I have been teaching singing for the past 25 years. When I started, my teaching was mainly influenced by my own teacher John Hauxwell, who was himself taught by Gigli’s teacher Herbert Caesari. My teaching method today has many influences; I do my utmost to keep abreast of new theories and techniques in teaching, and with new technology has come a clearer knowledge on how to gain a robust singing technique and the various ways in which to teach it. I have studied numerous techniques, including theatre movement skills with Monica Pagneaux to free the body, the Accent Method with Dinah Harris and the Estill Method with Gillyanne Kayes. I assisted Dr Alan Watson, Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Neuroscience in the School of Bioscience at Cardiff University, in recording breathing patterns while singing for his book The Biology of Musical Performance (2009), and on a paper studying the activity patterns in latissimus dorsi and sternocleidomastoid in classical singers, published by Journal of Voice (2011). I am a member of the British Voice Association and the Incorporated Society of Musicians. Ultimately, I believe that the safest way to teach singing is to have as much knowledge of the workings of the voice and body as possible and to inspire the imagination. In my lessons, I communicate a detailed technical knowledge, in combination with the emotional and spiritual elements of storytelling.
Students have, in recent years, gone on to study at undergraduate and postgraduate level at the RCM, RAM, GSMD, RNCM and NOS. I am a vocal tutor at Cardiff University. In London I teach numerous professional singers, including several past members of the Jette Parker Young Artists programme. Since 2006, I have taught Justina Gringyte, who was named Young Singer of the Year at the International Opera Awards in 2015. I am also vocal tutor to Lloyd Macey, X Factor semi-finalist in 2017.
I am interested in all aspects of performance; I have directed Acis and Galatea, Ruddigore, Handel’s Hercules, The Pirates of Penzance, Dido and Aeneas, Orpheus in the Underworld and opera scenes for RWCMD, Hercules for Swaledale Festival and the Varazdin Baroque Festival and assisted on English Touring Opera’s Così fan tutte. I have directed my students in Dido and Aeneas, Carmen, The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute for Menter Rhosygilwen. In 2013 I directed a pocket version of La bohème and opera scenes for the Wales International Academy of Voice.
I have conducted masterclasses on technique and interpretation in Russia, Lithuania, Croatia, Germany and the UK, and adjudicate at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Singing has been my passion as long as I can remember. I am an enthusiastic teacher; enjoying the challenge presented by each individual student, humbled and honoured to share their journey of discovery. I teach every age whether professional, preparing for grades, competitions, or just for fun.
My private studios are in London, Cardiff and Pembrokeshire or I can give lessons via Skype (buddug.verona.james)