I have had a very enjoyable career as a singing teacher for nearly 30 years, teaching many choristers during that time. One thing that I have found challenging is to get them to take their vocal health seriously. I, as a professional adult singer, know how important it is and take the necessary steps to look after myself and my voice. Children do not always take this advice easily and I have found myself turning into a ‘nag’ and getting frustrated that the message hasn’t always sunk in. I decided to write a little book a couple of years ago specifically for the choristers themselves as there are several adult vocal health books on the market but nothing for children. I have regularly used the metaphor of a racing car in singing lessons when talking about vocal health; it is a logical analogy and seemed to fire their imagination and make it more fun. Our brains learn far better when something is fun!
It sat on a ‘back-burner’ for a little while but I’ve now published it myself with help from family and friends, to whom I’m very grateful.
It has been beautifully and wittily illustrated by a Westminster Cathedral Chorister Mum, Karen Fardell and all the pictures are inspired by the boys there.
The book is divided into 3 main sections, Under the bonnet – How your voice works, General Maintenance – Vocal health and Ready, steady, go! – Warm up, rehearse, perform. I have avoided talking about singing technique although do suggest a beginning for a warm up but have included a little voice science in the first section. Throughout the book there are several activities to make it as interactive as possible; Try this experiment…
The Chorister and the Racing Car is available as a full colour paperback book or as an e-book.