On Monday 27th March 2017 the Musical Director, Amba Tremain, ran a Music Leader workshop for staff and volunteers from The Urban Vocal Group. The workshop covered many important topics involved with running a music session with young people; the room was full with potential tutors, volunteers and current UVG staff members.
The workshop started with your personal strengths and weaknesses when tutoring or performing in front of a crowd; the majority of participants struggled to complete this task (including myself) as they didn’t feel comfortable ‘bigging themselves up’. After a while, Amba gave the room a few examples of her own strengths and weaknesses, everyone was then able to write three things down evaluating their teaching/ performing style. Amba asked everyone to read out their points and the participants were then able to discuss and give reason why they wrote those specific points.
After that, we had The Urban Vocal Group’s SingSafe Tutor, Sally Salmon, give advice and answer questions we had regarding vocal health. I asked a few questions on how not to strain your voice if you are delivering vocal sessions frequently and gigging alongside, Sally was able to give advice on this and signpost us to her website and CD which has a lot more information on vocal health. All participants were singers, so Sally got us all to do a few vocal warm ups; Sally then showed us a good trick to warming up your voice and finding out what your range is.
We were all given a bottle of water and a straw, we were all told to blow through the straw whilst humming; some found this a difficult task to complete, so we all got together and helped those who couldn’t perform the task. This little exercise helped the participants learn about vocal range, teamwork and the importance of group participation.
To finish the session, Amba told us her top ten tricks to becoming a good UVG Music Leader. Her top tricks involved lesson planning, appropriate song choice for your audience and how to act confident in front of a new audience.
After the workshop, I personally felt like I learnt how to act in front of a crowd as well as being able to determine my vocal range. This workshop was very helpful to the potential new tutors too as they were able to learn about how to keep their own voice safe as well as their students. The feedback was amazing from all participants, everyone wants to learn more about Music Leading and also get more involved with the charity. This was another remarkable workshop from The Urban Vocal Group, I look forward to attending more in the future.