Introducing Emma Williams: professional vocalist, songwriter and tutor on our brand-new Performance and Recording course.
Emma is a musician and experienced performer, whose career has seen her sing at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics, and appear alongside award-winning artists such as Paloma Faith. As part of London-based group the Urban Voices Collective, she has worked with some of the most exciting recording artists in the UK.
We speak to Emma about why she loves teaching, her own experiences learning to sing, and get a few performance tips to give us a flavour of what to expect in her City Academy classes.
Hi Emma, we’ve followed you as a performer – what do you enjoy most about teaching singing?
I love that everybody has a unique voice. Seeing how singers evolve and develop their own personal style over time is great too. The voice is such a powerful tool and at times I’ve been fortunate enough to witness that key moment when technique and internalisation truly combine; the penny drops and the sound flies out unhindered and that is a really amazing moment.
I try to make my classes fun, creative and tailored to the individuals within them as much as possible. I’m a calm and patient person and aim to create a relaxed learning environment and give space for personal development in a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere.
Do you think anyone can learn to sing?
Yes definitely! For a complete beginner it just takes that initial leap into giving it a go and seeing what comes out. Once the sound is out, it can be sculpted. Singing is one of the most natural things the human body can do and it’s an instrument that we all have at our disposal. Like most physical activities it’s about training a collection of muscles, aligning your body and teaching it to perform functions that become easier with time. If you’re willing to put in the practice then the possibilities really are endless!
Singing is a lifetime of learning and evolution!
What can we expect from the new Performance and Recording course?
The new course is a great opportunity for budding singers, songwriters and recording artists to explore their own unique musicality. It will allow students to work on their own arrangements, either with original material or using existing material creatively. The course is also going to be a lot of fun, with special workshops from guest tutors covering things like songwriting improvisation, alongside the focus on performance technique.
Could you tell us a bit about of your own experience learning to sing?
I first started singing along to my parent’s record collection as a child. They listened to lots of Motown so that always resonates with me; I absolutely love vocal harmony! As I got older I spent more time writing songs and singing with as many different bands and choirs as possible. There is still so much to learn and develop; singing is a lifetime of learning and evolution!
What are your top tips for someone looking to take their singing and performance to the next level?
- Practise – you need to feel secure and confident in what you can deliver
- Flexibility – try out new styles and be as diverse a singer as you can be; you never know when a new opportunity may come along.
- Connections – get out there, meet new people and show what you can do – ‘jam nights’ are a great place to do this.
Singing at the London 2012 Olympics…was an amazing feeling. The feeling of celebration across the stadium was completely overwhelming.
What has been the highlight of your career so far?
My career highlight has definitely been singing at the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics. Being a life-long East Londoner taking part in such a huge worldwide event so close to my home was an amazing feeling. The energy and feeling of celebration across the stadium was a completely overwhelming experience.
What other projects are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on some new collaborations over the coming year and writing material for an EP; watch this space!
Our Performance and Recording course is taught in central London taught by Emma Williams and Head of Singing, Berni Doyle, find out more about the course here >>