Autumn Conference 2012

Good Learning, Good Teaching

An exploration of a variety of learning approaches and repertoire for teachers and students

Sunday 4 November


Sorry, the deadline for application has now passed.


(*upon proof of eligibility)

(inclusive of morning coffee and lunch)


The Schedule


Sunday 4th November

10.15 – 11.00am Registration and Coffee
11.00 – 12.00 noon Penny Price Jones – It made sense when it left my lips
Imparting knowledge involves two processes, teaching and learning. People learn in different ways, and we as teachers have the possibility of playing to those strengths. By understanding the learning patterns of our students we can develop flexible, inventive and lively ways to convey our knowledge to them. This is an adaptation of the plenary talk that has evolved at the Teacher Training Course.
12.00 – 1.00pm Dinah Harris (singing teacher) and Sara Harris (speech therapist)
Huffing and puffing – a practical introduction to the Accent Method

Breathing and support is of paramount importance to the singing voice but often means different things to different people. The Accent Method  (originally designed by a Danish Phonetician for voice and stammering therapy) provides a simple, highly effective training programme which conditions consistent and efficient voicing and breath control into both singing and speech.
1.00pm – 2.30pm Lunch
2.30pm – 3.30pm Gordon Stewart – Opera for all?
A look at different voice types in opera, and thoughts about arias for all (or most) stages on the learning curve.
3.30 – 4.30pm Soo Bishop – Let all the world in every corner sing – Working with Young Choirs
This session will explore aspects of working with Key Stage 2 singers particularly in non- auditioned, mixed ability groups. Topics covered will include the role of the musical director, warm-ups, general musicianship and aural understanding, part-singing, repertoire and developing confident singing leaders. Soo will demonstrate her method of working with Young Voices in a group situation with assistance from the young singers of the Janice Thompson Performance Trust from Swindon.




Penny Price Jones
Penny Price Jones was a scholarship holder at the Royal Academy of Music in London, studying with Marjorie Thomas. She later worked with Thomas Hemsley and Paul Hamburger. She sang extensively with choral societies all over the country and had a longstanding recital partnership with pianist/composer Philip Martin, which included commissioned works and regular BBC broadcasts. She made regular visits to the United States where she has performed and given master-classes at summer schools and colleges including Tanglewood, Aspen, Eastman and Syracuse. Penny was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music in 1998. Resident in Devizes, Wiltshire, she teaches at the new studio in her garden, complete with green roof and lovely acoustics, which has put new enthusiasm into her private teaching, whilst still acting as visiting teacher at Dauntsey’s School and at Worcester College, Oxford. For the past few years she has been voice mentor for the Associated Board Certificate of Teaching. She founded the Marden House series of recitals and workshops in Calne, is the Teacher Training Director for the Association of Teachers of Singing, and is a Federation of Festivals Adjudicator. In March 2010 she administered the European Voice Teacher’s Association Vocal Pedagogy week in Marlborough. In July 2012 she became Chair-Elect of AOTOS.

Dinah Harris
Dinah Harris studied at the RCM, with Dame Isobel Baillie and with Rita Streich in Vienna. She was a prize-winner at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Holland. Between the years 1971 to 1990 she was a professional opera and concert singer both in the UK and Europe. Since 1990 she has been a singing teacher and voice coach, both privately and from 1990 until 2010 at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup, Kent and Lewisham University Hospital, where she was a member of the Voice Clinic Team. She is a professor at the Royal College of Music. She was on the faculties of the Pan Pacific Voice Conferences in San Francisco, the Vancouver Voice Conference, the Canadian Voice Care Foundation in Banff, Canada and the Australian Voice Association. She has been an external lecturer for Goldsmiths College, UCL, Thames Valley University, the Royal Academy of Music and the London College of Music. She is a co-author of the Voice Clinic Handbook. From 2000 – 2003 she was a member of the Council of the British Voice Association and was a member of the Education Working Party of the BVA until this year.

Sara Harris
Sara Harris is a Specialist Speech and Language Therapist (Voice) in Independent Practice. She retired from the National Health Service in 2010 but continues to work as a locum for Lewisham Hospital SLT Department and the Lewisham Voice Clinic team. Between 1986-2010 she worked in the Sidcup Voice Clinic with Tom Harris, (Laryngologist) Dinah Harris,(Singing Coach ) and Jacob Lieberman, (Voice Specialist Osteopath and Psychotherapist). Sara started working in voice in 1978 at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, where, together with Tom Harris she set up the Oxford Voice Clinic. Prior to her retirement she had been responsible for running the follow up voice clinic and an SLT led nasendoscopy treatment clinic. Sara was one of the co-founders of the Voice Research Society (now the British Voice Association) in 1985 and a joint editor of The Voice Clinic Handbook in 1998. She has contributed a number of book chapters and research articles to various text
books and Journals in voice. In 2007 she was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists. Sara is a past President of the British Voice Association and continues to work on the Educational Working Party.

Gordon Stewart
Gordon Stewart read French and German at King’s College, Cambridge, and took a London University BMus while studying piano and voice at the Royal College of Music. Since then he has worked in various fields of music, as a performer, teacher, vocal coach, producer on Radio 3, broadcaster, adjudicator, writer, translator, commentator and reviewer. His production of the first live music broadcast from Leningrad (now St Petersburg) to the UK brought a Sony Award in 1986. He was head of the audition system for Radio 3 Music for four years. He has been a member of juries: piano competitions in Leeds, and elsewhere, vocal competitions such as the Kathleen Ferrier and Richard Tauber in London, and the International Competition at s’Hertogenbosch in Holland. For the publisher Peters he has written performance notes on individual songs and arias, and short biographies of the four main Lieder composers, which can be seen on the Peters website. He has taught at the major London music colleges, and was for five years Head of Voice at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, (as it then was). In 2008 he joined the staff of the vocal department at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Soo Bishop
Soo Bishop trained at The Royal Academy of Music and pursued a successful career as a freelance trumpeter with numerous orchestras and ensembles in the London area. Soo subsequently qualified as a music therapist and classroom music teacher, working in Merton and Lambeth within the primary, secondary and special school sectors. In 1991, Soo founded ‘Play-a-Round’, teaching music and drama to young children in the Wimbledon area. Over the years, Soo’s teaching and performing commitments have been combined with work as a choral director and music consultant. Her role as a festival adjudicator, representing organisations including Music for Youth, has taken Soo around the country to work with musicians of all ages and levels. She is currently MMF’s Programme Director, leading the development of the new Merton Music Education Hub’s singing strategy across Merton’s 55 primary, secondary and special schools. As part of this role, Soo devises, project-manages and delivers large-scale vocal-based performance projects to KS2 pupils. During 2011/12, Soo devised a new schoolbased initiative, ArtsBeat, to promote the delivery of participation in the arts. Plans for 12/13 include more large-scale choral performances at the Wimbledon International Music Festival and a return to the Royal Albert Hall. Soo currently directs two junior and youth choirs for MMF, ‘W10’, a small independent chamber choir and the newly formed Wimbledon Community Chorus.