply it to improve singing.

This struck a chord with me because one of my favourite instructions having taught a technique is “that’s good, now make it work“. Meaning, even if you can do the technique or make the sound, you need to make it your own.

It seems that there are at least two aspects to a singer – the singer’s ‘intellect’ and the singer’s ‘performer’, or the separation of vocal technique and performance skills.

Click here to read the rest of the blog article


And finally. Opera. It can be so expensive.

Budget Opera Titles are really feeling the squeeze
Budget Opera Titles are really feeling the squeeze

Here are the first 20 Budget opera titles that didn’t make it past the finance committee. See how many you know (and which ones you wished had made it to the stage)

  • Der Daisykavalier
  • Les Tweets D’Hoffmann
  • Cosi fan solo
  • Acis and Galaxy bar
  • Adriana Recouvreur
  • Bertie Sprat
  • Un disco in papier maschera
  • The Penny opera
  • Bluebeard’s maisonette
  • Noddycarmen
  • The apprentice of Seville
  • Amahl and the neighbour popping round
  • Ariadne auf Nantwich
  • Jonny Spits it Out
  • The Turn of the Ikea fitment
  • Smetana’s A Fiver for the bridesmaid?
  • The Beggar’s Folksong
  • Caballero Rusticanopener (the horsemeat scandal)
  • La CeneBuyToLetola
  • Curlew Trickle

Click here and here to read more of the (70) Budget opera titles that didn’t make it past the finance committee in our Coffee Break section


Jeremy and Dr Gillyanne