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Musical Directors Vocal Technique Retreat
Company warmup for belting

Musical Directors Vocal Technique Retreat

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Part Number:VPCS014

The Musical Director's Vocal Technique Retreat

This Vocal Technique Retreat is specifically designed for you, the MD

We want you to be a better, more effective musical director. Discover how to take a holistic view of your singers and their needs - and how to know which 'issues' to prioritise in specific situations.

"I can honestly say that I have never had a learning experience that was so useful yet so enjoyable at the same time"

Does this Retreat fit your needs?

Being a successful musical director means:

  • multi-tasking with music, timing, instrumental, vocal and performance demands (and rehearsals)

  • being responsible for the warming up and general vocal health of your singers

  • getting the best performances out of soloists and ensemble singers

  • knowing when quick fixes are ok (and which ones to use)

"I want to say how welcoming you were and how comfortable you made me feel. I actually felt like I could ask questions no matter how stupid... Something I have not experienced in my education"

On this Retreat:

  1. Why do I need to warm up my singers? We'll share three different purposes for a warmup and why you have to include them all
  2. What does each warmup exercise do? You'll get to examine favourite warmup exercises and break them down to discover what they really achieve (and if there are more efficient routines you can use)
  3. Is there a "best order" for warmup exercises? Explore complete warmup structures and how to "morph" them for each production
  4. Isn't a classical exercise routine good for everything? Understand why context is everything, and why the warmup you did for Phantom of the Opera won't help your rock show
  5. How long, how high, how complex? We'll work on three areas to help you answer that for yourself every time you work on a new production: adolescent/child voice boundaries, physical differences between male and female singers, and music genre/performance requirement
  6. Is there a standard warmup routine to use all the time? We've been teaching professional singers for a combined 50+ years and we've never found a generic singing warmup routine that works for every singer and every genre. On this Retreat we'll share the warmup exercises we use for specific music genres (and they may not be what you think)
We'll answer these questions on how you coach performers (individually and in ensemble)
  1. How do I coach a vocally miscast singer - any hints and tips?
  2. How can I help singers portray really strong emotions without losing their voice?
  3. Got any tips on belting / legit / contemporary vocal sounds?
  4. What's the quickest way to help singers struggling with high-lying lines?
  5. I'm having trouble with diction - are there any simple instructions for getting the words across more clearly?
  6. How much vocal technique do I really need to know?
The "bespoke" bit

We've reserved time in this Retreat to focus on each person's specific challenges
  • Bring your questions and we'll work with you to find answers that work for you, in your situation, with your job
  • Bring video or audio footage of your group/production/clients and we'll talk you through exactly what you need to do to help your singers improve
  • We'll cast an expert eye over the vocal challenges you have to deal with every week, and show you how to analyse them quickly, identify the REAL issues behind the problems, and give targeted solutions that work

Who are we?

We are Dr Gillyanne Kayes and Jeremy Fisher. We've travelled around the world sharing our knowledge and techniques, and we have clients in the US, Canada, South America, the Far East, Australasia and across Europe. We've written bestselling singing books, created sell-out training DVDs and launched a series of professional development Webinars online. Gillyanne has trained countless musical theatre singers, Jeremy has MD'd national tours of musicals. We're well-known for our diagnostic skills and our ability to resolve technical issues quickly.

Over this weekend we are going to share that knowledge with you so that you can move on in your own teaching - increasing your personal satisfaction and advancing your career.

"Thank you both so much for sharing your passion and expertise the way you did and for creating such a safe and inviting atmosphere to explore"

Why this Retreat?

I need Continuing Professional Development training points. Why would I come on this Retreat?
Many teachers are required to provide evidence of Continuing Professional Development in their field, but authorised CPD courses for musicians are rare. Since May 2016 Vocal Process has been an authorised Continuing Professional Development Centre. This Musical Director's Retreat will carry 18 CPD points ratified by the CPD Standards Office, which can be awarded on completion of the weekend.

I'm experienced in classical techniques. Why would I come on this Retreat?
As an MD you'll be working in many different music genres - classical, operetta, rock, gospel, tribute, contemporary pop, world, the list is endless. As a responsible teacher you need to know enough to guide your performers safely through different vocal styles and setups. Both of us are experienced in classical vocal training - we know which techniques transfer well into other music genres and which don't.
We were invited to co-author the chapter on pedagogy in different sung genres for the Oxford Handbook of Singing - that makes us the expert's experts.

I've studied Estill, why would I come on this Retreat?
Because you (and we) know there's more!
We understand and have used Estill techniques for almost 2 decades - Gillyanne was one of the original Vanguard Licensees and Jeremy ran the first testing centre in the UK. Gillyanne wrote the only book that sets out how to use the Estill information within a wider pedagogical model, and gave the viral After Estill keynote speech for AOTOS. Many teachers who have taken Estill Levels 1&2 and studied up to CMT level have come to us to gain more clarity, learn practical application, and benefit from our more inclusive, open approach.

Who is this for?
Professional musical directors, MDs for drama degree courses or at stage schools, choral conductors, contemporary pop/rock/world choir conductors, instrumentalists or pianists involved in MDing or choir leaders


This Retreat price includes access to one of our most popular Webinars:

Webinar 3 - What's in a Warmup?

This Webinar will be sent to you to watch before the Retreat begins, so that we can move quickly through your options during the Retreat.


February 10-12 2018

The Retreat begins on Saturday afternoon February 10th and ends on the following Monday afternoon (February 12th). It takes place in our home in Presteigne on the Welsh borders. Presteigne was recently voted one of the top ten small towns for quality of life in the UK by the Daily Telegraph. Our tranquil garden has a river running through it, and our quiet house gives exactly the right atmosphere for concentrated learning and relaxation. Our food comes from three prize-winning local providers - Deli Tinto (voted best Deli in Wales), Alex Gooch (BBC Artisan Baker of the Year), and Scrummy Bites (Ludlow Food Festival winner) - and the local organic farm.

One weekend Retreat that gives you the tools, the input and the 'refresh' you need to bring your MD vocal coaching skills up to date.

Add the Musical Director's Vocal Technique Retreat to your shopping cart before all the places disappear

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