Frequently asked questions

What style of music do you teach?


We don’t teach a specific style – we believe that each person has their own unique style and personality as a singer. We teach the IVA Technique which will give you the tools to develop your voice in a way that is comfortable and natural to you. We understand that every singer is unique, so we won’t teach you to be a clone of ourselves, we’ll help and encourage you to find your own voice.




What is my teacher qualified in?


Anna Leigh is qualified in the IVA technique and has been training since 2010 with IVA and additionally, has a degree in Drama performing arts from the University of Sunderland. IVA was founded by a group of world-class singing teachers, who have over 125 years of combined experience training singers and teachers of singing. The founding members have dedicated themselves to learning the best method for training the voice and to pass this knowledge on to others. The IVA technique is based on 17th and 18th Century principles of singing developed by the Old Italian School of Singing. The goal is to train voices to sing in a free and natural manner, smoothly, from the bottom of the range to the top with no breaks or sudden changes in quality. Training in this technique has been used to help improve a singer’s range, stamina, breath control, vocal strength, access to dynamics, flexibility and vocal quality. This can then be applied across any style of music without fatigue or damage to the voice. Find out more about the Institute for Vocal Advancement on their website.




How are you different to other vocal coaches I may have had?


The IVA Technique is constantly evolving to include the latest useful methods in teaching and instructing, so we’re expected to take regular lessons with instructors at a higher level than ourselves and study with the IVA Master Teachers to make sure we are up to date with these latest developments. As instructors with IVA, we are committed to studying for two years before we become officially certified, and it takes a further two years of study at each level before progression to the next. It takes a minimum of TEN YEARS commitment to achieve the highest level of the instructor program, so you can be sure that we are well equipped to help you be the best singer you can possibly be.




What will happen at my first lesson?


In your first lesson we will get to know you and find out what you have done in the past with singing (don’t worry if that is nothing as yet) what you are doing at present and what you would like to get out of singing lessons. Its important that we know your goals and how you feel about your voice. We will then assess the voice with scales and give you vocalizes that are tailored to your voice these are not just warm ups these are to develop the voice longterm to improve Range, stamina, strength and also most important to keep the voice healthy.




How do I book a lesson?


You can contact Anna Leigh either via the studio phone number by calling 07783 418280, or via email direct from the website (we suggest this as we know it wont go to the junk mail). We can then find out when you would like lessons and discuss availability. We always ask for students to contact first before completing a payment via the website.




Do you teach beginners?


Yes we sure do! Everyone has to start somewhere. We get many enquires where people can be nervous to contact us or don’t always know what to say but remember we are here to help you thats what a teacher is there for. The studio is a very safe and comfortable environment.




Do you teach children?


Yes we do, we usually teach from 5 years of age, lessons are 30 min in length for a child that is younger than 10 years old.




How often should I have lessons and practise?


Normally we would suggest a lesson a week, but we are aware that this may not be possible or affordable for everyone. We would, however, suggest at least one lesson per fortnight to progress at a reasonable pace. When it comes to practising, little and often is the key. 10- 15 minutes a day is a good guideline – and if you can manage another couple of times for 5 minutes each throughout the day then that’s even better. Frequency is much better than duration; you’ll make much more progress if you do 15 minutes of focused practise as opposed to 60 minutes of distracted practise! Your lesson recording will help you practise as you’ll be able to dial into the feeling you had during the lesson, and know that you are practising just as you vocalised before.




Is singing a natural gift or can anyone sing?


This is a hard question to answer. To an extent everyone can learn how to sing and to be a better singer, but it all depends on your background, your musical history and abilities. Some people are naturally better than others, but other people have to work at it. We do believe everyone can learn how to sing, and we do try and equip you with the tools to be better singer. During lessons we’ll often work on (where appropriate) rhythm, ear training and general musicianship. Even great singers, whom you think were born with the voice they have will need help with their voices. Good singers are like Olympic athletes. They should constantly be training and developing their voice no matter how advanced they may be. Others will disagree with these statements but these are from our personal experience as singers and teachers.




How long will it take for me to be a good singer?


Many people can expect an immediate improvement in their voice with the IVA Technique. But, the voice is part of the human body and as such we cannot offer any guarantees or time scales on how long it will take. It really does depend on your voice – whether you have any bad habits, are a regular performer, your health; vocal health, the list is endless. It is totally individual to each person




When and where do you teach?


Our studio is based within the Linskill Centre in North Shields. Please visit our Get in Touch page for opening times, directions and contact information.




How do I pay for a lesson?


For single lessons, payment can be made after booking by using the PayPal buttons for the appropriate teacher on the Book a Lesson page, or via internet banking / by card over the phone. If you wish to pay by Cash, you can do so in person four days before. Please note: Block bookings can only be paid for via internet banking / card or cash. All lessons booked, must be paid for in advance at least 4 days before the lesson date to confirm the booking. If you have any questions regarding payment, please ask when you book. Prices include the cost of your singing lessons being recorded. Please make sure that you read the Terms & Conditions here. before making a booking.





singing lessons north east

Anna Leigh Vocal Studios

Linksill Centre, Linskill Terrace, North Shields, Tyne & Wear, NE30 2AY

M:   07783 418 280

E:    annalmiddleton@hotmail.co.uk

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