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Ep.112 Helping Musical Theatre Singers Build a Reliable Pop Toolbox with Hannah Smikle

    Today we’ve got a professional voice coach and vocalist who has been working for over 15 years in the music industry. Hannah Smikle returns to the podcast to talk all about helping musical theatre singers build a reliable pop toolbox.


    • In the last year, Hannah has noticed an influx of singers and students who are concerned about their contemporary sound. They are often being asked to perform more contemporary pieces or sing contrasting styles which many don’t feel comfortable doing. Other genres tend to be more dominant and students need help finding the style. 
    • Very few auditions on Broadway are asking for a golden age song; it goes to show how pop is now part of mainstream musical theatre productions at this point. 
    • A pop contemporary vocal is characterised by a clear and bright tone, expressive techniques, emotional delivery, rhythmic alignment, catchy melodies, and current stylistic elements. It aims to connect with listeners through its expressive and engaging performance, reflecting the trends and styles of modern pop music.
    • Pop affords us a flexibility that we’re not afforded in other genres. You can celebrate your own vocal identity and USP, this can be the building blocks around your own artistry.
    • Teaching singers to achieve a pop contemporary vocal style involves technical training, stylistic awareness, expression, performance skills, recording techniques and repertoire development. By combining these elements, vocal teachers help singers develop their unique voices within the genre while maintaining healthy vocal technique and effective communication with the audience.

    ‘How do I sing with this style? What makes this style?’

    ‘It’s difficult, we’re asking singers to be vocal chameleons’

    ‘It’s hard to pigeonhole what pop is’ ‘How do I use this, and put it into this framework?’

    Guest Website:

    Social Media: 

    • Facebook & Instagram Handles: @vocalperformancecoaching 

    Relevant Links & Mentions: 

    • Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep. 51 How to Boost a Singer’s Confidence with Hannah Smikle
    • Musical Theatre Shows mentioned: Heathers; Six; Moulin Rouge; & Juliet; Hadestown; Bonnie and Clyde; Spongebob the Musical; Hamilton; Mrs Doubtfire; Oklahoma! (2019 revival) 
    • Artists/Characters mentioned: Billie Eilish; Snow White; Julie Andrews; Lizzo; Dua Lipa; Lady Gaga; Adele; Jessie J; Ed Sheeran; Pixie Lott; Ella Fitzgerald; Jess Glynne 
    • Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep 89 How to Teach Musical Theatre Styles Successfully Dr Matt Edwards 
    • The Sing Space:
    • Kerrie Obert:
    • Certificate in Vocal Pedagogy with Kerrie Obert and The Voice Study Centre:
    • BAST Blog – How to Nurture a Singer’s Authentic Voice with Dr. Trineice Robinson-Martin:
    • Singing Teachers Talk Podcast – Ep 105 How to Teach Popular Music Styles to Singers with Jo Sear

    ABOUT THE GUEST Hannah Smikle is a professional voice coach and vocalist, working for over 15 years in the music industry. She has extensive experience both in live performance as a gigging musician and backing vocalist, and in the studio as a session singer and recording artist.
    Hannah has an impressive multi-disciplinary approach to vocal training – using her advanced technical knowledge alongside her industry experience, she is passionate about equipping a singer for optimum performance, be that on stage or in the studio. Hannah frequently works with vocalists to engineer and coach a recording session, enabling the singer to capture their best, most authentic vocal delivery. She has a holistic approach to working with performers, highly regarding whole-person well-being in the coaching process.
    Hannah is dedicated to continuing her professional development; she regularly attends specialist courses and is a qualified Vocal Health. First Aider, has a level 3 certificate in Counselling Skills and has trained as a Vocal Health Practitioner with Vocal Health Education. She is a recommended Sing Space Coach and a member of the Musician’s Union.

    Link to podcast presenter’s bios


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