Dr Jenevora Williams
Dr Jenevora Williams is a passionate pedagogue and a leading exponent in the field of vocal health and singing teaching. She was the first singing teacher to be awarded a PhD in voice science in the UK, and won the 2010 BVA Van Lawrence Prize for her outstanding contribution to voice research.
As voice science is a relatively young discipline, she has engaged in pioneering work at a grass roots level through the delivery of innovative lectures on Vocal Health, Performance Anxiety, Vocal Pedagogy, Teaching Young Singers, Singing in the Brain, Voice Acoustics, and Teaching Studio Communication Style for bodies such as the British Voice Association, British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) and the Association of Teachers of Singing. Jenevora has delivered her courses in person in over ten countries, and online in many more. She also offers more general training for teachers in regional and national music organisations like Sound Connections and Sistema Scotland. She has written the first Vocal Pedagogy syllabus for a university-accredited MA. Her work now is mainly through Vocal Health Education: along with Stephen King of the Voice Care Centre, she has set up Vocal Health First Aid training that leads on the Vocal Health Practitioner and Vocal Rehabilitation Specialist, all of these are fully accredited qualifications.
Jenevora has a busy private practice both at her home in Guildford, Surrey, and also at Pro Voice Care in Soho, London. She is experienced in preparing singers for solo professional performance and recordings (Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Glyndebourne, Les Arts Florissants, Aix-en-Provence, Garsington, Decca, EMI, Hyperion). Many of her students are members of professional opera choruses and groups such as the Monteverdi Choir and The Sixteen. Others perform as soloists both nationally and internationally. She has given masterclasses in Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, United States, Canada and Australia.
Much of her teaching work is in vocal rehabilitation; she offers guidance for singers who may have challenges with vocal health or technique. Jenevora works alongside the UK’s leading voice doctor Declan Costello in more than one voice clinic. Jenevora is an Associate Lecturer in vocal rehabilitation for professional singers on the MSc in Performing Arts Medicine at UCL. She is one of the recommended Vocal Rehabilitation Coaches for the Voice Care Centre and BAPAM, and she also takes referrals from voice clinics around the country.
As one would expect for someone who has always been interested in advanced training for young singers; Jenevora’s PhD research looked into the vocal health of intensively trained child singers. She has taught elite musicians at the Yehudi Menuhin School; and was Singing Consultant and teacher-in-residence for the National Youth Choir for twenty years. She has taught singing at The Royal College of Music Junior Department, as well as young adults at the Guildford School of Acting and many universities. She has been the singing teacher for the choristers at St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey, as well as a consultant teacher for many other British cathedral foundations.
The book and DVD Teaching Singing to Children and Young Adults has sold several thousand copies worldwide and is currently the bestseller for Compton Publications. Jenevora’s publication list includes research papers published in the Journal of Voice, Logopedics and Phoniatrics and Vocology as well as chapter contributions to The Oxford Handbook of Singing and The Oxford Handbook of Music Education. She was recently employed as a Research Associate at York University, working with Dr Gillyanne Kayes and Professor David Howard. The project was an investigation into the vocal health of adult choral singers and is part of the European VOICE initiative. Current research is in the neurology of singing and learning.
For many years, Jenevora was in demand as an international concert and opera soloist. Her performing career included many major roles in operas: several with WNO, including Dorabella. She had recital tours throughout the UK, Europe, Asia and North America; and performed and recorded as a soloist with Sir Charles Mackerras and Carlo Rizzi. She has relevant experience of Western Classical and Musical Theatre music of all styles and periods. As well as the Classical canon of operatic works, oratorio and recital repertoire, Jenevora performed many contemporary song cycles, including premieres of ones that were written for her. She also performed and recorded medieval music with The New London Consort.
Here’s Jenevora performing ‘Voi Che Sapete’ from Le Nozze Di Figaro, Mozart – with the guitarist Stephen Goss.
And here’s a recording of ‘Piangero’ from Giulio Cesare, Handel – with the pianist Susie Allen
Jenevora’s rigorous academic study in tandem with her own practical professional experience has equipped her for teaching and teacher training to a level beyond that of any other singing teacher in the UK.