CORSHAM VOICE WORKSHOP
a vocal technique course led by Ghislaine Morgan, 19 to 24 March 2017

A crash course in vocal technique with a much sought-after teacher, for choral singers of all ages and nationalities. It is designed to appeal to the amateur singer who enjoys singing in a small ensemble or chamber choir. The workshop takes place in the Town Hall in the centre of the Wiltshire town of Corsham. The course will cater to those who have had some vocal training and those who have had none. The numbers are kept low so that all participants can be given individual attention.

Like many choral singers, you may always wanted to have had lessons but found it all too easy to find reasons to put it off – lack of time or money, or doubts about being able to find the right teacher. Ghislaine’s workshop week, which has the aim of unlocking the full resonance of the voice using the Accent breathing method, is designed for you. In essence this technique uses the powerful lower abdominal muscles to control breathing. For most singers this is a fundamental change that takes prolonged repetition of simple exercises to consign to the muscle memory – the body remembers habits longer than the brain. Similarly, other unhelpful habits, such as poor posture or unconscious tensions, can take sustained effort to correct. The workshop includes a private lesson for each participant, so you know which areas of technique would most benefit from further attention.

   Each day will begin with a warm-up session, which in itself will be a lesson on how to approach this important facet of vocal care. The warm-up will be followed by group workshop sessions on the Accent breathing method and other aspects of vocal technique of particular interest to the ensemble singer, covering such topics as posture, voice production, extension of range, breaks in register, intonation, balance and blend. Some sessions may be in masterclass format, with an individual or small group receiving tuition and the rest of the course participating as auditors. Some time may be devoted to singing in small groups: one to a part for those that want to, or two or more to a part for those that prefer. Perfect sight-reading is not a requirement: the music will be sent to participants in advance so they can acquaint themselves with it before they arrive. The repertoire will naturally focus on the Renaissance, the great era of unaccompanied vocal music, but will include music of later periods.

As a former member of leading early music groups such as The Tallis Scholars and The Sixteen, Ghislaine Morgan has a deep insight into the sort of vocal challenges that singers in small ensembles have to surmount. She has kept abreast of the huge strides in the understanding of how the voice actually works through recent medical research and has developed an approach that demystifies vocal technique and makes it both fun and simple to learn. Her highly effective methods have made her one of London’s most sought-after teachers, especially among singers whose main sphere of activity is early music.

SOME COMMENTS FROM THE 2016 COURSE

“I wanted to say again how excellent I found your course this past week. The combination of information, theory and practice (including an individual lesson) over the course of five days is a winning formula. You lead the course with such enthusiasm, commitment, warmth and energy that everyone is swept along and you sustain everyone’s interest. I think you have a terrific talent as a teacher. I hope you sensed how very much the whole group appreciated what you did this week. So many of my conversations with other singers during the week started with someone saying ‘Isn’t Ghislaine good!’ I got a huge amount from the course to think about – including tomorrow in a rehearsal of the Verdi Requiem.”

“This was a fabulous week in every sense & I hope will lead to others....! Thank you so much for being so enthusiastic and intuitive as a teacher, so clear and varied in explanation, and such a lovely person as well! This course has I feel launched a new phase in my singing experience which I hope to build on.”

“I wanted to say again how very much I enjoyed and appreciated the past week. I was thinking on the journey home this morning what a nourishing experience it has been. Ghislaine is such a terrific teacher – so full of energy, commitment, warmth, and so motivating.”

“Thank you for all your organising before and during, and for being such great hosts. I didn’t know your part of the world at all, and one of the pleasures of the past week has been discovering that area and meeting people who’ve lived there for a long time. I found the Town Hall venue an excellent rehearsal space and, as I mentioned to Lucy, staying at Park Barn Farm was a delight.”

“I enjoyed the whole course, but especially enjoyed Ghislaine’s imaginative and clear way of explaining the technique she was teaching, the physiology behind it (not something I’m normally interested in) and giving us exercises so that we could experience what she was talking about. I appreciated the way each day she’d combine repetition of the material we’d already been introduced to with new material. I found her an inspiring teacher, and I also enjoyed hearing her sing when she was demonstrating.”

“Very good value for money when I consider it was like a singing lesson lasting over five hours per day for five days.”

Further details of the programme, travel, accommodation, fees and enrolment.