I had the enormous pleasure of doing some teaching in Australia recently. Giving vocal workshops for the Musical Theatre courses at Queensland Conservatorium, the Victorian College of the Arts and Showfit (Centrestage Performing Arts School) in Melbourne was exhilarating. The students at all three institutions were hungry to learn and eager to try new approaches, opening themselves up to exploring their vocal talent. They were also very brave in airing their technical problems/ challenges.
It requires enormous courage to display ones technical issues publicly and proceed to work on them in front of an audience. I was astonished by the singers’ willingness to lay themselves bare. The results were tremendous. Some singers discovered their Belt or a connected Head Voice for the first time. We managed to solve and explain many things that had caused concern and embarrassment.
The Musical Theatre Course at The Queensland Conservatorium is a relatively new course run by Paul Sabey. Paul used to be Head of Musical Theatre at Mountview Academy in London in the time I was working as a vocal coach there. He is running the course in Queensland with his legendary rigour and discipline. Paul is a consummate musician/MD as well as a highly experienced Course Director. From everything I saw this is a great place to study!
The students who have come over to London from Australia have been some of the most successful singers I have taught. Coming half way across the globe to prove themselves seems to inspire a tenacity that is hard to beat. The natural Aussie twang also helps coupled with a sunny and enthusiastic disposition.
I’ll be going back to teach in Australia in Easter 2015 and am very much looking forward to it!