Monday, 8 February 2021

Snow, singing and 60 Seconds

Well hello, and happy belated new year. To say we are locked down in the UK, and have been for a month now, I am crazy busy right now. Having been online for nearly a year teaching it’s been an interesting and thought-provoking time as well as providing me, and every other teacher in the world, with an extremely large learning curve. 

I am writing this on a cold and snowy Sunday afternoon whilst watching an audition workshop on Zoom (I find it impossible to do one thing at a time anymore, I am constantly multi-tasking). It appears to have stopped snowing outside now and, because I’ve just had a horrendous electricity bill come in, I’ve turned down my thermostat and am wearing two jumpers along with an old woman blanket over my knees whilst I compose this post. 

So, what have I got to tell you? A few things actually. I started 2021 with a few manageable resolutions and, so far, I am sticking to them. Well, most of them. The two big ones I really want to stick to are the ones that are going well, thankfully. They are 1) to read for at least 5 minutes a day and 2) to exercise (go for a walk) for 10 minutes a day. I have managed both of these and, of course, do more than the required 5 or 10 minutes at a time. I just figured, if I set myself a ridiculously easy goal I am more likely to achieve it and, so far so good (perhaps some of you, particularly the students, could apply the 5 or 10 minute idea to your singing practice!). What this has meant is that I don’t feel as drained as I had been when I sit down to teach online. Especially when, at times, I can be teaching for over 4 hours without a break. It is really quite tiring looking at a screen for such lengthy amounts of time when you aren’t used to it.

This new found energy has also meant that I look forward to teaching online. No matter what happens with this pandemic the online thing is here to stay. I will now always have students that would rather have their lessons online and that is more than OK with me. I made a decision a couple of weeks that I will probably do more online teaching than in person teaching from now on. I have also found that I want to teach more adults and young adults rather than children which is why I am raising the minimum age to 13yrs old to have lessons with me from now on (this does NOT apply to the people I already teach, your places are safe!). 

What I have found is that I like working with people preparing for further education. Auditions for drama schools and dance colleges. I particularly like working with those for who singing is not their strongest discipline and helping them gain more confidence before they face their greatest fear - singing in front of people! I have a few ideas to help more students needing help with this through group sessions as well as individual lessons. Watch this space.

The other thing I wanted to tell you about today is that I’ve started a new venture on Instagram. The 60 Second Singer will be a series of 60 Second videos of me giving you little breathing techniques and vocal exercises to try at home or on the go. Check it out here and please consider following me there. 

If you have snow, and like snow, go and enjoy it. If you don’t, get yourself an old lady blanket and a hot drink and snuggle up on the sofa. Perhaps also go and like The 60 Second Singer on Instagram! 

Oh and here’s a picture from my snowy walk this morning.