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NEW Vocal Coach in Residence: Simone Niles

She’s moved between The Royal Albert Hall and her community choir.

She’s sung in The Royal Albert Hall and worked with a variety of artists including Eddy Grant and members of Pink Floyd.

But Simone Niles’ heart really takes a leap when a member of her community choir unleashes their singing potential.

Now, Simone is going to spread her energy as our Vocal Coach in Residence for March and April.

We’ve given Simone only one sentence to answer our questions…

Vocalists who inspire.
Stevie Wonder – versatility and musicianship;
Dianne Reeves – range and agility;
Nina Simone – raw emotion;
Lizz Wright – a tone that makes something move inside.

First singing experience:
Probably in the bath as a toddler; I still love singing in the shower – good steam and acoustics.

Worst singing advice you ever heard:
“There is nothing wrong with feeling a little pain, you can still sing through it!”

A favorite nerves remedy.
Thought Field Therapy (TFT) a tapping technique I use for myself and with clients.

A secret good luck charm for travelling/performing.
Don’t have one – for me it’s not about luck, but about mindset.

Superwoman – as in the Alicia Keys song.

The Joker (poor make-up job!)

Weirdest thing to happen in a performance:
While performing outdoors in the Caribbean, a yellow-breasted bird flew on stage and did his own captivating dance! The band kept playing – but the bird was the center of everyone’s attention!

What drains your batteries?
Over working myself – I know better now; I’ve learned how to prioritize and to delegate.

What charges them?
A thought provoking conversation and some ‘me’ time such as meditation, a good book or film, some pampering –it really depends on my mood.

Your biggest performance blunder:
I have forgotten lyrics more than a few times in my career (nerves rather than lack of preparation); these days if I forget lyrics, I quickly replace them with others or improvise in some other way – I try to make it look intentional so that the audience thinks it’s an artistic choice rather than mistake.

Where most singers mess up with vocal health:
Not looking after the entirety of themselves and relying on quick fixes like caffeine to beat fatigue (caffeine dehydrates), throat sprays or lozenges (this numbs the throat deceiving the singer of how it is being treated at that time).

Fav. Album.
I’ve been listening a lot to “Esperanza” by Esperanza Spalding.

Best advice someone ever gave you about performing.
Be yourself and give your all.

Top recording tip:
Be prepared, be receptive -be open to ideas, feedback and changes both from yourself as well as others.

Bad thing to say to a sound engineer:
You have no idea what you’re doing.

Good thing to say to a sound engineer:
You make me sound so good!

Favorite quote about singing:
“A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song” – Maya Angelou

Your life philosophy in 10 words.
In order to be the best you can be, you must do the best you can do. Oops that’s 17 words!

If you’re signed up to VoiceCouncil’s Peer-Review updates, you’ll be receiving unique coaching feedback from Simone for the next 8 weeks. You can sign up now.

Simone Niles is a leading vocal and performance coach and an author on the specialty of performance enhancement. She has a busy private teaching practice in London and also teaches at The Institute of Contemporary Music, where she is MD of the college’s vocal ensemble. Her book “Coaching for Performance Excellence”, gives artists new and innovative ways to achieve performance excellence and is available from her website.
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  • Magda_fouad

    amazing teacher!