Why I became a singing teacher: Gareth Henderson

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Gareth Henderson (Perth, Australia)

My first brush with singing tuition was, like many I’m sure, a result of being a gigging singer who did not know how to use their voice correctly and did it some harm as a result.

I had lessons with a number of teachers and truly enjoyed working on the problems with my voice.

That said,  I did not plan to become a serious vocal coach.

I was building a recording studio and I knew that it would take time to ramp the business up, so I thought I’d teach “the odd singing lesson” in the meantime. The vocal tuition took off so fast that I ended up struggling to work in the recording studio! Eventually I knew I had to take some of my more experienced pupils and get them to become teachers. The problem was that I had no teacher training program. My search for training for them was where I discovered the pedagogy that I ended up whole heartedly embracing.

I had built a successful business based on my “best guesses” in singing tuition and sure – some pupils felt they gained a lot but whenever I came up against a singer who’s problems were dissimilar to my own, I would find it so hard to help them with their needs.

Studying properly how to TEACH singing, armed me with knowledge of the broadest range of problems and the fastest solutions, along with better methods for delivering these solutions to singers.

The business grew faster than before and I had a team of fantastic new coaches around me who all studied this same method. These days they are either globe trotting session vocalists or very successful vocal coaches in their own right (you’ve seen the Naked Vocalist haven’t you?) I’m hugely proud of all of them.

I spent a fair few years coming to terms with how all this new knowledge could best help my pupils but I never lost sight of the fact that I LOVE to teach – to see that “lightbulb” moment in a pupil.

Initially it was with vocalists who could suddenly sing things they could not before but when my recording studio business expanded too, those moments came when showing engineers how to manage sessions in a way they could not before. More often than not, this was not about equipment or software, but about how to speak to clients – to get the very best from them creatively and technically and leave them happy and enthusiastic.

I’m not sure when it dawned on me that the greatest buzz of all would be to teach the teachers but again, I think it began accidentally.

Having learned my lesson the first time, I knew a solid system would be the key to delivering this well. The B.A.S.T system incorporates all the great vocal tuition I studied so hard, a strong anatomical understanding, on going research and a respect for the art of simply teaching.

I’m proud to be on the team.

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