Getting ready for university and conservatoire auditions can seem like a gargantuan task, and young singers need guidance for working on vocal technique, breath management, choice of repertoire and suitable interpretations. When teaching young singers I work towards building a portfolio of age and level-appropriate repertoire. Choosing the wrong repertoire at too young an age will at best halt development and at worst create long-lasting damaging habits which take time and effort to unlearn. It is therefore paramount that young singers start with the basics and are guided towards repertoire suitable for their age as well as vocal and emotional development.
We will concentrate on developing the use of the body, posture, relaxation and support, so breath support becomes integrated into a natural and healthy voice. We will work on projection and tone development as well as intonation and musical interpretations. Furthermore we will work on developing an efficient sight-singing method, memorisation techniques, languages and pronunciation and how to optimise practice time. This will ultimately mean that once students enter university or music college, they are prepared and ready to get the maximum amount of learning from their chosen course.
Part of this work will be preparing for higher grades and small solo recitals during pupil concerts. I also encourage young singers to form duo partnerships with young pianists. To this aim I work together with several piano teachers in trying to match young talents to the benefit of both singer and pianist.