A day of workshops on healthy auditions, healthy voices - and healthy knees!

HANNAH KING (SOPRANO)

Having all sung Sunday morning services we made our way to South London for an afternoon with three industry experts; David Clegg, Lindsay Wagstaff and Veronica Veysey Campbell. 

As a fixer for many of the top London ensembles, David is an excellent contact for any young singer to make and so it was great to be able to audition for him. After we'd all had our individual calls he brought us together so we could grill him about the industry a little. He'd structured our auditions to simulate a variety of styles and requests that we might encounter and talked us through the reasoning behind each request. It's often not a priority of those in that position (understandably) to give feedback so it was really useful to sit down with David afterwards and dissect the process.

Our second session was, for me, the most enlightening of the day. Lindsay Wagstaff, an expert Alexander Technique teacher, worked with us all as a group and individually to give us a basic introduction to the method and to help us apply it to our singing. Although I've had some Alexander coaching before, this was the first time I had put it into a performance context and to make that connection made a huge difference to the sound I was producing. Like many singers, I'm a habitual knee-locker, and have always struggled to get a balance between locked knees and having them too bent. Lindsay simply pointed out to us that our knee joints are located at the back of the leg, rather than at the knee-cap, and that small change in thinking suddenly made it much easier!

Our final session was with the wonderful singing teacher Veronica Veysey Campbell, who talked to us about the importance of looking after our voices. It's hard to get to this stage without having had the importance of steaming pressed on you, but Veronica's talk went far beyond the basic 'lemon and honey' level and educated us on what to do should we really find ourselves in any vocal trouble. It's a scary thought that we might ever need to visit a vocal clinic but knowing where to go and what to ask for should that happen is a really reassuring place to start.