A super article with some great ideas for keeping your voice in shape during lockdown!
Well done if you did! Gareth Malone inspired hundreds of thousands of people every week to sing along from living rooms around the world. The comments on each session were uplifting… ‘you’ve got me singing again’ and ‘it’s given me the confidence to join a choir after lockdown’ were totally representative. But what are your options if you’d like to keep going?
Lessons help everyone
Each person has different goals. Some people already sing in a choir and want to improve their high notes. Some want to be able to reach the low notes! Some pupils just want to be able to sing a note at all and others want to reach Grade 8 or go to music college. Sometimes it’s not even about singing but overcoming inhibitions around standing up in front of people to make business presentations – and singing is a great way to gain performing confidence. The point is, there’s no right reason to take singing lessons, just lots of different and really good reasons.
Do lessons make a difference?
They do! The addictive thing about singing lessons is that you hear your voice change every week. As your muscles get stronger and you learn how your body produces sound (and no, it’s not in your throat), your range increases and your tone becomes more consistent. Songs that you found tough to begin with become easy and you move on to new music that challenges you. If you’re preparing for exams, you work out the pieces that best suit your voice and then coaching helps you develop the right style to communicate the story and the meaning.
So if lockdown’s got you singing again or you feel the need to blow away some vocal cobwebs then get in touch. There’s no big commitment – just come along for a discovery lesson and find out if it’s for you.
Covid-19 almost brought live music, performing arts and music lessons to a screeching halt. Amazingly though, it’s also brought music to more people as more and more music went online. And for hundreds of thousands of people singing has been a lifeline during a lockdown. They’ve discovered (or re-discovered) not only the emotional and physical benefits but also the rewards of coming together in groups to sing.
Keeping things going… onwards and online
Lockdown meant big changes – cancelling performances and face-to-face teaching. We can’t lie, the first couple of weeks were incredibly challenging. Fortunately the wonderful Andy Clague of Trusted PC Man in Grayshott helped boost our in-house wifi and the Haslemere Singing Studio now has a professional audio interface to enhance the experience. Yes, wifi capability can still cause occasional issues and timing delays but our students have kept singing the whole time and we’ve learned to make video teaching effective.
Along the way we’ve discovered that some video call systems have better sound than others, that it doesn’t help if Phil gets the password wrong and locks himself out of a call, and that you ALWAYS need to have a backup system! The unexpected silver lining though is that online sessions work well and will continue even after lockdown ends – particularly for students who are still shielding or those who travel long distances for their lessons.
Singing together again
The end of lockdown brings practical questions around social distancing and hygiene (answers – a 6ft perspex screen between teacher and student, lots of alcohol gel and plentiful cleaning and airing of the studio). There are also emotional barriers to overcome as we all venture out of our homes.
All of that said, it’s great to see everyone again and we’re loving the energy of teaching ‘real’ people rather than a computer screen.