Voice lessons

In August 2002, Ann became Associate Teacher of David Jones and teaches the concepts of the Swedish/Italian School of Singing as developed by David Jones in the UK at her London Voice Studio. She teaches the operatic belcanto technique to both professionals and beginners.

Qualifications

I hold a degree in solfege (musicianship), First Prize Piano, Teaching degree (Royal Conservatoire of Music, Brussels, Belgium), the Post-Graduate Diploma of Vocal Training Certificate and the Techniques of Teaching Singing Certificate (Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London)

In addition to this I invest in on-going training with David Jones and several performance coaches in London and Brussels as a means to maintain, deepen and expand my skills both as a teacher and performer.

Ann works in close collaboration with Registered Cranial Osteopath Sylvie Leboulanger. When a singer comes to Ann for lessons, sometimes there are postural and physical issues to be dealt with that can't be solved by vocal exercises. Sylvie has more than 20 years experience in helping to release these blockages in singers (and non-singers). She can be reached on tel 020 8731 9997.

Location

The Ann De Renais Voice Studio is located in Catford, South East London. The closest train stations are Catford and Catford Bridge.

“Ann De Renais has been my voice teacher for three years and during that time, my voice has increased in strength, volume, colour, range and technical security. I have been encouraged to pursue my singing goals by Ann and enjoyed a successful audition for a Welsh National Opera project in 2008.”

Dr Pamela Karantonis

How does a voice lesson work?

  • We start with a series of exercises to warm up the voice to increase awareness of the use of the body as a musical sound-producing instrument.
  • Posture and breathing are addressed.
  • At any time questions you may have about the exercises can be asked. I explain how and why the exercises work for you.
  • Then we continue with repertoire during which we apply the newly acquired vocal sensations.

Feel free to record the lesson, so you can continue your daily practice at home without losing time in writing the exercises down. Listening back to your lesson also allows you to develop your auditive awareness. This increases your investment in your vocal development.

When sheet music is provided, I accompany on the piano, but you are welcome to bring your own pre-recorded tapes or CD's.

Instructional CD: A First Lesson with David Jones

David JonesThis CD has been selling world-wide for over ten years now and helps both singers of all levels of proficiency as well as teachers. It deals with the basics...

If you would like to find out more about Maestro David Jones and read articles about the Swedish/Italian School of Singing, please visit www.voiceteacher.com

David writes daily posts about singing technique on Facebook. You can access these by befriending him by searching for David L. Jones.

Brief biography of Alan Lindquest (pdf)
Swedish/Italian School of Singing - lineage (pdf) and Teachers (pdf)

FAQ

What is support?

Support is a coordination of the outflow of breath combined with the appropriate resistance in the body. Imagine you are about to say something but you've forgotten what it was. You will feel a certain 'resistance' in the body muscles especially in the lower abdominals and back muscles. This is easier to feel when sitting down. Then, with this sensation going on, allow a very small amount of air to escape from the mouth by making a hiss sound. The solar plexus area in your body is not held but not floppy either, just free. That is what support feels like.

What is low breath?

Low breath is what some call abdominal breathing, which means you don't breathe in by letting your shoulders go up but by allowing the abdominal area to move gently up and down as you breathe in and out. This can be easily achieved by pretending you are sucking air into a straw or bending forward with your head all the way down and then breathe in gently. It is important not to take huge amounts of breath, just a little bit will do.

Ann De Renais and student

How to achieve vibrato?

Vibrato is a result of coordinating good outflow of breath with resistance in the body. Some singers have a natural vibrato i.e. they never had to work on it, it just 'happened' when they started singing (lucky them!), other singers have no vibrato at all when they first start singing. I find that with this technique after a while a natural vibrato appears as the throat starts to stay open and the body coordination mentioned above is established in the singer's use of the voice. Then there are singers who have either a 'rapid' vibrato or what some call ' a wobble'. For articles on those, please feel free to visit the past article section on www.voiceteacher.com.

What is coloratura?

This word has different meanings. It can mean a specific type of soprano e.g. the Queen of the Night in Mozart's Magic Flute is a coloratura soprano. It means she can sing very high and produce very long rapid runs of notes without seeming to run out of breath.

The coloratura voice type has usually a 3 octave range or more but prefers to sing in the high range, and certainly sounds at her best in that part of the voice as the high overtones in the voice carry the sound over the orchestra. When heard in a small room, the darkness in the middle voice of this voice type can easily be mistaken for a mezzo soprano especially if the higher range has not yet been developed.

Coloratura can also mean the succession of rapid notes as in music by Handel, Mozart and Rossini etc. The succession of the notes is achieved by rapidly repeating the vowel in coordination with balanced breath flow.