Thirty years ago I started having singing lessons.
I loved singing. As a child I always sang, but I wasn’t a natural and I didn’t show much promise. Luckily my mother (a lovely mezzo folk singer) had studied singing and knew that lessons would help me find my voice.
Over the years I have studied with a number of excellent teachers - many of whom are or were voice lecturers at conservatoriums and music schools.
From these great teachers I learnt a very healthy, natural singing technique. I learnt to approach singing with a playful energy and a mindset of honesty and ease - good singing takes concentration, commitment and energy but it isn’t forced. Good singing feels wonderful, energising and flows through you.
Singing has been a wild ride for me, from working as a superhero in a children’s touring show, to singing at grungy pubs dressed in a ball gown as part of a punk band, performing Oratorio in a Cathedral, writing and producing my own opera of Polly (of kettle putting on fame) to my daily life infused with singing. I surprised the hospital staff by singing through the labour of childbirth. Over the years I’ve explored all sorts of different styles of music. For me, the greatest bliss in all this has been the musical connection of singing with others - from small, finely tuned ensembles to majestic classical choirs to drunken jams full of lusty revelry.
This joy of sharing singing drew me to teaching. I have worked with a wide range of singers, of all ages and abilities. I have worked with students who couldn't sing in tune to develop their vocal skills and musicianship until in tune singing felt natural and easy for them. I have helped several young singers start their singing careers with one former student recently winning a vocal excellence award at Australia's National Folk Festival.
As a teacher my great love is helping adult choirs and individual singers to establish the foundations of healthy singing. For over a decade, my work has been helping folks who would like singing in their lives, to find their voices.
To hone my teaching methods, I undertook a Masters in Music focusing on pedagogy at the University of Queensland. (At the time, this course was internationally regarded as one of Australia’s best music pedagogy courses.)
Recently I have started having Alexander Technique Lessons and the impact of this on freeing my voice has led me to an appreciation of how excellent posture and muscular ease are fundamentally important to singers.
I live in the Adelaide Hills with my beautiful, brilliant husband and we sing as an acappella duo. In our arrangements we draw on folk, blues, gospel and classical music. We have offered a number of workshops in acappella singing and arranging at festivals and conferences.
Developing these online courses has been an extraordinary journey. At every stage I have given a great deal of thought and care to how I can teach and how you can learn successfully online and I’m proud of what I’ve done. It’s with pleasure I now offer them to you.
I have loved
Sunset in the forest
after golden days by the stream.
far from home.
Farther than the heart knows
how to roam.
Far from my home.