Here’s a list of courses and workshops to help you sharpen your business skills and continue your professional development as a singing teacher.
Very few singing teachers are just singing teachers. Most wear many hats and juggle teaching with running their own business, a task that requires entrepreneurial, social media, IT, marketing and administration skills.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled a list of learning opportunities that cover business, technology and professional development so that you can stay motivated over the next few months.
Business and technology
Like pretty much every educational institution in the UK, London-based City Lit has pivoted to online learning in the face of the pandemic. This means you no longer have to live in the capital to take one of the institute’s 5,000 courses.
City Lit offers a range of tech, business and marketing courses, ideal if you’re looking to boost your online presence or revamp your website. Courses include Social Media For Business, Developing a Marketing Strategy, Blogging, Instagram for Business and Facebook for Business.
The social media platform for professionals offers a range of online courses that serve as a good intro to business subjects. The courses allow you to work at your own pace and few run longer than the three-hour mark.
The cost is £24.98 per month, but you can sign up for a free one-month trial to test the water first or go on a learning binge. (Just remember to cancel seven days before the trial ends if you don’t want to continue.) Topics covered include Leadership Skills, Creative Collaboration, Breaking Out Of A Rut, Mindfulness Practices, Building Resilience and Creativity Bootcamp.
John Henny and Facebook Ads for Music Teachers
John Henny is a man of many talents. Not only is he an acclaimed voice coach, but he’s also a dab hand when it comes to social media, hence his course Facebook Ads for Music Teachers. The course has eight modules and explains how to raise your profile, get more leads and create well-targeted ads.
British Association of Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM)
BAPAM provides online CPD training for educators and healthcare practitioners, covering critical areas of performing arts medicine practice. Sessions take place on the last Wednesday of the month from 7pm. The next session will cover Remote Performing Arts Medicine, the pros and cons.
Association of Teachers of Singing (AOTOS)
AOTOS will host a Zoom chat on 19 November on Warming up a choir or individual – what should we be ‘warming up’? This workshop is open to AOTOS members and will focus on good posture and efficient breath control, with some technical ideas to help improve legato line and clear articulation.
National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS)
The good folk across the pond at NATS will host a web discussion on 8 November: Academic or Entrepreneur? How to Steer Your Teaching Career. Join the debate about the pros and cons of academic appointments versus independent studio teaching.
We couldn’t talk about professional development without plugging our own singing teacher training course. More than 450 teachers have studied with us so far (you can read what past grads say about BAST here). The course covers anatomy, teaching tools, vocal health and much, much more. It’s great if you’re a singer looking for support as you move into teaching, or a teacher looking to build confidence or engage with the latest voice research. Read more here.
Voiceworkshop provides online short courses and postgraduate study opportunities for singing teachers, vocal coaches and choral directors.
Singing for Health
A five-part series of Singing for Health workshops starts on 12 November. Workshop 1 will cover Singing for Trauma, Depression and Anxiety. Following workshops will explore Singing for Chronic Pain, Singing for Lung Health, Singing for Stroke and Singing for Parkinson’s. Click here for more details.
Introduction to coaching and mentoring
Entrepreneurial teachers looking to expand their range of services can get an overview of coaching theories and how they can be applied within a performance context. The two-hour workshop will be hosted by Teresa Shaw at 5pm on 24 November.
If a short course doesn’t provide the depth of learning that you’re looking for, then you could go down the academic route and study for a PG Cert or MA. Such a move obviously requires a much greater commitment (an MA takes 33 months), but the professional and personal rewards can be significant.
Voiceworkshop pioneered the PG Cert/MA Professional Practice (Voice Pedagogy) course (read more here in our interview with Voiceworkshop founder Debbie Winter). Voiceworkshop courses include:
- MA Professional Practice (Performance Coaching for Performing Artists) which explores the academic discourse relating to music performance anxiety, coaching and mentoring.
- PG Cert/MA Professional Practice (Voice Pedagogy) specialising in Singing for Health and Wellbeing. This course is run in association with the Singing for Health Network.
- Foundation Course into PG Cert (Voice Pedagogy). This is a three-month programme designed to provide students who don’t have a degree with a structured pathway leading into the PG Cert/MA. If you have years of singing experience after a professional career and want to pursue academic study, this course will help you take that next step.
Vocal Health First Aid
Voice rehabilitation specialist and pedagogue Dr Jenevora Williams and vocal coach and manual therapist Stephen King are the driving forces behind the Vocal Health First Aid course.
The course was designed specifically for voice coaches and musical directors and consists of six online modules.
The training covers functional anatomy, common voice pathology – the causes and symptoms, and strategies to minimise vocal problems.
If you feel a little frazzled by the events of 2020, then you’re not alone. Many people have felt the strain of dealing with life during the pandemic. Thankfully the MU is looking out for its members. If you want to focus on your mental health, there are regular stress-busting, guided meditation and Feldenkrais sessions (pre-book here).