How it works
- For the musical director
- Mind and body
How it works
- For the musical director
- Mind and body
North London Chorus
Large mixed choir led by Murray Hipkin
“Aside from his obvious skills as a singer and teacher the thing that sets Mark apart from other practitioners I have worked with over the years is his unfailing positivity and enthusiasm.
“His ability to raise the spirits and raise the standard of a group of amateur singers while at the same time helping me confront a few problems of blend and intonation has been invaluable.”
Read an in-depth testimonial by Murray Hipkin here »
North London Chorus
Comment on Mind, Body and Voice – two warm-up sessions held on Zoom, highlighting the broader elements of the Vocalcraftwork ethos
“Thank you so much for these two sessions. I got a lot out of them, the focus on breathing, the visualisation and singing again... As I have been away from the choir for a long time, these Zoom evenings have been a wonderful way of getting back. At this time with so much uncertainty, being in touch with the body and senses really helps.” – Susan
Civil Servants Choir
Members from three Government departments – Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra); Transport; and Communities and Local Government. Led by Stephen Hall.
The Civil Service Choir – A London choir for civil servants across Whitehall
“ETCetera Choir is a mixed voice, office-based lunchtime choir with big ambitions. Our membership ranges from beginners to highly experienced choral singers. We decided to set up some additional lunchtime sessions with Mark, with the particular hope of building up the confidence of our less experienced singers, providing them with a firmer technical foundation for singing, and helping them with the trickier musical passages.
“The feedback from those involved was extremely encouraging about how much it had helped them, not only in understanding better how their voices work but how to use it to good effect within the choir. Mark also provided me, as music director with advice and support, including being there for our dress rehearsal for a performance of Mozart’s Requiem. – Stephen Hall
“The calm and yet vivid teaching style communicates a lot of knowledge very effectively.”
“Mark is so inclusive, relaxed and encouraging that I quickly lost any self-consciousness that I felt at first.”
One of East Anglia’s leading chamber choirs, led by Ralph Woodward
“We all really enjoyed your Zoom session on Tuesday. It will have been extremely helpful for the choir, particularly during these trying times when vocal atrophy is a real possibility! Everything you said was clear, imaginative and passionate, and you gave the choir loads of ideas to carry into the summer. Highly recommended.” – Ralph Woodward
East-West Gala Chorus
Founder: Annie W Pang
A mixed vocal training group with an interest in building a repertoire of classical western works and world music
“I set up this group specifically to work with Mark as our vocal coach, in the firm belief that even the most experienced choral singers or trained singers could benefit from Mark’s expertise in vocal training and artistic interpretation. Working in an informal workshop environment, Mark’s inclusive approach with our singers, of varying degrees of experience, breaks down their inhibitions of singing in a small group and builds their confidence. He is generous in sharing his knowledge and helping us deliver our creative ideas.” – Annie W Pang
“Mark is an inspirational vocal coach and a person who raises your spirits, vocal quality and confidence. You leave his vocal training sessions feeling and sounding better.” – Joanna Paxton, member of East-West Gala Chorus
East-West Gala Chorus
“Mark uses Zoom to teach singing in a way that goes beyond warm-up, promoting an understanding of the relationship between body brain and sound. The sessions on mute and unmute are fun, challenging and uplifting as we sing a variety of great music to try out new knowledge. Mark passes on his knowledge and experience in a supportive, creative and unique way.
“Rather than being maudlin that my choir is not singing I’m learning a lot which I know will make me a better singer when choirs sing together again. It’s time well spent in the meantime.” – Judith
Tullow Oil plc
in collaboration with Gill Monk and occupational health group All Health Matters Ltd
“I commissioned Mark’s services as part of a health campaign initiative with a focus on lung health and relaxation. Encouraging people to come along and sing proved highly beneficial; it was fun, a great de-stressor, and it promoted teamwork and good posture. Mark is truly a great master. He is energetic, fun, tolerant and, above all, inspirational. He used the sessions wisely to draw people out, and geared the choice of music to the mixed skill set with which he was faced. I would wholeheartedly recommend Mark to any group.” - Gill Monk, Manager, All Health Matters Ltd.
“I felt nourished; I thoroughly enjoyed the session.”
The Zemel Choir
UK’s leading mixed-voice Jewish choir, led by Benjamin Wolf
“Mark was employed to lead some vocal workshops at our annual Celebrate with Song event.
Mark’s approach to improving vocal quality was particularly effective in the workshops. Firstly he introduced a number of exercises to relax the body and to select a good posture for singing. He then introduced warm-up routines that focused on articulation and vowel sound which further relaxed the mouth and neck, creating improved resonance.
Finally, he demonstrated the right and the wrong way to breathe and support the breath which led to a further improvement in the pitch control and resonance.
One of Mark’s gifts is his ability to help the singer actually change the quality of their vocal output. This is what sets Mark apart from many other vocal coaches.” - Anthony Cohen
Mixed chamber choir led by Nansi Brown
“This was a workshop with a difference. It focused totally on an analytical introduction to voice production and the elements which produce good choral singing, namely posture, breathing, vowel sounds, articulation, interpretation and dynamics. A lot to pack into a three hour session, but Mark has a gentle and humorous approach which kept everyone’s attention and anyone who does Yoga, Pilates or Tai-chi will recognise the logic of the techniques demonstrated, particularly in relation to posture and breathing.
“The main difference from other workshops was that there was no sight-reading, as Mark worked on 3 or 4 items already in the repertoire. He guided us through the way we interpret the pieces and showed how our performance could be improved by making greater use of the text and by taking a more musical appraisal of dynamics and the structure of the music. He also stressed the importance of engaging the audience – something at which he excels.” – Hilary Furlong
“Inspiring and refreshing – a chance to be reminded of some of the basic skills and techniques required to create the best possible sound.” – alto
“Mark shared lots of insight and practical guidance in an easy and engaging manner; our singing improved immediately. Highly recommended.” – Tim Power, Lavenham, Suffolk
North London-based ensemble of twelve led by Jane Hopkins
“For me, the vowel production was most interesting, and the techniques to leave the throat area ‘neutral’.”
“Most enjoyable! It was varied and you kept us moving (physically and mentally), which is always good on a chilly Tuesday evening! The work on vowels is something I needed. After a years of choral singing vowels (“Show me your eye-teeth when you sing an ‘e’...”), it seems there’s an easier way to do it.”
“Thank you. You were perfect – so many things to think about – and you spoke in a wonderfully calm, encouraging way.” - Jane Hopkins
Read an in-depth review of the benefits of Vocalcraftwork by Jane Hopkins here »
London Oriana Choir
Mixed choir of 100 led by Dominic Peckham
“Mark’s passion for sharing the gift of singing was clear throughout. His advice, wisdom and enthusiasm rubbed off on all of us. Each person left the workshop with clear ideas of how they could further develop their technique.” - Christopher Mathews
“Mark led a workshop session on support, air flow and control. His knowledge and method of delivery made these important concepts in singing easy to follow and fun to learn. The individual masterclass sessions allowed for more focused work which the whole choir found valuable from the learning points raised. Thank you, Mark, for an enjoyable and informative day!” - Rachel Bogues
“Mark led an enlightening workshop. It focused on the use of breathe and airflow while singing. It was most thought-provoking and proved to be stimulating for all the participants, regardless of age or choral experience. During the masterclass section of the day Mark’s patient and gentle manner put everyone at ease. He was able to transform a sound via a small adjustment. Mark’s ability to make tangible the intangible has to be admired.” - Emma Bond
Mark was a resident vocal coach with LOC for over 11 years until April 2015. He will continue to support the MD and choir as a consultant vocal coach.
Chorus of Dissent
Community choir in Stoke Newington, led by Ruth Whitehead
“What you offered was informal, expertly and perfectly pitched, and an important learning session for us all. I particularly took on board the relaxation techniques. After your session, I was really surprised to discover that I could hit higher notes quite easily, and that my range hasn’t decreased to the extent that I thought. In fact it appears not to have decreased at all. I’m absolutely delighted about that! Thrilled, in fact!
“Working with you and the whole choir on the different vocal colorations required in the Rossini (Petite Messe) was also extremely effective and enjoyable. My background as an orchestral musician means my knowledge of vocal technique is limited, and we all strive to learn something new. So, thank you for your stylish and enjoyable contribution to our Taster Day, and we will doubtless be working together again soon!” – Ruth Whitehead
Ipswich Choral Society
A choir of seventy led by Stephen Rumsey
“I really enjoyed it and learned some very helpful things. I was trying to breathe correctly and not lock my knees while singing in the church choir today!”
“Very interesting and good fun – all the bits about breathing; the connection between emotions, body and voice.”
“The workshop definitely delivered. The Brahms concert was stunning, definitely the best singing and most musical performance I’ve ever had from ICS. You have been a significant part in this development. Thanks.” - Stephen Rumsey
All-women community choir
Mixed chamber choir
(Both choirs led by Zoe Peate)
“Mark encouraged and inspired a mixed-age group of ladies from my choir, giving them confidence to sing out by focusing, and explaining how to breathe, how vowels and consonants work together and how the physical and mental approach are important, and relating it to a level that any singer could understand.
“Mark has the rare ability to make each participant feel important, talking to them individually, taking a kinesthetic approach, listening to their questions and asking them how the exercises feel, and guiding them to a better understanding of their own voice.
“A great in-depth vocal day, which Mark can adapt to suit each level. Highly reccomended to any choir.” - Zoe Peate
“I liked your unobtrusive and easy way of greeting each member of the choir; this relaxed manner made it easier for me, and I suspect others, to attend to characteristic habits of posture and sound production. I liked the way you (and the conductor) worked together ... the way you listened critically and commented appropriately. Thank you so much.” - Bass and founder member of Kaleidoscope Singers
“As a practising body psychotherapist I always find it good to hear the importance of grounding and
singing from deeper down in the body. I appreciated your energy and all your comments.”
Royal Free Music Society Choir
Mixed choir founded by hospital staff and now including members of the local community, led by Benjamin Wolf
“I loved your enthusiasm ... I was thrilled that time was given to clarity of speech ... Most of all I was delighted with the tips on breathing and posture.”
Hadleigh High School / Elmsett Junior School
Organised by Moya Quinn – morning workshop for a broad age range of children, with some adults
“The best bit was doing the improvisations and when I learnt new exercises to improve my singing.”
“Learning to keep the beat really helped me.”
“I learnt how to breathe when singing.”
“I am going to remember the standing position – it helped me sing more easily.”
“I really liked the harmonies, when we sang different notes at the same time.”
“Liked Mark because he was funny.”
Ian Engelmann Singers
A chamber choir of twenty led by John Tudhope
“Very calming – a wonderful haven focusing just on the feeling of my voice and tuning in with the other voices. Thanks very much.” – John Tudhope
“Very effective warming-up and loosening-up exercises.”
Yoga-singing fusion workshops
Click here to read some of the comments of people who have attended the yoga-singing fusion workshops led by Mark and Amy Ku Redler.