Book me to run a workshop at your place of work, choir or other organisation!

Welcome to my Website!

My name is Cath Coombs and I’ve been teaching singing here in
Cambridge, UK since 2001.

A performer myself, I have a passion for self expression and nurturing people of all kinds, ages and levels of experience to liberate and develop their own unique voice.

As well as teaching one to one, I also run workshops. See Workshops page for dates and details.

Genre

I specialize in non-classical genres. Pop, Rock, Soul, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Folk, Rap, Blues, RíníB, whatever your style, we can work together to bring out the very best in your voice.

So, whatís your story?

You may be somebody who has for years thought about taking singing lessons but have not yet taken the plunge. You may even be quite nervous, and we can work with that in a way that helps you to overcome any self-consciousness. Or at the other end of the spectrum, you may work as a professional singer and want to further your training.

Whatever stage youíre at, there is always the potential to open up and free your voice more and I can help you to do that.

It gives me so much pleasure to see my students frequently surprise themselves at what they have been able to achieve in class.

Have a look at my site. I very much hope that you will be inspired to get in touch so we can begin working together to develop your singing further.

If you like, why not book in just one lesson and we can have a chat and decide the very best way forward for you?

 

 

 

Tuition

You may wish to strengthen your vocal power and stamina or build confidence and eradicate stage fright. My comprehensive approach to vocal training provides guidance in essential technique fundamental to voice production and provides specialist troubleshooting help where necessary for each individualís needs.

Good practice for a healthy, happy voice

Along with my personal training from one of the top voice teachers in the country and   Estill Voice Systems training from The Royal College of Music, I have been studying the Alexander Technique and its application to voice work for a number of years. This training, plus clear evidence from my teaching, has convinced me above all that developing the voice means freeing the voice on many levels and that vocal freedom naturally goes hand in hand with good technique and good vocal health. As a voice specialist with the necessary expertise, I teach the correct technique to safeguard your vocal health and produce a great sound.

Age Range

I teach children as well as adults. When teaching young singers, it is particularly important that their vocal training is appropriate to their age so that they never strain their voices by trying to make an adult sound too early. I am fully CRB checked, proof of which can be produced on request.

Boys and young adolescent voices

Voices change for both girls and boys and it helps to understand the best approach to using the voice at this time whilst creating a solid foundation for future vocal health and freedom. Guidance can be given as to how to protect the voice during this phase, respecting what it can't yet do whilst fully utilising and exploring what it can.

How Long is a Lesson?

Standard adult classes last 60 minutes. The recommended time for younger students is 30 minutes.

What Can I Expect from a Lesson?

The lesson will always start with a loosening up routine for the body and the voice as well as a series of breathing exercises. Then a song, sometimes two, will become the focus of the work for the lesson. As soon as I have heard your voice, I will know exactly what direction the lesson needs to take.

Who chooses the songs?

Songs are always chosen by the student as the connection the student has made with that song or that particular artist is always important and significant. The student will be asked to supply backing to sing to, either the original recording or a backing track playable on a CD or an MP3 player/iphone/smartphone. Or the student may wish to accompany his or herself on the piano or guitar for example.

  • My Ethos

      Your voice is unique to you. With the correct technique and training, you can liberate it more and more, opening it up fully to release and cultivate your natural sound and maximize your expressive range. My approach begins and ends with a belief in the individualís capacity to nurture and develop the voice fully, based on solid technique for vocal health and freedom.

      Implementing correct technique for vocal health as well as building confidence and removing inhibitions, these things work wonders for vocal performance. This can definitely be achieved with the correct guidance and support.

  • Vocal Health

      Learn important facts about the physiology of voice production and how to protect and maintain a healthy voice.

  • Posture

      Learn how to keep a strong and open posture to free the voice and create superb resonance, volume and power.

  • Breathing

      Master key breathing techniques especially developed to optimise vocal support and control.

  • Singing in tune

      Tuning awareness and increased pitch control is something that can be improved through specialist techniques learnt in class.

  • Confidence

      Build your confidence and break through stage fright with the use of helpful exercises and practice.

  • Expressive Freedom and Finding your own voice

      Singing or making vocal sound can in itself be an empowering activity. Everyone has their own unique sound, which can be drawn out, developed and polished with the correct guidance and training. This expression of the individual's own unique sound may have factors in common with particular styles or artists, but will be completely individual. Helping a singer access this personal sound is a core part of my ethos and teaching.

  • Exams

      London College of Music hold exams three times a year in "Popular Music Vocals" and "Musical Theatre". Grades 1 - 8 in either subject can be prepared for in class. This option offers something to work towards and sense of achievement when the results come in. My last batch of three students entered all achieved distinctions!

  • Music Theory

      All levels of music theory are taught from the preliminary grades up to Grade 8 of the London College of Music Popular Music Theory grades.

      If you are singing with other musicians accompanying you, itís great to be able to communicate what you want from them and hold your own in a rehearsal situation.

      You may be a complete beginner and feel you would benefit from even a small amount of music theory tuition to get your head around concepts like keys, chords, changing keys to suit your voice, major and minor keys, time signatures and how to count in the band etc.

      You may want to develop a more sophisticated understanding or maybe you need the qualification for entry to a college like The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts who require grade 7 theory.

      As a Popular Music performer , the LCM Popular Music Theory grades are particularly useful including as they do all the usual grounding in music theory but with additional elements relevant or popular music such as blues scales, pentatonic scales, modal scales, blues and jazz chords and chord progressions, the study of non-classical instruments and technology, plus popular music history.

  • Performance Technique

      Connect with the song, with your own authenticity and with the audience for a truly alive and compelling performance!

  • Microphone Technique

      Learn how to use the microphone as a tool for your performance enhancing various vocal timbres and volume levels.

  • Working with Amplification

      Learn how to get what you need on stage to avoid vocal strain and experience artistic satisfaction during performance.

  • Studio Techniques

      How to make the most of your studio time, prepare effectively, know what to expect and get value for money in the studio.

  • Vocal Stamina

      Train to produce sound healthily with ease and without strain. Build up your physical strength and stamina for those demanding performances.

  • Different Voice Qualities

      Voice qualities are defined and labelled differently according to different teaching methods and schools.

  • Transition from Adolescence to Adulthood in both Male and Female Singers

      Voices change for both girls and boys and it helps to understand the best approach to using the voice at this time whilst creating a solid foundation for future vocal health and freedom. Guidance can be given as to how to protect the voice during this phase, respecting what it can't yet do whilst fully utilising and exploring what it can.

      Exploring the Higher Range of the Adult Male Voice The higher register of the male voice can be fully opened up, explored, and strengthened.