Stefan recently moved his teaching online and is also offering one-off workshops and short courses via Zoom on the theories and practice of main voice method he teaches, Estill. Participants can enjoy an interesting and informative programme of one-off sessions.
We hope you will accept his warm invitation to join him online to gather new tools on your journey towards vocal mastery.
A Magical Muscle: The Soft Palate – 20 June 2020
I Want To Sing In Opera: Classical singing and classical sounds – 27 June 2020
Targeted teaching for all levels
“In my teaching, I have singers come to me with very specific problems, like tricky breaks in the voice, wanting to learn how to sing in Swedish, needing help tackling top notes in Nessun Dorma or people who simply want a break from the daily avalanche of life to do something liberating and positive. Others are preparing auditions or recording tapes for college. Some singers just want some input on their own practice. I also offer courses on themes and techniques based on the teachings of Jo Estill.
The Estill Method is close to my heart because it has helped me so much as a professional singer. It was Paul Farrington who introduced me to this innovative approach, exploring all options for a richer artistry and most importantly – knowing how to prepare on a bad day. I went from crossing my fingers and hoping for the best to actually knowing what to do before going on stage!
The great pause
My programme of Estill sessions were planned as in-person events, so when we started to #fightthevirus, I thought I would have to cancel them. Amazingly though, I found that online works really well for this kind of skill building, possibly even better than in person! People have joined in from all over the world and it’s been a lot of unexpected fun!
The impact of the stay home measures is huge on all of us. Professional singers find their work has simply disappeared, choral singers suddenly have their whole season put on hold. Music making is a social activity, we come together and it’s a magic thing; then suddenly, that very thing can make us so ill! When the lockdown started, I immediately had people getting in touch asking for online sessions. I thought: although we are living in upside down times, the voice training doesn’t have to stop! I love to be my students’ ears and eyes, and now I’ve found ways to do this even as they are at home in their living rooms!
We just need laptops or tablets with cameras and microphones plus a good wifi connection, and for one-to-one sessions, to do a bit of planning. It always really helps to be specific about what you want out of the lesson in advance so that sheet music can be sourced and shared. A quality backing track is also a very good idea. It gets around the issue of time lag with live accompaniment so the singer can have a good sing-through of a piece and we can work on performance.
Build your skills
Each of my sessions offers the chance to focus on one vocal structure for 90 minutes and singers can then take this knowledge and apply it to their own artistry. We take deep dives into topics like thyroid tilt, the false and the true vocal folds, the tongue, the velum, and how to control these anatomies for more stable tone and increased options for your sound. Some classical singers are helped by more thyroid tilt – for example, if they want a sweeter tone – but thyroid tilt also works the other way – if you sing pop or jazz you might want to be less sweet to get the style right!
In my Estill workshops, we learn how to train and apply practically some very specific skills. Everyone taking part gets a short individual coaching on the technique, with the others observing and reflecting. The online format is brilliant for this, and the response has been terrific with singers from the US, UK, France, Germany and Sweden all taking part.
I try to make the workshops as fantastic fun and supportive as possible. Everyone will benefit – whether you are honing skills you’ve already learned or trying something for the first time, singing or speaking. Knowledge about your voice is a good thing! I really look forward to seeing you in one of my sessions, and helping you get to know your voice a bit better.”