ABOUT SINGING LESSONS WITH SHELLY
My focus is mainly on having fun. Singing lessons aren’t meant to be scary.
Your lessons will be in 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. (My son Felix is happy to play piano for you if you require. He made me write that. He’s 7. He says Hi)
I have nurtured, encouraged and supported many music students through the processes of singing lessons, recording sessions, creating film clips, recording backing tracks for exams and auditions. Students have come for lessons 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.
I do not claim to know all there is to know about singing, vocal techniques, theory, performance and music! No! Does anyone? Really? pfff. But I love learning and I love teaching.
My Vocal Experience
- 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’ve 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.
Lessons $70 per hour.
24-Hour Cancellation Policy
Students must provide 24 hours’ notice if they cannot attend a lesson. There is no charge if 24 hours notice is given. If regular cancellations become an issue, I reserve the right to make the student’s lesson time available to others.
A payment of 50% is required if you cancel within 24 hours notice.
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).
Finding the Singing Teacher that’s right for you…
I highly recommend shopping around and finding the right singing teacher for you. I’ll tell you now, singing teachers are a truly unique bunch of nut-cases. But, like many things in life, you’ve gotta find the person that clicks with you.
That encourages and/or pushes and/or challenges and/or safeguards and/or nurtures and/or … you get the idea… If you’re with a teacher that makes you feel crap, GET OUT! You’re the Boss! A lot of my job sometimes is un-doing the sad stories from past singing scars. Don’t be that guy! I really find the need to have fresh exercises, to stay inspired, to feed my inner artist on the holidays, to stay keen as a bean. But if you don’t click with me, I can give you an excellent list of people who might be great.
I’m not great at musical songs, not terrible – but not great, I’m not amazing at super fast r’n’b melismas – keen and working on it, but not a pro. I know where my weaknesses lie, and I know my strengths, and Im honest about it.
Honesty is key. A lying singing teacher isn’t helping you, they’re just baby sitting. And that’s a high rate for a baby-sitter, so, no, get a teacher that can teach you what you want and need.
ONLINE VOCAL LESSONS
Vocal Lessons are currently available on Monday’s and Friday’s.
One Hour Lessons are $70.
I appreciate payment at time of lessons in Cash or via Direct Debit. Thank you.
Singing lessons work best when you have a singing agenda. Be sure to have a brainstorm about what you would like to get out of the lesson and be prepared to take notes and have some favourite songs at hand.
Brainstorm for your lesson focus: Songwriting, improvisation, music theory, repertoire, tone colour, performance skills, basic guitar skills.
Where are you?
I teach lessons in the sleepy coastal hamlet of Lennox Head, which is near Byron Bay (Australia’s most Easterly point), in The Far North Coast of New South Wales, in Australia.
Or via the internet.
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, fortnightly. 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, such at eh Byron Bay Community Singers and The Happ.
What age do you teach?
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. 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?
My particular music genre passions lie with folk, funk, soul, R’n’B, jazz, rock, pop, blues.
How much commitment do I need to bring to the table?
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.
When you can’t make it to a scheduled lesson time just call, text or email me.
Prior to HSC Age:
I focus on helping to build a strong sense of identity and self courage. This can be a tumultuous time for self body image, school bullies, finding your passion, navigating and fitting in other after school commitments, and believing in yourself.
I try to make the lesson exercises and songs be based closely on the young students tastes – if they choose the songs, they’re more likely to want to practise. So we will create vocal exercises together based on songs they already love to practice specifics over (intervals, rhythms, breathing, support, tone colour etc).
I encourage and help to write and understand song informative and clear chord charts, lyric sheets, and understanding the music theory within the songs. Whilst I am not a guitar or piano teacher, I am happy to teach the basics, and make it fun as heck.
I explore ways of learning, as everyone learns differently. Such as to apply it to other subjects as a metaphor for learning, and as a mnemonic for singing. For example, singing the times tables- maths + music; or acting out the words while singing- drama + music; utilising art, science, sports, or a good book. Or ways to notate the information, or record the whole class or just the exercises for weekly practise.
Please check out my Singing Lessons Podcast below if you would like 🙂
HSC Aged Students:
Oh, it’s the big time! I focus on encouraging the student to be decisive, and therefore prepared. And then I find all the ways I can to keep the student inspired and on track as all the other subjects close in on their time and energy. Choosing your performance songs around Easter is all good and well-prepared, but I’ve seen too many students change songs the week or day before their exam because they’re so bored of it by then! Oh no!
So, we focus on improvising, creating original arrangements, making it appropriately challenging but not scary, finding performance opportunities so that the HSC is just another gig you totally rock. As well as performance and introduction skills, microphone and gear technique, band ettiequte and professionalism.
We discuss finding out what the HSC markers want to see, and what would get you a good mark- BUT ALSO – what is important to you and how YOU value a good performance.
Here’s a little quiz to get you thinking about the soundtrack of your life, and what you might like to sing with me, or how I can help you write a song, achieve a performance or recording, or whatever it is that brought you to read these words. xx
Write 3 bands you like to listen to.
Write 3 singers you love to sing along with.
Write 3 Australian musical artists you admire.
Write three songs from your childhood.
Write three songs that get stuck in your head.
Write 3 songs from soundtracks you adore.
Write three songs that put you in a good mood.
Write 3 songs you’ve thought – “thats exactly how I feel”, at one point or another.
Write 3 songs from the last ten years that you like.
Write 3 songs or bands your parents played when you were a kid/young adult.
Write three songs from the decade you were born.
Write 3 advertisement jingles you know.
Write 3 lullabies or nursery rhymes.
You see where I’m going with this? I want you to think about all the music that made you you, and then I want you to sing it and let that feeling fill your heart with joy.
Some of my amazing students xx