Friday, October 07, 2011

Voxbox Teacher Training

The start of our teacher training programme is coming up soon. We have a number of great applicants for the programme, but right now are looking for a few more potential teachers as we only want the very best teachers to carry the Voxbox seal of approval.

In the past our Camden studio always offered a selection of teachers at all price levels, but as the years go by (can you believe that next year is out 10th anniversary??) the teacher' prices have risen and we can no longer offer teachers to beginners and those on a tight budget.

After some months of looking for new teachers, even among the SLS trainees, we realised that if we want teachers who meet our high quality standards we would have to undertake some training ourselves. We have designed a great course that covers the practical and theoretical basics of teaching and a method for getting people teaching and earning money as quickly as possible. Really the only way to learn to teach singing is to teach singing, and we will be walking our new trainees through every step of the process for the coming year.

Personally Lucy and I are very excited by this development, as the only way to grow our business is to develop the skills of the people around us.

By taking control of teacher training at this foundation level we ensure that teachers have all the foundation knowledge they need ... which some other programmes don't offer as comprehensively as they should.

To some extent in this we are standing on the shoulders of giants: Both Lucy and I learned our basics and inherited our methodology from SLS. We both acknowledge the enormous work done by Seth Riggs and his colleagues in formulating the foundation method of contemporary voice teaching used by SLS and non-SLS teachers around the world.

We have many years of experience managing teachers and seeing how they perform in the real world... and of course experience of our own teaching. We have seen areas where teachers' overall skill set could have better foundations, and where knowledge or specialised skills are lacking.

We have written a two part course, the current one offered being the foundation-level teaching course, with a much more advanced, two-year 'Professional Vocal Instructor' course to follow.

As with all singing-teaching-training programmes, ours is a proprietary non-accredited course. We are working towards getting our second-level course accredited, but cannot promise that it will be... it is proving difficult to find a place for it in the national educational framework. We therefore will issue certificates of completion for the foundation-level course. This will be a permanent certification at this level, unlike the SLS programme which certifies on an annual basis.

Note that this certificate is not sufficient for school-teaching, which requires a different set of qualifications entirely. Our training is oriented toward learning to work in a 1 to 1 situation with singers. Working with groups will be covered in the advanced level professional teacher course.

However the main purpose of training is to get working, and our course is designed to do just that, get you working. With our popularity, high status and Camden-based studios we are uniquely placed to provide studio space and students for our trainees. You will see that the course includes a requirement for a mandatory number of hours of practical solo teaching. We cannot guarantee full schedules, but based on our long experience of the market we feel there are enough enquiries for us to fill the limited number of trainee-teacher lessons we are bringing on to the schedule. In the event of us not having enough enquires to fill all of the trainee lessons in the allotted time, we will extend the time frame of the training until the requirement can be satisfied.

The training will start as soon as we have a group of 4 talented potential teachers. We are planning for this to be by the satrt of November, however it may run a little after that. For it to work our properly we have a certain amount of work to get though before the end of the year, with initial teaching practise beginning in January.

You can apply at

Our Mission Statement

Professional vocal instruction is a sui generis field of expertise. It is a musical discipline in part, yet has almost nothing in common with instrumental pedagogy. It is somewhat akin to speech therapy, yet its aims are different. It shares many concepts and aims with dramatic art, but these are differently applied.

Teachers of singing have traditionally been singers themselves, very often giving lessons while developing or winding down their performing careers.

The quality standard of singing teachers is currently largely unregulated, and the demand for singing lessons continues to grow. New recognition of the health and social bonding benefits of singing, as well as the popularity of singing as an enjoyable pastime help drive this demand. Popular music is increasingly democtratised and more people are participating rather than just consuming. Standard of technical achievement displayed by popular singers mean that every singer now needs high-level tuition.

Voxbox was founded in 2002, and since then has established a reputation for quality vocal tuition. There are, very broadly speaking, two types of ‘singing teachers’: Those who work with singers on their songs and performances, choosing songs that ‘suit the voice’’. The second type of singing teacher is sometimes ‘Voice Technician’. These teachers use highly specialised techniques to work directly on the voice to achieve fitness and correct vocal coordination throughout the vocal range, and routinely bring about startling improvements in their students’ voices. Naturally, these teachers also work on songs and performance issues. Voxbox directors and teachers are voice technicians.

Voxbox would like to provide benchmark qualifications that assure students that they will be receiving the best possible technical vocal work from a teacher who has a broad undertanding of music, singing, the practical aspects of being a singer and the music business .

No comments: