Last Wednesday, 12th October, at the Royal College of Music, London, the vocal department organised a Masterclass with Brindley Sherratt that took place at the Britten Theatre. It was fabulous to see the auditorium packed with an audience of students of all ages. I use the word student as I am often reminded during my studies that we never stop learning so perhaps even those members of the public who attended the event for entertainment, a little diversity or just plain curiosity will all have taken something away from the presentation that they probably had not thought about before.
For me, the main points of interest that stood out and that I can’t wait to explore further were:
- To gain a beautiful legato line, one should carry the voice so that all the vowels are given enough time to sound.
- Try not to push the voice and demand it to project. Simply let the voice out of the body.
- To relax and sing into your whole voice whether at pianissimo (very quiet) and at forte (loud).
I particularly found these points interesting because they were not necessarily strict rules but ideas from which I could build my foundations, on which I can strive to improve my vocal technique. Learning how to sing in an operatic style can be very challenging as you often have to unpick someone else’s interpretation of how they achieve proper singing technique. The process can often seem frustrating when all you want to do is to try to fix a mistake or bad habit. But patience in itself is a skill that you need to develop and which enables you to become a better problem solver, allowing you to try out different methods inspired by what you observe. By experimenting and applying these various techniques, it is possible to find a solution which allows you to progress and ultimately become a better singer and performer. Often it can feel like swings and roundabouts, but when you are successful it is very fulfilling, you get an immense sense of satisfaction and personal understanding that perhaps you can pass on to someone else for them to explore.
It is always thought provoking to listen to other Artists and having moved to London I have found that there are many opportunities to learn from those professionals who live and perform in this vast and diverse City. On Friday evening I went to a talk at the Royal Opera House called SILENCED! Art against Authority. It was the first ever Student Insight event held at the Royal Opera House which is an event open strictly for students (of any academic focus). The evening took on the form of a debate chaired by John Hutnyk who along with a panel of six artists discussed their personal perspectives around the suppression and censorship of art around the world.
They began by using videos and a recitation from one of the artist’s works, then flowing seamlessly into discussions and then questions from the audience. Each member of the panel relayed their experiences of how they had used their art to highlight what to them were problematic areas of modern society. It was enlightening to see so much individualism and self-expression, I found the evening stimulating and it encouraged me to be true to myself and to present the stories and poetry that are important to me.
27 thoughts on “Masterclass with Brindley Sherratt”
Being in London has advantages. The debate sounded stimulating.
It was John, my head was buzzing with information. I like new adventures.
Thanks for sharing.
I’m not a singer, but I think the voice is a projection of the soul. Let it be. It’s always best to be true to yourself. Create what you know, it will seem more believable to others. It’s good to see you took a lot from this class. x Good luck with your studies. xx
So true Christine but I’m being encouraged to push myself further and try out new techniques which I’m always willing to give a go to. Thanks for your encouragement.
You are having a most wonderful experience being exposed to professional ideas and methods in your craft.Enjoy!
I’m really enjoying my time, the last month has just flown by. I went to bed at 7pm one night last week just to completely relax and 😴 sleep! I hope you’re well 💕
When I sang professionally, my partner was a vocal music teacher. I had NO training at all so he would find himself rather frustrated with me more often than not. The one thing he told me that stuck with me and worked was to imagine a note higher than the one I was wanting to reach. Aim higher and I would hit the note. And I always did! <3
Great advice 😊 I’m always discovering new techniques to try.
Thank you, I appreciate that you share because it is always something I never knew before. Cheers!!
You are observant! Together with being patience are great qualities to success. I think living in the London give broader opportunity. Wonderful!
I was trying to write notes whilst listening next time I must remember my recorder so that I can write my notes afterwards.
Nice share, thanks a lot Charlotte – Yes, we always are students , because if each one use the same tools, we have to experiment and find our own rules of use because we are all different, we had and have and will have different life, experiences, opportunities…..
Stay safe and all the very best for you-
Exactly. I have one of your beautiful energy scarves hanging from my music stand it’s so lovely.
Super ! Thanks, nice of you to speack about.;-)
Sounds as though your really enjoying the opportunities being presented to you, keep up the good work Charlotte xxx
It must be so great to be able to sing and for others to enjoy the sound. It is a great art.
I think it was Dame Joan Sutherland I heard in an interview say that she sang the vowels for as long as possible and then added the consonants at the last possible second. You sound busy but happy Charlotte. Take care xx
Sounds like you are enjoying learning new techniques and putting them into practice. Good for you, Charlotte. Hugs xx
Beautiful post, Charlotte. It sounds like you really enjoy and love what you do. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thoughts about them with us. Have an awesome time chasing your dream(s). Best wishes.
Sounds like your week was highly educational and highly busy. Really enjoyed reading your post, Charlotte.
I think in all forms of art, you have to bring your individuality to the work. It’s like the billions of people in the world, none of us have the same fingerprint. Once you learn the rules of what makes good art or a good performance, you try to figure out how you express yourself uniquely from others. I think each one of us has something to say that contributes to the progress of humanity. How we say it effectively is what needs to be discovered.
You sound like a motivator with passion.
Enjoyed your post.
You must remember that you are a sponge…..yes i said sponge.
Absorb everything hone your skill and give your gift to all.
I love being part of your learning experiences – you are clearly soaking up everthing!
It is great to know that you keep on learning, even if you are already a strong and complete artist, dear Charlotte. Thanks for sharing your updates. Love and best wishes to you, always. Aquileana 🍀
I love reading your blogs Charlotte, you enjoy every minute,.
So pleased you are enjoying the RCM so much.
I’m so glad you share your experiences with us , it’s all so exciting.xx
Thanks for coming to the discussion at ROH. I hope more Insight nights will be just as good.