Piano and Keyboard I started out as a peripatetic piano teacher at St Peters School and St James as well as Bournemouth School for boys running Yamaha music schools. Yamaha employed me to set up a music centre for Yamaha keyboard, piano and musicianship with over 100 students and two other teachers. Keen to explore their free style of teaching I recognised it as a valuable method for interactive ensemble and an inspiring way for students to play by ear. Learning through modern popular music and encouraging general musicianship through percussion and voice as well as keyboard .
I became keen to find out more about the effects on cognitive development and began exploring the healing and benefits of music aside to learning the skills of playing an instrument. I’d often found the stresses and expectations of perfection in performance off putting and wanted to find ways to encourage freedom in musical expression . I’d also studied Transcendental Meditation in my twenties and recognised it’s calming effects. After attending a BAST open day I was profoundly moved by the various emotional effects instruments have and the thoughts of marrying music and meditation began.
Therapeutic Sound I had already decided to make changes even though unsure of my direction but I took Holistic Massage, and Indian Head Massage Itech Diploma’s in 2004/2005 and travelled to Sarajevo to help victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Exploring therapeutic sound more deeply I took a diploma with (The British Academy of Sound Therapy) in 2010. I began running workshops in music meditation around the Bournemouth area alongside my teaching. This lead to the start of running sound healing sessions through a Positive Living Group and at independent venues as well as running community singing sessions. I have already opened two SIKA events with sound healing sessions at Gaunts House in October 2013 and the Beehive studios in Southbourne in 2014 I have also worked for Mellulah Retreats in Blandford. This year 2018 I have taken events to The Shaftesbury Fringe, New Forest Folk Festival and Larmer Tree and Gaunts summer Gathering and I also run local events at Highcliffe Castle and with Adults with learning difficulties as well as the Healing Hands Network.
Singing Having sung and performed in choirs since childhood I now have 10 years experience of singing with Bournemouth Symphony Chorus and then 10 years with the London Philharmonic choir. I enjoyed singing live for Final Fantasy XV at Abbey Road Studios and have frequently performed at the Royal Albert Hall and Festival Hall in London as well as numerous tours abroad including Israel and America to name but two. Also live television performances at the Proms and QI and flash mobs at Charing cross and other London venues. My interest in therapeutic sound led me to a collaboration in 2010 with Regina Rainey from Bossa Imensa on a community choir “Quay of Sea. “for non – note readers. Enjoying simple round and harmony singing we recognised the liberating “no boundaries” approach to vocal sound and the open access non note reading pleasure in informal singing. I then started Southbourne Community choir which followed a similar thinking but with a larger group and regular public performance. The group being a mix of note readers and non – readers creating harmonies with an aim to suit all tastes. We took part in some fantastic events including Christchurch Food and Wine Festival, Southbourne Shake and Stir as well as Wheels Festival and Arts by the Sea. From liaising with organisers to managing choir members I handed the choirs over when I decided to give up teaching. Wanting to combine my knowledge of therapeutic instrumental sound with that of voice I began running uplifting singing workshops as well as mantra and chant.
Vocal Therapy My studies after training at BAST lead me to begin reading about Eselan and the influences of Michael Murphy and ITP Integral Transformative Practice which led to Girish and finding and expressing your true voice through mindful singing. Other influences include Simon Heather and James D’Angelo as well as the work of Dr Louise Montello Performance Wellness.
Movement Having trained at the Laban Centre of movement and dance I have always been a regular student of Yoga and Tai Chi. The anatomy and physiology training from my massage qualifications has helped in my understanding of the importance of physical health. To further this I am exploring the disciplines of Feldenkrais and Alexander Techniques as CPD to incorporate movement into some of my lessons.
I have experience of putting on events , workshops and concerts as well as taking part in festivals and events in the UK and abroad. I can work with other people as well as motivate and direct groups to learn and produce and develop their ideas. I have worked through the creative process for myself and for students from auditions to performance and instrumental exams for over 20 years. I have learnt leadership as well as being able to work in a team. Whilst co-owning and running a bistro with 12 staff with my first husband I also ran 2 Yamaha music schools. This gave me the knowledge of good business practice employment and health and safety issues as well as the confidence to deal with issues which might arise from running a business.
I took a years sabbatical from September 2012 to 2013 since remarriage to travel around Europe. I have now stopped formal teaching and go travelling every year in the winter running workshops and teaching in the UK and abroad. During my travels, I have been privileged to run vocal meditation sessions and sound baths as well as community singing sessions and individual instrument teaching whilst travelling. I am now focusing solely on community vocal workshops here and abroad with voice and sound healing sessions , arranging and performance. People say my vocal sessions are better than a workout at the gym and my therapeutic sound sessions relax and rejuvenate.
What I love the most is seeing people walk away thankful for a great experience. Whether it’s a community singing workshop or a vocal meditation or coming to watch an event. If I know people have shared and enjoyed some time for themselves nurturing their own sound journeys or seeing others enjoying singing then what could be better”.
To attend a workshop, or discuss the workshops we can offer at your own event, please contact Jenny Newman: