Today Alexa is joined by a singer and voice coach who was the first artist to perform at London’s O2 Arena. She has taught music to more than 4,000 children and has worked on ITV’s The Voice Kids. In 2019 she was awarded an MA from the Voice Study Centre where her work focused on the benefits of singing and songwriting on mental health. Author of The Creative Songwriting Journal and If You Can’t Say It Sing It! Sophie Garner is on Singing Teachers Talk.
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- The left side of the brain focuses on speech, but the right side handles singing and music. This means that if someone has suffered an injury to the left side of their brain, you can use lyrics and melody to get them to speak more confidently.
- Sophie works in a group setting to encourage the camaraderie and “we’re all in this together” spirit of the people she works with.
- During the lockdown, upon all her work stopping, Sophie became the published Author of The Creative Songwriting Journal and If You Can’t Say It Sing It!. Both books teach children and young adults how to write songs for self-expression, building confidence and encouraging individual creativity.
- When working with children, Sophie’s approach is about creating a comfortable atmosphere where singers can feel free to tell their stories through their voices. She hates it when people are told that they can’t sing; it can be a very traumatic thing to be told that destroys confidence.
- One thing any teacher can do to settle energy is to make a playlist of a song from every child in the group. Then every day after the break, you get them to sit in silence and listen to one of the songs. Everyone’s song gets heard, and they feel validated.
‘It enables people to literally have a voice’
‘I love the work. I’d do it even if I wasn’t being paid’
‘You’re only a really good teacher if you can teach something in its simplest terms’
- Instagram: @sophie.garner
Relevant Links & Mentions:
- Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor
- Mental Health First Aid England: mhfaengland.org
- Teaching Singing to Children and Young Adults by Dr Jenevora Williams
- The Young Musician’s Guide to Songwriting by Lisa Donovan Lukas
- Songwriting Without Boundaries by Pat Pattison
- The Theory and Practice of Vocal Psychotherapy by Diane Austin
- Recovery of Your Inner Child by Lucia Capacchione
- The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron
ABOUT THE GUEST
Sophie began her career upon leaving school as an actress, training with The National Youth Theatre of Great Britain where she worked with Matt Lucas (Great British Bake Off and Les Misérables). Deciding her singing was her first love, she set out on a path focused on music. Her professional singing career has seen a great deal of experience. She was the very first artist to play London’s iconic O2 Arena! She has been a vocal coach for ITV’s The Voice Kids, taught music to 4,000+ kids, runs four adult choirs and is a specialist in working with brain injury and dementia through singing on a weekly basis for Headway and various specialist neurology care units. Sophie graduated in 2019 from Voice Study with her Master’s degree (distinction) in her expert area: the benefits of singing and songwriting on well-being and mental health.
Sophie is also a public speaker and mentor for young adults, providing songwriting workshops, teacher training, and presentations across the UK.