Q. I’ve always wanted to sing, but was told when I was young that my voice was tuneless---is there any hope for me?
A. Very few people are incapable of singing in tune and tone-deafness is extremely rare---but someone who has never sung before will have to re-educate muscles which have lain dormant for years, and will have to be patient and determined. However, it is a great source of pleasure for me to see and hear people blossom when they find their voice.

Q. What kind of singing do you do?
A. I teach good vocal habits for healthy voice use, so that whichever style of singing you choose to do, you should have the tools to do so safely.

Q. My son/daughter wants to do singing as part of her School music Exam but there are no spaces available at school for tuition. Are you able to do this?
A. Yes, I have lots of experience in this field and have coached many students in Standard Grade, higher and Advanced higher. I also have access to SQA requirements.

Q. Help! I need to prepare pieces for audition/auditions to Drama/Musical Theatre Schools—I don’t know where to start!
A. Calm down—I can help. First of all, this requires a fairly high standard of performance (including movement and voice work)---this is where Performance Skills come in. However, due to a glut in entries for some of these colleges, the auditioning panel is looking for that extra something---perhaps it could be called “X-Factor” !! Also, strict observation of entry criteria is required and must be scrutinised. Improvisation skills are key components.

Q. I am a teacher and find that my voice is tired at the end of each day. Sometimes I lose it altogether. Can you show me how to use it properly?
A. Yes, good vocal practice again. Body language is most important---and an authoritative yet approachable tone has to be developed. It is also a good idea to work on modulation as it has been proved that pupils learn better when the teacher has a more interesting voice and a variety of inflexions.

Q. I am a lawyer/minister and I find my voice doesn’t carry and consequently I lack gravitas.
A. A systematic review of all aspects of voice production including resonance and presence should help you to speak with more conviction. There are also specific exercises for “tweaking” the voice.

Q. I work in a call Centre and find my voice is constantly tired.
A. There are three main things which will help---POSTURE—OPEN THROAT---REGULAR BREAKS. Oh, and one more thing—keep your voice lubricated/drink plenty of water.

Q. my child has a lisp/talks too fast etc. but I’ve been told the fault is not severe enough to justify seeing a Speech Therapist. Do you think you could help?
A. Yes, I am sufficiently qualified to give advice and exercises which should go some way to correcting the fault.

About Isabella dovaston

Isabella Dovaston originally trained as a pianist and was in demand as an accompanist before taking up singing.