My focus is mainly on having fun. Singing lessons aren’t meant to be scary.
Your lessons will be a safe environment where you can feel comfortable to experiment and learn about your voice and your sounds. My music studio is a cosy little bubble full of intriguing instruments. I hope you feel comfortable, inspired and energised.
Lessons are tailored to you personally, and we will move at your speed.
The only critic in the room will be you, and I’ll be working my absolute hardest to help you be nice to yourself as you learn.
TWIG BIRD PRODUCTIONS is the combined forces of Shelly (Vocals, Keys/guitar, Videographer & Sound Engineer) and Dan Brown (Keys, multi-instrumentalist & Sound Engineer) together to help you in any way we can, creatively and musically.
We have nurtured, encouraged and supported many music students through the processes of singing lessons, recording sessions, creating film clip, recording backing tracks for exams and auditions. Students have come to us for a period over their holidays to Byron Bay. Visitors from Sweden, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Townsville, Sydney and Melbourne have come along, studied singing and music theory, taken piano lessons, composed original songs, written song lyrics, improvised, recorded and flourished right before our eyes.
The options are endless! Come and create something awesome with us!
I do not claim to know all there is to know about singing, vocal techniques, theory, performance and music! No! Does anyone? Really? pfff.
However, I have been teaching since 1997, I still love it, and my musical and vocal experience include:
- Taking contemporary and (a few) classical singing lessons since the age of 14 years old till 23 years, with several different vocal teachers,
- Teaching all ages of vocal students since 1999,
- Gaining my Certificate in Music at the Northern Rivers Conservatorium in Lismore (1998),
- Completed a Bachelor of Contemporary Music with Honours (Southern Cross University, NSW, 2003),
- Growing up in the Northern Rivers with constant and joyful encouragement to preform at local jam nights (Byron Bay, Lennox Head, Lismore, Eltham, Ballina, Alstonville, Bangalow, Mullumbimby, Brunswick Heads and Billinudgel),
- A committed participant in African dance and drum classes,
- Participating in World Music choirs, Gospel choirs and Community choirs,
- Learning (or constantly trying to learn…) Spanish,
- Learning about and researching speech and vocal therapy,
- Taking sporadic half yearly courses on: drums, bass, guitar, flute. Whilst quietly trying my own ideas on banjo, ukulele, piano, baritone ukulele and electric guitar.
I have performed in large funk bands (6 to 21 piece), small pop bands, duo’s, trios, quartets and as a solo artist. I have studied jazz standards since before I thought I could ever understand them.
All of which has brought me to where I am today. And through these processes I have learnt that I love to share all of this amazing language that is Music. I love to be part of the inspiration process – your inspiration and mine. I love singing and I love seeing a student and friend progress, develop and succeed.
This is my approach to giving singing lessons and sharing my musical knowledge: To share. To create. To laugh and to have fun. To not stress. To challenge and inspire. Nothing should hurt. Emotionally or physically.
I promise to be honest with you, and to tread lightly with you, as this sound of your voice, that you allow to share with me, is personal and is to be treated with respect, joy and love. I don’t want to get all Byron Bay-hippie on you, but I have been teaching and singing long enough to know that it can be really very scary, really very tremendous, and really very rewarding and fulfilling. I hope I can lead you into the maze, offer you some ways to navigate it, and I’m pretty sure you’ll amaze both of us.
I believe there is room enough in this grand old world for each of us to express ourselves and stand tall by that. And if you choose to do that by writing or singing a song, as I do, then I’d love to help you…. because I think I can.
This is me.
Prices & Policy
Lessons $70 per hour.
24-Hour Cancellation Policy
Students must provide 24 hours’ notice if they cannot attend a lesson. If regular cancellations becomes an issue, I reserve the right to make the student’s lesson time available to others.
Lessons must be paid for prior to or during the lesson. Payments can be made in Cash or with Direct Deposit via Net Banking. (There is an ATM at the service station near my studio).
If you have paid for your term in advance, and give 24 hours notice of your cancellation, then I’ll be more than happy to do Make-up lessons. Make-Up Lessons must be used prior to the following term. Lessons paid for in advance and not used prior to the following term (e.g. during the holidays) will be forfeited.
If you have paid for your term in advance and wish to terminate lessons, a refund of the unattended lessons will be made. I don’t think you should pay for something you haven’t done, but this is how I make my living, and this is my time.
Where are you?
I teach lessons in the sleepy coastal (ever-growing} village of Lennox Head, which is near Byron Bay (Australia’s most Easterly point), in The Far North Coast of New South Wales, in Australia.
How much are lessons?
One Hour Lessons are $70 per hour.
I mainly teach one hour lessons, as a single study class – that is, one person at a time.
However, this, as are all things, is flexible. I have taught siblings, a gaggle of giggly ladies, and I annually lead a group course at Summersong Music Camp; and various group workshops, Check out The Happ. (Monday’s in Lennox Head).
What age do you teach?
I teach students who are in High School and Adults.
I highly recommend children below this age to take group music classes, learn the piano (or any instrument!) or even get into drama classes. I prefer to focus on singing technique and the maturity of the child will be what determines if lessons with me will be appropriate. But, please contact me for a chat if you wish, as it really does usually depends on the child.
A cd player, a hairbrush microphone and belting your guts out in your bedroom is the healthiest thing you or your child can do in your formative years. 🙂
There is no maximum age limit. Don’t think you’re too old to learn a new trick 🙂
What if I don't think I can sing at all?
Yes – you can be a complete beginner! No – I bet you aren’t tone deaf. The students that begin lessons saying they think they have no vocal talent, can’t sing in tune and will have no hope, usually learn, improve and surprise themselves the most. All you need is to have the passion. If you want to sing, we can work on it together, and I bet you can!
What sort of singing do you teach?
Lets get quite specific.
I teach contemporary vocal lessons, focusing on contemporary vocal techniques and music theory. (I am not a classical or opera teacher and I do not have a massive musicals background, not that I’m against it, it’s just not how I have rolled).
You are welcome to study AMEB Contemporary Music Exams with me and then partake in your AMEB exams at our local school, I will be more than happy to facilitate that process with you. It’s quite a satisfying process to undertake and then achieve.
My particular music genre passions lie with soul music. Groove based R’n’B with rich harmony and lyrics that make you bleed feeling.
I love teaching Jazz songs to people who wish they could sing jazz songs. I love teaching ways to improvise and make songs yours.
I grew up singing and playing folk songs on guitar, so you have to put up with me reminiscing if we go there.
I was in a rock band for a very short stint, I’m not too proud to rock out Smoke on the Water.
I then moved on to singing lead in a 6 to 12 piece funk band. So I’ve got a bit of belting to share.
I’ve always dreamed of having a blues band. One day I’ll drink whiskey and find a dingey bar that’ll take us.
And I have a soft spot for straight up Pop music. Simple chord structures, predictable lyrics, and face melting vocals.
How much commitment do I need to bring to the table?
Lessons with me have no time commitment to scheduling, weeks, terms or “contract”. I request that you pay as you have your lesson (cash or direct deposit is preferred), and come as often as you desire and require. This means there is no up front bill, no bills for me to chase, and no being sorry that you had a cold one week, couldn’t make it, and now we spend the rest of term trying to do make-up lessons. I don’t want you to feel bad about having not practised enough this week, or not finding the time to focus how you wanted. I want you to come when you’re ready to recap, better understand a technique, learn a new song, ask a question or take a new step in a new direction.
This being said, you are welcome to book in to regular lessons if our timetables allow, or when you want a lesson, call, text or email to book in.
As for your personal commitment as a student, learning a new craft; I really and sincerely hope you take our one hour lessons as an example of how to go home to practise and study. My lessons are usually half and half: Warm ups, scales, exercises and techniques; and then working on a song, applying techniques, considering the lyrics and improving the tricky sections. I would politely expect that you take this as an example for your regular personal practise through out the time between when next we meet.
Twenty-four hours notice, or more, that you will be absent is greatly appreciated.
When you can’t make it to a scheduled lesson time just call, text or email me.
Here’s a bunch of humans I’ve worked with, learnt from and/or I’m incredibly inspired by:
My Mum and Dad;Dan Brown (Red Bantoo / Mighty Pragmatics / Aurora Jane); Carla Versitano (The Witness/Fyahwalk/Aurora Jane); Sonia Leeson (Fyahwalk/Red Bantoo); Joanna Lavell; Greg Sheehan; Mat Ledger (Wild Marmalade); Si Fixion (The Bird); Dave Dog (Resin Dogs); Vida Sunshine; Pete Wilkins (Blue King Brown); Greg Lyons (Crossfire); Jim Kelly (Crossfire); Kristina Olsen (USA); Andrew Keppie; Guy Mallaby (GFM Guitars); Peter Hunt (Kooii); Stewart Barry; Gene Fehlberg; Brian Martin; Gabrielle O’Shannessy; Leigh Carriage; Parissa Bouas; Elizabeth Lord; Bob Telson (USA); Alison Pearl; Tony Backhouse (NZ); Lloyd Speigel; Grant Gerathy (John Butler Trio)…
Oh my god, the list goes on…
Isn’t the world wonderful?
Please contact me via email to book in for lessons.
TWIG BIRD PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS:
I have very proudly worked with these very talented artists.
Mirani: Year 8 Project | Recorded @ Twig Bird Productions
Gema De Sevilla: Recording Project | Recorded @ Twig Bird Productions
Charles Wall (Bobby Alu)
My Vocal Lessons Blog….
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My Songwriting Blog…
Exercise: Describe, in as much detail as you possibly can, your favourite menial task and why it's your favourite. As much detail as possible... 🙂
ok, so, think of either the town where you were born, or a town you feel somewhat fond of. List as many street names from that town as you possibly can. From memory if possible. Avoid using google for most songwriting exercises. Googling leads to canoodling, which...
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So you're a budding singer/songwriter but you're feeling slightly hindered by your slight lack of musical ability on an instrument to help you navigate the songs you wish to write? Fear not my dear friend. I wish to impart some stunning thoughts with you that might...
What the people say...
I was lucky enough to have a singing lesson early this year by Shelly Hughes. I had been taking singing lessons by various teachers for the last 15 years, but was extremely impressed by Shelly's effective, articulate, skilled and dedicated teaching style. I felt immediately at ease by her approachable, caring attitude and sense of humour. She demonstrates a genuine caring interest in the individual in order to find the best way to help them, and finds ingenious ways of allowing the student to identify their own 'blocks' in order to open up and move forward. By the end of the lesson I was singing clearer and more confidently than I had in a very long time. I have absolutely no hesitation in recommending Shelly for any teaching position, be it individual, group, class, workshop, presentation or anything else she may pursue. Terri R.Terri R
I was a student in Shelly Hughes ‘Singing Class’ at Summersong Music Camp 2012, and gained so much from her well planned and delivered instruction. Shelly has a professional, well planned, well pitched and meaningful approach to teaching singing. Her lighthearted and infectious humour made the classes fun and the subject matter easy to digest. I left Summersong having learned more from the six days of classes with her than, than any other singing lessons that I have had in the past.I am a singer songwriter, however want to get more from my voice, and Shelly Hughes, has set me on the path to achieving that. I have been practicing her practical tips on voice projection, breathing and finding the right note to start singing with, that suits my voice and vocal range, and it really works! I would not hesitate to recommend her to any prospective students who wish to take up singing. I wish her all the best for the future in her singing and teaching career.Vanessa C.
I’m Alexandra and I’ve been seeing Shelly Hughes for vocal tutoring for almost seven years. I went to my first singing lesson when I was only eleven years old, not really knowing what to expect and very nervous about someone hearing me sing for the first time. She made it so painless for me to open up to her with her easy-going nature and understanding, that I ended up doing things with her that I didn’t know I could do and growing so much more than I thought.Over the years, she taught me so many things that I won’t forget. Every lesson we went over scales, different warm-ups and music theory. She would never get upset or annoyed if we didn’t remember some of them, but rather think of a fun way for us to remember them in the future. Most of the time, I didn’t even know I was learning, it was just natural to come to the lesson and do scales, finding a fun way of doing them each time. Lessons were never boring, especially with her exciting personality and ability to work with different people. I could always bring what I wanted to the lesson, and she’d work with what I needed to do. She encouraged me to bring forward any school problems to do with music that I had, and we’d work on them in the lessons. She helped me with composition and writing skills and offered me homework to do, always keeping me going with theory work. Her dedication shows in the booklet she made all her students called ‘Singing’ with vocal exercises, music theory, style analysis, microphone and stage technique and song writing exercises. She was always accessible if I had a problem, and even let me come over to her abode and work with her on weekends helping me prepare for auditions or gigs.The main thing I’ve taken away from my time with Shelly is her influence of different musical styles, and the way that this has shaped my own style and changed the way I approach singing. She has introduced me to so many different songs and artists of the Jazz and Blues genres and pushed me to stretch my abilities. Through this I have learned different techniques and learned to appreciate different styles from what I was used to hearing, while also being allowed to bring my own style and my own favourite songs and artists to the lessons to work with.Alexandra
Thank you Shelly. Not only did I learn more about how to sing and improve my range ,during your workshop, but started to understand the barriers that I put in front of myself . Fear is a strange emotion, especially when you really don’t know what you are afraid of. But you understand Shelley, being a professional singer you have made it through the self-doubt and fear of rejection . Wanting to sing is in itself a strange and wonderful phenomenon . Most of the people attending your workshop have probably sung to themselves for most of their lives, I know I have. I understand why you encouraged us to sing to each other with the ultimate aim of singing to the group. I have never sung solo in front of an audience. I have only ever sung with a choir or with other singers in a band situation. You have given me the aim of attempting to sing on my own this year. I found your personality charming and supportive. You display humor and kindness which works for me………. The knowledge you display of your craft is translated into understandable language for those of us that do not play an instrument or have a technical knowledge of music. So thankyou again. I have purchased your book which again is written in a simple clear way and am listening to your CD . Amazingly talented lady, I look forward to next year.J. Reynolds
What a teacher! I can’t believe how much I learnt from you in such a small amount of time. Thanks to your easy techniques, I was able to sing for 3 hours every day and not feel the slightest strain in my voice. You made me laugh, relax and enjoy making some weird and wonderful sounds. I left every class with a smile on my face. My little vocal ‘dudes’(cords/folds) want to offer their sincere thanks.Finella L
Through my lessons with Shelly, I have gained knowledge of performance technique; stage presence and microphone technique which have all had a huge impact on how I perform on stage. I also now have my own repertoire of songs in my own folder that I can use for gigs and other performances. Her help with methods of dealing with stress before and during performances have been integral in my growth as a performer.
I know that I will have contact with Shelly over the years to come because of the friendship we’ve developed over our years of working together in vocal tuition.Alex G
I was a student of Shelly's for a year and a half, in this time she taught and showed me so many things, she taught me the cycles of fifths, scales, majors.minors and so much more. She opened doors to different generes of music, that otherwise would have gone unnoticed. She showed me the path to different and before unused parts of my voice which now are charted parts of my vocal range. One of the highlights of my week was when I had singing class that night with Shelly, because I knew that whatever had happened that week, she'd know how to expel it through my voice. But debatably the most important thing that Shelly taught me was to find my own deeply personal reason for why I sing, this is something that I know I will recognise for a long long time. Thanks to Shelly, every time I sing hushly on the metro or exhalt from the deepest parts of my voice, I know that this is right and this is me.Jeremy S.
I attended Shelly Hughes's group singing class and had an individual lesson on singing with Shelly at the recent Summersong music camp at Lennox Head. Shelly brought a significant knowledge, musicality and psychological understanding to her teaching and helped some very nervous people find ways of enjoying singing and performance.Robin S.C.
Hey Shelly, guess what? I had an audition on Friday for a music academy in Brisbane and I got in! They loved my voice and my original song and were very impressed! Just wanted to tell you and also say thank you for everything you taught me!Kara R.
My name is Jenny and when I planned to leave my home country Sweden for a 6 week pure holiday in Byron Bay, Australia. I sat down and started to think about things I really wanted to do over there. Surfing, skydiving, yoga… One other thing that came up and that through my whole life come up from time to time, is that I really would like to learn to sing. I´ve been singing whole my life with the permission that no one else is around, and In my head I couldn't… I started google around for singing teachers, mailing with a few and then I found Shelly and it felt immediately that I have to meet her.
The most important thing for me was to feel comfortable and that I could trust her. We meet and it ended up that I was seeing her 2 times a week under my time in Australia. With humor, warmth, a lot of scales and tekniqs, and of course many beautiful songs, she really help me to believe in me and my voice. With all the guiding I heard the change and at the age of 32 I finally started to fulfill my dream of singing and I'm not shy about it anymore! Thank you so much Shelly!
During my lessons with Shelly, she taught me not only how to gain better control of my voice but she also taught me to be confident and free when I sing. Shelly helped me develop my voice into something i am really proud of. Shelly was always really encouraging, insightful and fun to learn with. I'll never forget my lessons with Shelly.Paul W
Shelly Hughes is a fantastic singing teacher! I had lessons with her over 2-3 year (I can't remember lol), and during this time developed my skills both as a singer and as a confident person. Shelly taught singing techniques and vocal exercises with fun and flair and opened my eyes to a whole new world of music - learning new songs and genres as well as exploring my own ability as a songwriter. Shelly is an excellent person and her skills as a tutor are amazing!!!Eloise C.
– Student Resources –
Students Chord Charts
Australian Music Publications Publication Type Based/ Publisher Frequency Website Email address need to have NO SPACES Categories Acclaim Mag http://acclaimmag.com/music/ Australian Guitar Monthly http://www.avhub.com.au/australian-guitar Australian Hi...
Songwriting Ideas and Music Theory This lovely lady called Sally Perkins, came across my web posts regarding songwriting exercises and it reminded her of an article she had written previously about using the Cycle of Fifths to approach Songwriting. She...
All I Could Do Was Cry Etta James 6/8 Blues INTRO II Ab I Db I Eb I Ab II VERSE 1 II Ab I Db I Eb I Ab I I heard church bells...
A Life That’s Good From “Nashville” Ashley Monroe & Sarah Siskind Verse 1: II G / C / I G I G / C / I G I Sittin'...