In the first session with a new student, Olivia will ask what the student wants to get out of their time. Depending on their response, this first session can simply be a discussion, otherwise she will then go into an intensive body and vocal warm up, taking inspiration from Anne Peckham's contemporary breathing techniques. Olivia will then go onto practicing basic major scales to get a sense of the student's range, pitching abilities and current use of voice. Usually, that takes up the first half of the first lesson, and any time after will be used to start singing songs already prepared, or it can be something that a student has brought to the session and wants help with.
Olivia is inspired by well known music teacher, John Holt, and his ethos of embracing student-lead teaching, so her style is very much dictated by what the student wants. She offers guidance on breath work, vocal health and how to get the best out of the voice, as well as working with how emotional well-being contributes towards vocal ability. In order to ensure the students practice is successful, she keeps notes of her student's advancement after every session in order to get a sense of their personal progression. In the past she has even recorded sessions, with student's permission, in order to provide proof of their advancement if they so wish, which often provides positive encouragement to further personal practice.
Olivia's personal perspective on teaching music is also informed by Jane. W Davidson's research on the effects of group singing on middle-class and marginalised groups. Her research suggests that the categories that often define and divide us (race, social and economic status, age and gender, for example) are irrelevant when it comes to singing. Singing is for all, and the benefits it has on the mind, body and social cohesion are profound.
Olivia is currently studying her masters in Music Therapy, and is dedicated to working with students to achieve their personal creative and musical goals.
Masters in Music Therapy
BA in Music Songwriting with (hons)
Level 3 Diploma in Art and Design