the british voice association


Interactive Rock & Pop Weekend 2018

Rock & Pop Weekend 2018 posterSaturday 24th & Sunday 25th November 2018
Royal Academy of Music and Cecil Sharp House, London

A weekend of practical ‘hands-on’ learning for singers, vocal coaches and voice professionals...

Saturday 24th November: 6:30pm – 9:30pm, Royal Academy of Music 

Workshop with Mary Hammond

Vocal coach to TV personalities, West End Theatre and pop artists, (e.g. Florence Welch, Chris Martin and Adele).

Sharing The Practical Uses of Teaching Voice For The Rock & Pop Industry
Mary Hammond’s extensive work as a singer and vocal coach has encompassed a wide spectrum of music, from Opera, Pop / Rock, Television, Radio and Live Concerts. Some examples of the artists Mary has taught are Bastille, Adele, Tom Odell, Florence Welch, Matthew Healey, Chris Martin, Arcade Fire, Dido and many more. In this insightful workshop, Mary and her colleagues will share their practical insights for Pop/Rock singers today, using live demonstrations from singers working professionally in the industry.


Sunday 25th November: 10:30am – 5pm, Cecil Sharp House, London

Multi-disciplinary day

  • Harmonising in Vocal Exercises: Kim Chandler (Session Singer / Vocal Coach, Marbella and London)
  • Audition Technique: Juliet Russell & Will Lester (Vocal Coaches for ITV’s ‘The Voice’ & ‘The Voice Kids’)
  • Vocal Health: What Does It Mean To Look After Your Voice?; Nick Gibbins (Consultant ENT Surgeon and Laryngologist, Lewisham Hospital) and Tori Burnay (Voice Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Guy’s and St. Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust)
  • Laryngeal Manual Therapy in Rock & Pop singers: Charles Ward (Sports & Laryngeal Manual Therapist)
  • Preparing the Rock & Pop singer for ‘The Rigours of The Road’: an interview with Kim Chandler (Lorna Blackwood (Vocal Coach & Vocal Producer)
  • Choral Workshop: Craig Lees (MD, Leeds Contemporary Singers, winners of BBC1’s ‘Pitch Battle’ 2017).


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Sunday 25th November: Provisional programme & session summaries

9:30 - 10:30am

10:30 - 11:15am: Session One

Harmonising In Vocal Exercises
Kim Chandler

Aside from the obvious importance of lead vocals, backing vocals are also a key ingredient in many pop songs. Vocal exercises in private tuition understandably favour the development of the lead voice, but the inclusion of work on vocal harmonies in private tuition will develop the ear more than working on melody alone and foster deeper appreciation for the role played by backing vocals. It’s a directly relevant way that harmonic concepts and coordinated movement can be introduced into vocal tuition to make students better all-round musicians and performers. Even for singers who never intend to do backing vocals & vocal harmonies themselves in either recording or live performance, understanding this role will help them to create better backing vocal parts for their own songs. This presentation will provide practical, fun ways that vocal harmony concepts can be included in a private lesson context via a range of different exercises.

11:15am - 12:15pm: Session Two

Audition Techniques
Juliet Russell & Will Lester

With national singing competitions and television talent shows now a feature of the UK music landscape, this presentation will explore the elements that create a memorable or successful audition. It will also discuss strategies for auditions for live work and feature vocals. Auditions can provide key opportunities for career development, but essentially they also provide opportunities for singers to learn and grow. Sometimes a “no” can be as impactful as a “yes”. This presentation will also reflect on the importance of working safely with young voices and how as teachers we can best prepare our students technically, expressively and psychologically to do their best in any situation.

Short break (15 minutes)

12:30 - 1:30pm : Session Three

Vocal Health: What Does It Mean To Look After Your Voice?
Nicholas Gibbons & Tori Burnay

There are many myths that have perpetuated through the mists of time about how to look after your voice whether it be avoiding dairy or using a specific concoction to disperse mucus. We will present the cold truth about vocal hygiene and try to dispel as many rumours and untruths as possible. Based on cutting edge research, we will show you how to look after your voice, the basics and reasons behind hydration, how to use your voice to prolong your career and what to do when it goes wrong.

1.30 - 2.15pm
Lunch (45mins)

2:15 - 3:00pm: Session Four

Larageal Manual Therapy for Rock & Pop Singers
Charles Ward

An overview of Laryngeal Therapy and the common issues presented by singers and voice users.

3:00 - 3:30pm: Session Five

Preparing The Rock & Pop Singer For The Rigours of The Road
Lorna Blackwood & Kim Chandler

Kim first interviewed Lorna at this same event 11 years when Lorna had recently started teaching. A decade later she’s now the vocal coach of chart-topping British pop artists such as Dua Lipa, George Ezra, Liam Payne, Years & Years, to name a few. With so many young singers aspiring to be successful artists themselves, Kim and Lorna are back together to discuss the “behind-the-scenes” realities and pressures of the performing lives of artists at this level, from the perspective of the coaches who help them: heavy tour schedules, press/media calls & interviews, fan "meet & greets” & album signings, life in venues, on tour buses, singing with jet lag etc. There are reports regularly in the press about artists announcing cancellations of shows or even cutting tours short due to voice issues, so this interview will provide insight into this largely hidden world and provide valuable information for all singers for how to protect their own voices and safeguard their own singing careers.

Short break (15 minutes)

3:45 - 4:15pm: Session Six

Question & Answer Session on the day’s topics.
All Speakers

4:15 - 5:00pm: Session Seven

Teaching & Performing Contemporary Rock & Material With Your Choir
Craig Lees

Enjoy a whistle stop tour through the world of Rock and Pop Choral singing, designed to fill you with fresh new ideas to take back to your choir. Learn new songs and explore new techniques in style and blend. This workshop is designed to be highly interactive, participant will be encouraged to sing and take instruction from the workshop leader throughout.



Mary Hammond Workshop only (Saturday 24th November)

  • Early bird (before 29 Oct): £50 members / £65 non-members / £25 students
  • Full price (after 29 Oct) £60 members / £75 non-members / £35 students

Multi-disciplinary Day only (Sunday 25th November)

  • Early bird (before 29th October): £85 members / £115 non-members / £55 students
  • Full price (after 29 Oct): £100 members / £130 non-members / £65 students

Book both events together (Workshop and Multi-disciplinary Day)

  • Early bird (before 29 Oct): £120 members / £160 non-members / £60 students
  • Full price (after 29 Oct): £135 members / £180 non-members / £70 students


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