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Located within the West Yorkshire Urban Area, the fourth most-populous urban area in the UK, Leeds is a vibrant and diverse city. With a population of about 785,000, it is the second largest local authority district in the country (after Birmingham). That’s a lot of potential singers!
Like all big English metropolitan areas, countless opportunities exist if you want to learn how to sing well, or if you’d like to deepen or polish your vocal technique. And that’s regardless of your skill level, whether singing is your passion and you just want to practice some singing exercises after work or you aspire to make it a career and become a famous singer someday.
Let’s review your options!
The Garforth Singing School, founded by Royal College of Music alum Anne-Marie Czajkowski, proposes one-on-one singing and piano lessons in her personal, fully-equipped studio.
All levels are welcome, whether you’re tone deaf or practicing for your university recitals. Anne-Marie has a rich musical and pedagogical background and is even used to teaching people with learning difficulties, using her passion and patience to make music and song accessible to everybody. She teaches many different styles, from classical music to jazz to light pop, and can also teach in different languages (French, German, Russian, etc.).
Her private lessons are proposed in the afternoon and in the evenings, and they cost £34 an hour.
Vocal coach Tessa Smith also offers quality singing lessons. A true local, Tessa graduated from the Leeds School of Music in 2007 and has been a singing instructor ever since, teaching people of all ages jazz, classical, pop and musical theatre music. Her private lessons are open to everyone, and there is no need to commit, as you can pay as you go. Her rate is £30 an hour.
Tessa is also heavily involved in numerous choirs, leading 3 different groups that are open to those of her students who are interested in also joining an ensemble. “Jazz Voices” meets fortnightly and offers performance opportunities throughout the year, and the “Chapel Allerton Festival Choir” meets for 5 weeks every summer, to perform at the Chapel Allerton Festival.
The School of Music of the University of Leeds is one of the largest music departments in the UK. Here, you can obtain your undergraduate, masters, or research degree in music. The curriculum includes a variety of different teaching styles, from lectures and seminars, to solo and ensemble rehearsals to studio time for composition. Students will learn the history of music, as well as music theory and music research skills, and will have the option of choosing from a variety of different modules to complete their programme, depending on their particular interests, including composition and performance, the psychology of music, notation and editing, and marketing for musicians.
While there is a thorough application process to enter the School of Music, applicants aren’t required to have taken music lessons in the past, and the university considers “alternative profiles” for admission. The advantage of studying music at the School of Music is that, as part of the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Culture, students can benefit from the different interdisciplinary opportunities that the faculty provides, such as research, conferences, modules, etc. The school’s many external partners, such as Opera North, also foster an exciting and stimulating environment for its students.
Another music school, The Yorkshire College of Music and Drama, founded in 1894, offers a wide range of music lessons in guitar, piano, woodwinds and string instruments, on top of its singing lessons. The college provides a relaxed and pleasant environment for both beginners and experienced singers alike to improve or to perfect their musical abilities.
The school provides both individual and group lessons, and even several workshops and concerts throughout the year. Lessons cover all aspects of music training, from music theory and composition to music performance.
Artforms Music offers a wide range of musical learning opportunities around Leeds, for music enthusiasts of all ages. The Artforms Music Centres provide community-based group music lessons on Saturday mornings throughout the city. All styles are covered and everyone is welcome. Beginners are even able to rent an instrument for a whole year, free of charge, in order to test it out.
Artforms also manages The City of Leeds Youth Music groups, which offer young musicians the opportunity to perform at a higher level. Groups meet on a weekly basis, and open rehearsals give newcomers the chance to try out a group for free.
The Leeds Schools’ Music Association (LSMA), also part of Artforms Music, provides children with the opportunity to perform together with other students, both in instrumental groups and in choirs. The association organises a Christmas concert and a three-day festival in the summer, in which different schools around the area come together to sing and play.
Roundhay Music is a not-for-profit organisation that helps promote music in the city of Leeds by providing students with access to more experienced instrumental and singing teachers. On top of their music theory and singing lessons, they provide music lessons for a variety of different instruments (piano, flute, clarinet, cello, electric guitar, percussion, etc.). In fact, their rich catalogue of courses more closely resembles that of a music school than that of an association!
All of the different musical styles are represented in Roundhay’s lessons, which can be particularly interesting for our music enthusiasts who wish to perfect their musical training and their voice in a variety of different areas!
The organisation advocates for musical conversation and making musical education and the joy of playing and singing together accessible to all. For this reason, several choirs and music ensembles are also proposed, created by and for the students themselves, in order to give students the chance to benefit from group synergy and to practice their performance skills as a team. Lessons and ensembles are open to students of all ages and standards, whether you just want to practice your scales or are looking to rehearse for your university auditions.
When singing becomes more than just a passion, and turns into a true vocation, you may wish to develop it further in order to make it your career. And, hey, why not? If this is your case, then the Leeds College of Music is the best option for you.
Their course offering is quite large, as the college hosts over 1,900 musicians between their undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in all different types of music (classical, folk, jazz, film music, etc.), as well as the various short courses proposed throughout the year. Besides the ever-popular vocal and breathing technique lessons, students also take lessons in scenic expression, language and the fundamentals of composition or instrumental/vocal performance. In order to obtain a wide breadth of knowledge in the art of singing, the conservatoire is the ideal place to learn.
If you’re afraid you won’t meet the strict requirements for admission (most programs require you have A Level Music qualifications or a BTEC extended diploma in a music-related subject), do not fear! The college also offers a wide range of short courses and summer schools that are open to beginners. From “Sight Singing and Vocal Techniques for Choral Singers” to “Singing for Improvers”, these workshop-style courses are typically taught in the evenings and invite people of all ages and backgrounds to hone their skills, practice their technique, and gain the self-confidence to perform solo or in a group.
Most of the solutions covered above involve learning in a group setting, whether it’s joining an ensemble or participating in a workshop. Turning to a private tutor can turn out to be incredibly useful to make fast progress. In fact, by going down this route, you will have a personal tutor entirely dedicated to your learning trajectory, which is unlikely to be the case during group lessons.
In Leeds, there are about twenty singing instructors on our platform offering singing lessons that average £26 an hour. Keep in mind that you can always lower the bill by choosing instructors with less prestigious diplomas, or with less experience than others (such as a current student).
It’s fair to say that a private singing instructor or vocal coach with over 30 years of experience will likely charge a different rate than a first-year conservatory student.
And make sure you take advantage of a first lesson offered for free! At Superprof, most of our tutors have activated this option, ideal to test your new singing instructor’s teaching methods before you commit to more regular lessons.
All you need to do now is find the formula for success to become the best alto, tenor, baritone or soprano out there! Best of luck!
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