My musicianship, and my teaching, balances across two areas which I call ‘the music room’ and ‘the temple.’
In the music room, we geek out! We start from wherever we are, and we work on our chops. We take technique and musicianship seriously; we find how we like to learn, and dive in.
In the temple, it’s time to surrender, to be vulnerable, to let the heart and soul sing.
The temple and the music room need one another. When I am the teacher, we inhabit both.
I teach vocal improvisation in the UK and California. Here is a video about my work; follow the links below for more details.
I am realising my students tend to fall into one of about four categories:
The Flourishing Professional
Performers and recording artists study improvisation with me to tap into something a little wilder, deeper and truer than, perhaps, the box the market has placed them in. Adventurous choir leaders tend to come to widen their pallete of things to do with groups.
Many talented musicians’ love of music leads them to do a music degree; in which some people seem to actually get further away from their natural, un-self-conscious, sacred, easeful musicality and voice. Improvisation helps them to reconnect to their musical core, freedom, and inspiration.
The ‘I Just Love to Sing’ers
They may lead or sing in a local choir, perform or have performed or some point; some folks come who Just Love To Sing.
The Emerging Voice
At any time of life, some people reach a point when their voice bubbles up from inside of them saying, ‘let me out!’ And they say, ‘wow, what is in here?’ Improvisation provides the space to let the emerging voice find itself. Some of these people call me and say, “am I good enough to come?” And I say, ‘if your pitching is ok (if you can sing in tune), if you can feel a beat, and if you’re called to this work, then you’re perfect.’
The Adventuring Retiree
Older people seem to often be playful and adventurous and not quite so hung up on other things as the rest of us 🙂 And retirement can be a time when passions that didn’t get so much space in other times of life, can get attention. Thus, retirees on a musical, personal and vocal adventure often join the groups, and greatly enrich them. Thank you for coming.
Mothers love to sing too. Sometimes with infants strapped to them. Sometimes with a five, or 11, or 14 year old joining the circle open-mouthed, perahps never having seen adults behave and sing like this. Pretty soon, they join in. Then they invite me to come to their schools……