AFD Vocal & Performance Coaching

One to one private singing lessons are either 30 minutes or 1 hour long depending on the student’s individual training plan. As a rule of thumb, most students under the age of 8 tend to have a 30 minute lesson and those 8+ usually have a 1 hour session. During singing lessons students will learn skills such as; how to correctly warm up their bodies and voices, how to apply correct vocal technique, how to use appropriate technical and musical vocabulary, performance technique, understanding of different vocal qualities,  create a repertoire folder full of songs they can sing for any event/audition and the list goes on! All students must bring along to their lessons; a notebook and pencil for writing down any notes I have given them to work on, a folder to keep all lyrics and sheet music in, a bottle of water and an attitude ready to learn!

Lessons are adapted for each student’s needs meaning that each individual training plan will be tailor made depending on what they require such as; preparing for auditions/castings, entering LCM singing exams and preparing the student for any performance that they may be taking part in. All students are given the opportunity to undertake LCM singing examinations. I currently deliver the following syllabi; Popular Music Vocals, Music Theatre and Early Learning Music. Examinations are fully inclusive. I also appreciate that exams aren’t always everyone’s cup of tea! My lessons are totally unique to each student and I most certainly don’t follow any sort of ‘cookie cutter’ lesson template. Please see below for some more information regarding what subjects are covered during singing lessons. Please note that this is a very basic outline of what should be covered by any vocal coach. Once the student has had their first lesson with me, I will able to discuss in more detail what I plan to work on with them.

Ages 3-5

Students between ages 3-5 tend to enjoy a wide variety of songs and music, learning styles such as simple musical theatre, pop, music hall and nursery rhymes. Lessons are structured for the individual, based on many factors such as personality, age and ability. Students at this age will be introduced to approprate vocal technique including but not limited to:

  • Dynamics
  • Breathing
  • Diction
  • Pitch
  • Simple music theory

Singing lessons for children between the ages of 3-5 aim to introduce the student to; rhythm and timing, singing clarity, pitch, tonality, major scales and arpeggios and performance technique. Depending on ability, children may be encouraged to explore more advanced techniques and skills. Many students enjoy taking part in the AFD showcases and attending auditions for local productions. Alongside vocal training, I also encourage students of this age to start learning some basic audition technique such as ‘slating’ and how to behave during a face to face casting/audition and self taping tips. LCM Early Learning Music examinations are available to all children under 5.

I recommend a 30 minute lesson for students ages 3-5.

Ages 6-9

Singing lessons for students between the ages of 6-9 are structured depending on the student’s individual training plan which will be initially created during the assessment lesson and then developed and changed over time. Some areas of study at this age include but are not limited to:

  • Dynamics
  • Diction
  • Vocal clarity
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Vocal qualities
  • Rhythm and timing
  • Tonality
  • Pitch
  • Projecting the voice
  • Acting through song
  • Basic microphone technique
  • Performance skills
  • Music theory
  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios
  • Audition technique

Many students enjoy taking part in the AFD showcases and attending auditions for local amateur and nationwide professional productions. Alongside vocal training, students are also coached in audition technique. Students will learn how to correctly ‘slate’ and how to behave during a face to face casting/audition alongside as learning how to self tape. Some students at this age enjoy creating their own music and exploring songwriting. Lessons are based around the student’s goals and interests and an individual training plan will be made during the first assessment lesson.

Depending on ability, I recommend a 1 hour lesson for students ages 8+ and a 30 minute lesson for those ages 6-8.

LCM Music Theatre and Popular Music Vocals examinations are an option at this age. AFD has a 100% pass rate with most students gaining a Distinction.

Ages 10-15

Singing lessons for students aged 10-15 are a little bit more advanced and begin to introduce more skills and knowledge of vocal technique and performance. Young performers of this age may still be discovering what career path they would like to pursue while some might already have a strong sense of what they want to do. Typically, there are two main routes that children like to focus on; musical theatre performance (theatre) and/or musicianship (pop/rock vocals). I encourage students to explore both routes at this age to develop a background in various skills.

Please see below for some examples of what students work on:

  • Dynamics
  • Diction
  • Articulation
  • Accent/Dialect
  • Diaphragmatic breathing
  • Vocal clarity
  • Estill vocal qualities
  • Vocal health
  • Rhythm and timing
  • Breath control and support
  • Tonality
  • Pitch
  • Improving vocal range
  • Connecting and blending the different voice qualities
  • Develop a healthy mixed voice
  • Projecting the voice
  • Acting through song
  • Performance
  • Advanced microphone technique
  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios
  • Music theory

Similar to the information in the previous age categories, students of this age will be coached in audition technique such as ‘slating’ and how to compose yourself in a face to face casting/audition and also how to put together a successful self tape.

I recommend a 1 hour lesson for students ages 10-15.

LCM Music Theatre and Popular Music Vocals examinations are available to all students of this age. AFD has a 100% pass rate with most students getting a Distinction.

Ages 16+

I offer singing lessons to young performers on a one to one basis who would like to pursue a career in the performing arts industry. Due to current demand, I am only offering vocal coaching to young performers who are under 18 unless they are already an AFD student. During drama school audition season I do have a number of limited audition preparation sessions which are 2 hours long and are chargeable at £50. This fee includes any sheet music, backing tracks, music cuts that you may need alongside vocal coaching and technique etc. Please get in touch if this is something you require.

One to one singing lessons for young performers ages 16-18 are generally more advanced and I like with work with the student to create a training plan that coincides with their desired career path. As explained above typically there are two main routes that young performers like to explore; musical theatre performance (theatre) and musicianship (pop/rock vocals). I encourage students to gain skills in all areas however it is advisable to focus on each route separately.

Please see below for some of the areas covered (please note that this list is not extensive):

  • Dynamics
  • Diction
  • Articulation
  • Accent/dialect
  • Intercostal diaphragmatic breathing
  • Vocal clarity
  • Estill voice craft
  • Advanced vocal health
  • Jaw and palate placement
  • Rhythm and timing
  • Breath support control
  • Tonality
  • Pitch
  • Improving vocal range
  • Exploring and connecting different voice qualities
  • Develop a healthy mixed voice
  • Projecting the voice
  • Advanced performance skills
  • Advanced microphone technique
  • Ear training and improvisation
  • Major and minor scales and arpeggios
  • Music theory

Similar to the information in the previous age categories, young performers of this age will be coached in audition technique such as ‘slating’ and how to compose yourself in a face to face casting/audition and also how to put together a successful self tape. Audition technique is such a vital part of being a performer and it can really make a difference in the casting process. It is just as important to have great audition technique as it is to have fantastic vocal/performance technique.

I recommend a 1 hour lesson for students ages 16+

LCM Music Theatre and Popular Music Vocals examinations are available to all students of this age. AFD has a 100% pass rate with most students getting a Distinction.

FAQ

Please see below for frequently asked questions regarding singing lessons.

Yes, I coach all children ages 3+ who have a passion and flair for music regardless of previous experience. I would recommend booking an assessment lesson and to encourage your child to write a list of goals of what they would like to learn, what they would would they like to be when they are older and any other aspirations they may have and to bring it along to the assessment lesson. This is a great way for me to find out who they really are!

I prefer to not coach children who are already under another training programme as it can interfere with different teaching techniques and methods. If this is something that you require, please contact me directly to discuss this further.

I love coaching children who would like to perform as a career. AFD is not an agency however I do have close links to casting directors and do find out about west end and local castings. I would also recommend having a look at some reputable children’s performing arts agencies.

No. From my experience students gain more from having a private one to one lesson. I offer a group class on a Sunday evening 6pm-8pm for current AFD students to learn group singing skills such as harmony and so on.

I do not offer one off lessons as I find that students don’t benefit much from only attending one session. Much like learning how to play the piano or violin, one stand alone lesson wouldn’t be very useful.

No. The first lesson is a little bit different as it is an assessment lesson. During this time I work with the student to create a training plan for future lessons. I also listen to current vocal range and lots of other things that help me to figure the most productive way to deliver training. I used to offer a free taster for new students which was a little bit more fun based however I have found that the assessment lesson is more productive in the long run.

I do not allow anyone to watch lessons. I used to let parents sit and watch lessons however I have discovered that students work much better without an audience. Learning new skills can be daunting and nerve wracking and the last thing a student needs is someone watching. Just like learning another instrument/skill, students would be expected to attend their lesson alone. I offer lots of performance opportunities throughout the year for friends and family to come and watch. Also snippets of video footage from the lesson can be sent to parents with consent.

All lessons take place at my home in South Shields. I do however teach one to one and group lessons in schools across the North East. If you would like me to teach at your school please get in touch via my email info@afdsinging.co.uk

Get in touch to arrange a private assessment singing lesson

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