When is a good age to start voice lessons?

I am continually asked by parents:

"I have a 5 yr old daughter who just can't stop singing. I feel she has a lot of talent and would like her voice developed".

...

Or

"My child is 6 yrs old. She loves to sing and sings all the time. I would like her to have some coaching to see if she has talent or not as don't want to waste my time if my child can't sing!"

It is IMPERATIVE a child happily sings as a child regardless whether YOU may think they are good enough or not.

I do coach children under 10 yrs however, it all depends on the individual and parents understanding of their child's OWN bespoke vocal journey.

From 5-10yrs it would be better for children to join a fun choir/ group and sing freely as much around the house as possible to songs they love without judgement.

They are incredibly young in vocal terms and with the training, it is a journey that cannot be pushed or rushed.

Anatomy and physiology has a lot to contribute to how 'mature' or vocally efficient a young voice can be ( well, ANY age )!

If your child is studying Song & Dance for competitions at a very young age, then it IS important to have guidance and mentoring from a vocal coach to learn and understand the process of learning a song correctly!

Pitch, rhythm, phrasing and commitment to text can be taught from a young age.

It is not about winning too.

It's the journey and most of all fun factor of performance and expression.

Remember, we are ALWAYS learning and at such a young age, children are at the very embryonic stage of their vocal journey!

Students I coach under 10 yrs show a natural passion for singing, not because their parents insist they have lessons.

Parents are made aware that the lessons are focussed on the enjoyment of singing, expression, communication, confidence and clarity of tone without any force or too much manipulation.

This is also a fabulous time to learn an instrument or drama for self expression, for example: ukulele, guitar, piano, any instrument and a fun drama club!

I hope this little blog clarifies some questions any of you may have about Voice lessons for the young ones.

More than happy to chat to your queries and recommend many fab groups and instrumental teachers In Cairns and FNQ

We ALL have a voice

Discovering Jo Estill's work has been in many ways an epiphany for me. After years and years of vocal judgement and strong aesthetic bias, this is music to my ears, confirming an instinct which has always been true. I want all my students and artists to have vocal choices and no aesthetic bias or judgement. We ALL have a voice.

"Singing is no more difficult than learning how to drive a car. Where you go with it – that is, what you choose to sing – is your decision. There is no single “best” voice quality. “Best” depends on what you like to hear. Some qualities require more work than others and they cannot be done without that physiological commitment. But even that “work” can be fun." - Jo Estill

Who's in control? You or your tongue?

A fabulous article by Anne-Marie Speed, one of the world's leading Estill Voice Craft Specialists.

I have had the privilege to attend Anne-Marie Speed's workshops recently and work with her personally. The tongue is a huge contributor to vocal efficiency, pitch and quality. I only know too well being taught consistently to vocalise with a low tongue, making my vocal instrument difficult to work efficiently and cross over different styles.

A must read!

http://www.voicecouncil.com/whos-in-control-you-or-your-tongue/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MVM+375+10+October+2016&utm_content=MVM+375+10+October+2016+Version+A+CID_253ba9df4fba1da61e087408c47382c4&utm_source=Campaign+Monitor&utm_term=READ+MORE

Dreaded Phlegm

Dreaded Phlegm. All vocalists and speakers hate phlegm. Avoid clearing throat by coughing and grunting. Sounds awful, however swallowing is far better. Phlegm is also a 'protector'. The body will produce further phlegm to protect the true vocal folds if there is vocal trauma (swelling, scratching etc). It is also triggered by dietary intolerance however, would make sure the cause isn't from vocal trauma first.

http://www.voicecouncil.com/endless-phlegm/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=vcr+289+VC2+07Aug2016&utm_content=vcr+289+VC2+07Aug2016+CID_c8e22004f9d53e735362f6e659d2093f&utm_source=Campaign+Monitor&utm_term=READ+MORE

CAIRNS EYE - A fabulous surprise!

A fabulous surprise to have such coverage in the Cairns Eye last weekend. Thank you to Editor Rosalind Pulley at Cairns Post for a lovely editorial.  It certainly has been a challenging journey since moving to Cairns from life in London. 

Starting all over again is daunting and scary with plenty of ups and downs, however I'm so happy I have made such a change. Change can be a good thing. I now find my career even more challenging and rewarding than ever! 

Who knows where this amazing journey will take me? All I know is i'm extremely thankful for this enriching ride!