Monday, October 14, 2013

An Innovative Approach: Group Classes to Achieve Individual Progress

While I was receiving my own Bel Canto singing instruction in both London, England and Bologna, Italy my teacher Julian Miller frequently invited me to sit in on his lessons with other students. We would all open our imaginations to discuss what was happening in the student’s voice as well as ideas to make further progress towards VOCAL FREEDOM. Sometimes we would gather several students together in a discussion. It was a most rewarding and exhilarating exercise. I saw the potential for us all to learn from one another and build each other up.

When I began to teach singing in Germany and in London I followed in that tradition by getting my students together in groups of two or three and encouraged similar types of discussions. I soon found that I was gathering larger and larger groups together in addition to each student’s individual sessions with me. The students enjoyed collaborating with one another and encouraging one another about their singing.

Now it is my regular policy to hold group classes at the Bel Canto House School of Singing in Dublin. Led by myself or my associate teacher Edwin Williamson, the students learn from each other in a relaxed setting, each taking turns singing a variety of songs from Irish ballads to showband classics operatic arias. The cardinal rule of my school is that every person’s statement or comment must be positive and constructive. Negativity is simply not allowed at the Bel Canto House. My school is a place of learning and growth and joy where each person is made to feel welcome and encouraged.

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