Laura Bernay

A Support Network and Friend

December 9, 2019

In the 9 years I have known her, Laura has become an extremely significant and special person in my life. Her encouragement, kindness and wisdom provides her students with not only an outstanding teacher and mentor, but also a brilliant support network and friend. On a personal note, Laura’s belief in my ability as a singer, guidance through the trickier-teenage years and passion for singing and the arts has helped me fulfil my ability as a performer. I came to Laura when I was in year 5, after having heard around school that she was the teacher of the ever-talented Manford sisters (Amy and Chloe). As an overly confident, enthusiastic and loud 10-year-old, I believed I was already “industry ready” and in the midst of convincing my mum to let me go on “Australia’s Got Talent” where I planned to sing Lloyd-Webber’s “Macavity- The Mystery Cat.” After listening to me perform or “shout” the song for the first time, it was evident to my new teacher Laura that I would need to work on developing my head voice. Classical songs were soon introduced into my singing diet where Laura’s knowledge of art song and expertise in languages broadened my musical horizons (and yes, a head voice developed with that too). Not only did Laura help my singing and performance ability along but she also assisted me in developing and refining my music theory skills. Throughout high school, I would bring her a few pages I’d completed from a theory book and she’d mark them for me. I found this an incredibly beneficial skill to have in a singing teacher as the consistent practice and feedback really prepared me for upper-school music exams. Towards the end of high school, I was looking at auditioning for the Bachelor of Music Theatre at WAAPA. Laura would often tell me about how she heard a “mezzo quality” developing in my voice, and how I should consider auditioning for the classical course. I decided to accept my offer into Classical Voice at the end of 2017 and am forever grateful to Laura for pushing me in this direction. We continued to work together into my first two years of the Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice. Not only is my voice in the best place it’s ever been sound and health wise, but I’m in a course that really fits me as a person (something I never would’ve put together whatsoever had Laura not directed me this way). Thank you so much Laura, for being the most amazing, encouraging and wonderful teacher a student could ask for, and for being so invested in my journey over all these years. I absolutely could not have done any of this without you!

Grace Fermanis
Bachelor of Music in Classical Voice (WAAPA 2017-2021)

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