Information About James - Surbiton teacher
This is how 2 referees rated James:
James is a diligent and creative music professional who is immersed in Musical Theatre. He specialises in musical direction and the teaching of singing and performance techniques. As a musical director he aspires to provide an excellent musical product and experience for all. His thorough approach means that he creates a relaxed yet professional atmosphere for musicians, casts and creative teams.
As a singing teacher James specialises in musical theatre, incorporating the Estill model in his teaching. As well as leading workshops and group singing classes James teaches privately offering lessons for adults and children; both professional and amateur. As well as fundamental singing technique James also focuses on interpretation and acting through song to enhance the performance of songs for all styles. Some pupils take singing and music theatre exams maintaining a 100% pass rate. James offers assistance with audition preparation and applications for vocational colleges and professional courses. Previous pupils have gone onto study at Arts Educational School, Mountview, Guildford School of Acting, London Studio Centre, ALRA, The Urdang Academy, Italia Conti, The Oxford School of Drama, The Brit School, University of Chichester and others have gone on to perform professionally around the country and in West End shows.
James’ skills as a singing teacher coincide with his work as a freelance musical director. He works with professional theatre companies, drama schools and youth theatre groups specialising in musical theatre and plays with music. James’ skills and experience as a MD include accompanying rehearsals, sight reading (especially for auditions), leading vocal warm ups and workshops, playing keys in orchestra pits, conducting ensembles, Keyboard and Mainstage programming, creating arrangements and composing award winning music.
I have been working as a singing teacher since 2012 determined to provide young people and musical theatre performers with an excellent education in how their voices work and how to use them efficiently. Musical theatre and other contemporary vocal styles often receive concerns from performers and teachers about the damage it causes to voices and the longevity of a career. This is very rarely the case and there are many musical theatre, pop and rock vocalists who have been singing and performing all their lives with excellent technique, keeping their voices healthy. Also, the research is continuing to grow to help us understand more clearly; how our voices work and how to use them efficiently.
I am a supporter of the Estill model and attend regular courses led by Anne Marie Speed to use in my teaching but I also call upon other techniques I’ve learnt from other teachers and researchers. As well as Anne Marie Speed I follow advice from Ross Campbell, Mary Hammond and Mary King who teach on the musical theatre course at the Royal Academy of Music.
My experience involves working with children privately and in group lessons focusing on musical awareness and developing their sense of pitch and singing as an ensemble (if in a group). I’ve led children’s choirs and do a lot of work for youth theatre groups providing support for when boys and girls start to go through their voice change. I do a lot of work especially with young boy’s voices; supporting them through the change and helping them find their “new” voice.
Other experience includes working with musical theatre and acting students with developing technique and interpreting material. I offer support working towards auditions for drama schools and other vocational courses and assisting professional performers prepare new material for their auditions. Past pupils have gone on to study at Arts Ed, Mountview, GSA, London Studio Centre, ALRA, Chichester University, Italia Conti, The Brit School and the Urdang Academy. Others have appeared in West End shows such as The Lion King, Matilda, Mary Poppins and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
For pupils wanting to take exams in singing and musical theatre I do that too. Most of my pupils take Trinity College exams as their syllabus and exam experience in my opinion is excellent. The singing exams are flexible to suit any pupil and the range of repertoire to perform is huge. Previous pupils have also taken London College of Music exams in Music Theatre and Rockschool vocal exams with a 100% pass rate across all three boards.
Normally lessons are an 55 minutes long but for younger children I tend to offer 40 minute lessons. I am flexible regards timings; some pupils have an hour and a half or two hours depending on their requirements and preference. If you have a piano at home or there is space for me to bring a digital piano I can travel to you for a small extra fee or you can come to my studio in Kingston upon Thames.
Previously I’ve worked for Laine Theatre Arts, Italia Conti Arts Centre, Academy of Performance Training, The Ultimate Voice, Ewell Castle School, Stagecoach Theatre Arts Schools and Richmond Theatre.
Teaching singing is a huge passion of mine as working with every voice is different. I teach a huge range of pupils of different ages and varying abilities but with different interests. This can be recapping and improving basic technique, working towards exams, a single concert or an audition for a drama school. I use the Estill model in my teaching and specialise in musical theatre but I do teach and work with people performing many different styles. A basic and fundamental understanding of how the voice works supports all styles of singing. As a teacher I challenge students to explore a range of strategies and tools to get the best out of their voice and performance. I ensure students maintain their individuality, creative musicality and performance integrity.
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Availability: Weekends / Weekdays (all times)
References Available: Yes (✔ On File)
- Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts (2022) - Musical Direction (Masters) (✘ Not On File)
- Institute of Education (2016) - Secondary Music (PGCE) (✘ Not On File)
- Trinity College London (2016) - ATCL Music Theatre (Other) (✘ Not On File)
- Kingston University (2015) - BA Music & Dance (Bachelors) (✘ Not On File)