Laura Bernay

Junior Voice Ages 8 -12

Singing is a basic form of human expression… Kenneth Phillips

RTEmagicC_Jess-M_Six_Lang_1.jpgWhy train from a young age?

Children will sing if they want to regardless of whether or not they are receiving any formal training. But with careful and correct training young voices develop more fully when instruction is begun early. At any age, no matter how young, children can learn beautiful voice production.

In my studio students learn:

  • how to manage their breath
  • how to develop clear and beautiful vowel tones
  • to develop a relaxed laryngeal posture
  •  to sing fun, enjoyable age-appropriate songs
    (folk, popular and musical theatre, simple art songs)
  • to develop language skills by having fun
    singing in other languages,
  • that singing can develop confidence
  • to perform for others if they wish

Most importantly……
students are not expected to sing like adults and therefore do not have the same demands placed on them.

RTEmagicC_Jessica-Monique_McCavity_2_01.jpgLesson Format:
In lessons the children will do warm up exercises followed by simple vocalises (singing exercises without words using vowels) appropriate to the age of the student. They then progress to using songs from their singing books (prescribed by me according to level and ability) and supplemented material. Children have the opportunity to perform a solo with the piano accompaniment when they are ready. They are never pushed or coerced. The children take part in studio recitals and concerts.

Record the Lessons
Recording the lessons is essential for taking home the week’s work for practice. It is a requirement for students learning in my studio to have a reliable recording device.

Parent Supervision of Home PracticeRTEmagicC_DSCN2681_02.JPG
Children need parents to supervise their practice at home. A parent may be required to stay in the whole lesson and take notes and/or record the lesson. This will be discussed prior to commencement of lessons. Parents of older children may attend from time to time and are required to continually monitor home practice. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that practice is done in such a way that both consider some improvement is evident after the session however small that improvement may be. Parents should ensure their child feels supported and praised when practice pruduces results. This may take longer for some than others. There is no time limit and no pressure. However, the art of singing is a discipline. The fun comes through and after hard work. It is the responsibility of child and parent to find that balance. Students who are not practising at least five times a week on most weeks will not be allowed to continue tuition.

I offer AMEB (Australian Music Examinations Board) performance exam preparation both classical and music theatre. Students may also present a recital during the year during their lesson time of a small collection of songs which may include a vocalise. The recital is nurturing and supportive of the young singer and is more a celebration than an exam. The student may invite a few family and friends on the day. The idea is to prepare for a bigger performance in a big venue at a later stage. These recitals may also serve as a ‘test run’ for up and coming exams for AMEB and various eisteddfods. For AMEB exams students must be accompanied by a top professional accompanist to ensure their experience is of a high quality musically. I will provide the names and contacts of accompanists and parents are required to contact and arrange the rehearsal times.

At the end of the year students are presented with their AMEB Certificates at a formal End of Year Concert in a community venue.

All students are strongly encouraged to complete vocal exams in the AMEB curriculum. The AMEB is a nationally and internationally recognised system and is an excellent way of preparing for more advanced study later in Years 11&12 and beyond at tertiary institutions. The qualifications from the AMEB are recognised and highly regarded by universities and conservatoriums around the country .

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Developing the child as a Whole

All of the above takes place in a nurturing environment and acts as a springboard for developing the child as a whole.

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