Testimonials
CORPORATE PRESENTERS I thought I was a pretty experienced speaker but this gentleman put me right on a number of issues: the importance of eye contact and involving the whole room; helping me to pace...
Contact
My studio is based in pleasant, quiet surroundings close to Wandsworth Common, within easy reach of train and tube stations:  – 10 minutes from London Victoria main line station  – 2 minutes from Wandsworth Common...
Biography
Julian has been teaching for over thirty years and, for a good proportion of that time, has focussed on the musical theatre industry. As well as building up an extensive private teaching practice, he has...

Testimonials

CORPORATE PRESENTERS

I thought I was a pretty experienced speaker but this gentleman put me right on a number of issues: the importance of eye contact and involving the whole room; helping me to pace my presentation to keep it interesting and in the moment; and not least, teaching me how to support the voice properly and the use of inflection to keep the pizzazz in the voice. Thanks very much for your help and I hope to work with you again at some point.

Charles

It was most interesting doing these workshops. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but Julian kept us all focused throughout the day and we had a few laughs along the way. In the end, I thought it was less a teacher/student relationship which was at work, and more that of a helpful, older colleague giving us the benefit of his experience and wisdom. I feel more equipped and prepared when I do my presentations, and that’s great. Thanks again.

David

SINGERS

Beginners

I have been working with Julian for almost a year now and am delighted to have found such an accomplished mentor. He is a very talented teacher who really understands the workings of the voice and is able to use his creative abilities to help each student. His enthusiasm and love for the job is very obvious and he is an encouraging teacher who always looks for the positive aspects in students. At the same time, he is both pragmatic and realistic, and helps you to understand your strengths and weaknesses.

I have seen great results in a relatively short space of time. Not only has my range increased, but more importantly my voice sounds far more connected and my breaks are now hardly noticeable.

As I continue to train my voice, I feel confident that with Julian I will continue to improve and enjoy the benefits of a stronger singing voice. Most importantly, I look forward to the fun I have working with Julian every lesson. He is a great source of inspiration and always makes me laugh.

Rachel

Julian has helped with my breath control and strengthened my voice. This allows me to sing longer, and because of the way he teaches technique, my vocal cords and throat no longer hurt. It has also helped to increase my vocal range. Julian is a great teacher, who’s very supportive and helpful, making sure you understand everything

Matthew

Professionals

I want to thank Julian for giving me this incredible gift of expanding my range and building my power so I can sing more songs with bigger ranges. I feel that my voice is fully connected now and I can sing two and a half octaves. I’m getting more gigs with my band and I really appreciate the lessons.

Ian

One of the problems I used to have was having to rehearse early in the morning. Well, I can now wake up at 6.00am and start rehearsing at 7.00am without any problem. I am building towards a bigger range and my repertoire has greatly expanded. I know I would not have achieved any of this without Julian’s help.

James

I feel that I’ve had my voice totally recreated by Julian. For various reasons, I’d had quite a few different teachers before him, and I just didn’t feel comfortable with any of them. I’ve been having lessons with Julian for almost three years now, and the first thing he did was to take me right back to basics. It turned out that I’d been singing the wrong way all that time. I’ve got my confidence back, my technique is far stronger, and I’m back on the audition trail again. The difference now is that I feel fully prepared and go into every audition believing that I’ve got a real chance. Thank you, Julian. You’re one in a million!

Sarah

Contact

My studio is based in pleasant, quiet surroundings close to Wandsworth Common, within easy reach of train and tube stations:

 – 10 minutes from London Victoria main line station

 – 2 minutes from Wandsworth Common overground station

 – 7 minutes from Balham overground and underground stations

 – 30 minutes from the West End

 – free parking throughout the day apart from 10.30-11.30am

Convenient for anyone living in London or the Greater London area

For further information on fees and availability please email julian@thetruevoice.com

Biography

Julian has been teaching for over thirty years and, for a good proportion of that time, has focussed on the musical theatre industry. As well as building up an extensive private teaching practice, he has taught at several performing arts colleges including the prestigious Arts Ed London, where he presided over the audition, performance class and assessment panels between 1995 and 2004.

Career Summary 1984 – 2004:

  • Singing Teacher, Vocal Coach, Chorus Master, Accompanist
  • Musical Director for numerous shows, workshops and cabarets
  • Sondheim repertoire a speciality
  • Created Singing Syllabus Arts Ed
  • Singing Coach and Musical Director for Easter and Summer Schools
  • Singing Coach and Musical Director for Outreach visits
  • Musical Director for inaugural Agents’ Showcase

Television appearances:

  • Contributions to BBC2’s Newsnight Arts slot and BBC1’s Praise Be
  • Musical Director for master classes at Theatre Royal Haymarket, London, televised live by Sky Arts
  • Interviewed on Sky News after former student Will Young won inaugural Pop Idol series

Since 2004, Julian has concentrated on his private practice, training an ever-burgeoning number of students, from absolute beginners to seasoned professionals, all of whom have benefitted from his expert guidance. He has helped to develop the careers of countless West End performers through his highly individual teaching methods, and they receive specialist preparation in all aspects of audition technique. Over the years, his students have appeared in West End productions of Singin’ In The Rain, Top Hat, Wicked, Shrek The Musical, Mamma Mia, Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You, Dirty Dancing, Love Never Dies, Hairspray, Chicago, Buddy, Spamalot, Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Les Miserables, The Phantom Of The Opera, Spring Awakening, The Full Monty, Evita, Gone With The Wind, Saturday Night Fever, Sinatra, Lord Of The Rings, Footloose, Fame, Our House, Beauty And The Beast, Crazy For You and Annie; in addition to numerous UK/European/World tours.

For the last ten years, Julian has been increasingly involved in running presentation coaching tutorials in the corporate sector. These take place in either Julian’s voice studio, or where necessary, the client’s workspace. Varying from hourly sessions on a one-to-one basis to all-day workshops with groups, he takes his clients through the trials and tribulations of delivering a speech or presentation. Beginning with basic breathing exercises, he moves on to focus on the issues and intricacies of the text to get to the point whereby each speaker can deliver his or her address with energy, enthusiasm and accuracy.

Singing Appendix Page

  1. HOW ARE LESSONS SCHEDULED?

Most students choose to have the same slot every week or every fortnight, as these times become free, and I normally go through a timetabling session about three times a year with them. However, there are some people who are happy to see me only every now and then, maybe before an upcoming important audition; that’s fine by me as long as they understand that I cannot necessarily guarantee them a lesson at a time of their choosing, although I will always do my best to accommodate them.

2. WHEN ARE THE LESSONS?

I like to work in two-hour tranches, although I wouldn’t normally make any lesson longer than 90 minutes. They run Monday to Friday at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm. I don’t generally teach in the evenings or at weekends, but of course I will offer lessons then in exceptional circumstances.

3. WHAT’S IN A LESSON?

Every lesson is different obviously and is tailored to the individual’s needs at the time. However, I do like to spend at least half of the session on a thorough technical warm-up of the voice. This typically consists of a series of exercises to help support the voice with the application of good breath control and placing. I talk about the importance of ‘physicalising’ the voice, I look at enhancing his or her technique, and I start to build stamina. I also work on expanding the range and projecting the voice safely, including the use of belt register where this is appropriate. The ultimate goal is to create and sustain a ‘seamless passagio’. Ultimately, there is no substitute for a good technical lesson.

4. CAN WE LOOK AT A SONG NOW?

I have occasionally come across people who don’t want to look at songs at all, and are happy just to do exercises every lesson, but they tend to be few and far between! As far as repertoire is concerned, most people have a liking for one genre over another, which I am happy to indulge. But I do occasionally like to change tack where I think it is appropriate. It’s always good to explore new horizons. After our technical warm-up, the rest of the lesson is devoted to working through a student’s repertoire which may be dependent on imminent audition demands. My normal practice is to hand out a set of songs every so often which in my judgment will suit each person, but I have no objection if people wish to bring me material of a different style that I have not recommended, as long as it will not do any harm to their voice. All my students have unlimited access to a vast library of music, covering everything from classical through to pop and much in between, and I also have over 1000 songs of all types on backing tracks created by me which can be e-mailed on request.

5. HOW DO WE LEARN A SONG?

I mentioned at the top of the previous page about a psychological hurdle that needs to be overcome with regard to singing. One of the actual ones is to do with music. It’s one thing to learn how to sing, but it’s another altogether when you consider that a song is written in a medium called musical notation, which you might not understand very well, or even at all. Generally speaking, I am perfectly happy to record songs for people, although this necessarily entails a certain learning by rote or parrot fashion. Much better if you can acquire even a rudimentary knowledge of music, and to this end, I sometimes work on sight-singing and musicianship studies. If a student is already familiar with a piece, we will work through the song in detail, with attention given to technical complexities, followed by a thorough exposition of provenance (background and context), interpretation and characterisation with particular emphasis on nuance, inflection, and cadence – in other words, how to put the song over.

6. WHEN CAN I PERFORM A SONG?

Aha, the fun part! Or should I say the even-more-fun part than the other parts of the lesson! Some people find this quite nerve-racking, but really this is the culmination of why anybody should want to learn how to sing. Once a song has been learnt and preferably memorised, we’re ready to go with presentation and performance of said song with extensive feedback from me, followed by a chance to try it again. This might be a dry run for an audition or it might just be for the sheer pleasure of performing a song and ‘finishing’ it. This is where we depart from the relative straight and narrow and enter into an area of untold shades of grey! The rendition of a song is not a black-and-white science, and let nobody tell you that it is; and this is where we can end up with really eye-opening results, with half the fun being that I don’t know what’s going to happen!

Sometimes, I organise performance classes or singing workshops where people have an opportunity to sing in front of an audience of their peers. This would normally follow the pattern where a song is presented the first time, followed by feedback and then a further rendition. Singing in public can be a daunting and intimidating process, so this is a chance to conquer those nerves.

I feel that it’s a good idea, after maybe a few years down the line, to return to previously-performed numbers, or what I call the ‘retrospective’ process, to check on the retentive powers of my students, but more especially to see how each voice, advanced by a few more years of lessons, is now able to deal with areas of a song which were formerly problematic.

7. CODA

I am regularly asked by my students about the standard or level they can expect to be at, or the vocal range they might attain after, say, a year or two of lessons; to which I normally reply that I’ve mislaid my crystal ball! Some people take longer to hone their vocal skills than others and if there were a prescribed speed of advancement or progression, it’s not a concept with which I’m familiar. I think it’s fair (and equally obvious) to say that we take things very gently at the outset, and then get to a stage where we might work a bit faster if possible; whatever suits each individual. But never lose sight of the fact that, first and foremost, it’s meant to be fun.