It all started with a voucher for my birthday for a one hour vocal and performance coaching session with Helen Bolton. I was so nervous!!
Helen immediately put me at ease and the hour flew by. I have had ten months tuition so far and have loved every single minute of it.
Helen’s lessons are motivating, constructive and great fun. I had my first performance at Easter this year at the ‘Flip Flop and Fly’ gig that Helen arranged. It was a fantastic evening and I’m looking forward to next one Helen! Since then I’ve joined a band, have done my first recording and had my first gig. I am now starting to write my own songs and it is all thanks to Helen Bolton. This is the best thing I have ever done and I can’t help but feel there is so much more to come.
Had 6 lessons with Helen while I was building up to some big gigs and a new demo. I loved the holistic approach to the lessons. Sure, a lot of it was about singing techniques to improve your voice, but it also covered many other aspects of your performance such as personal confidence and presence. Always very enjoyable and good fun and I will carry on practising the many tips and lessons learned.
Isabelle Knight and Cléa Heaton
I’ve been singing (badly) for many years and when I got together with a guitarist, I decided I really needed some lessons to improve my technique. I found Helen through the Internet and picked her because I liked the look of her website and she was local. I thoroughly enjoyed my lessons with her, she never made me feel bad for my inadequate practise and yet she inspired me to do better. With a full-time job and family I was only able to carry on for a few months, but I then sent my daughter, 12 at the time, for weekly lessons after school.
Cléa has a fantastic voice but was being pushed in the wrong direction at school, encouraged to sing songs deemed appropriate for her age rather than for her voice. Helen changed that. She gave her the confidence to go for the songs she wanted to sing and taught her a lot of music theory which helped her achieve a Music Scholarship to a private school the following year. Clea also appeared in the Global Risc Café concert earlier this year, a great experience for a 13-year old.
I can recommend Helen for both adults and children at whatever level they want to achieve and I’m very pleased we found her.
I’m one of those people that are always singing but didn’t have much confidence in their ability. I’ve always fancied having singing lessons so after having my stage debut at a works party (thanks to my guitar teach arghhh), and after years of comparing myself with the contestants on ‘stars in their eyes’, and being glued to what David and Carrie from Fame Academy had to say to their students I decided to bite the bullet and find a vocal coach in my area.
I found Helen via the internet and made an appointment. That was September 2004 and it’s now May 2005 and I’m still going! Whilst training with Helen I’ve been part of a showcase that Helen arranged at the Global Risc Cafe in Reading with lots of Helen’s other students.
Believe me I wouldn’t have dared to have a go at this prior to having lessons with Helen. The lesson’s are informative, fun, challenging, and what’s really good is that the results speak or should that be sing for themselves!
If you are thinking of having vocal coaching I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Helen. So…now all you’ve got to do is make that appointment!”
Rich Wright – Woodley, Berkshire
I’m in the same band, Outsource, as Ross Callister and sing lead on about a quarter of the band’s songs and sing some backing vocals. I have also previously done some vocal recording on home based equipment.
I had a number of problems: confidence, the ability to sing and play bass at the same time, lack of depth to my vocals and a tendency to lose it on the high notes.
The training with Helen was excellent. She does an assessment early letting you agree your own goals and late on in the lessons which really highlights the changes.
Helen gave a well structured set of lessons which was tailored to my needs, with fun diagrams and a set of easy to follow exercises, all with Helen’s boundless enthusiasm, support and attention to detail. I have become significantly better at pitching my vocals in the right part of my range, by being far more aware of the sound and tone of my voice. My vocal range improved markedly at both the bottom and top. I now have a confidence and depth that I seriously thought was beyond my ability. This confidence has let me feel far more relaxed when playing as well as singing.
Helen also arranged a gig for her students and this was fantastic fun, very successful and went down a storm with the audience, giving everyone the chance to show what they had achieved.
Ross Callister – Woodley, Berkshire
I had been singing in a band for just over a year before I decided to have some vocal tuition. I thought I could sing reasonably well before, but I knew my voice lacked presence and confidence.
At the start of the course Helen asked me what I wanted to get out of the lessons: my personal aims were to improve my vocal range and become more confident as a vocalist, especially when singing without my guitar to hide behind!
Helen taught me a number of vocal warm-up exercises which have really helped, and also showed me how to breathe correctly when singing. This has improved my overall performance which has led to me being more confident.
I certainly think the lessons have been rewarding and enjoyable. I have received many positive comments on how my vocals have improved following my singing lessons with Helen.
Greg Dopson – Reading, Berkshire
Needing to improve my singing for backing vocals in a party/pub band I stumbled across Helen on the web. What a good find that was. She has improved my voice and technique significantly with a resulting gain in confidence that I wasn’t expecting. I am now singing lead vocals as well as being able to sing ‘real’ backing vocals. All this and a lot of laughs too!!
Sophie Kain – Clapham, London
I highly recommend taking singing lessons with Helen Bolton as they are both entertaining and fruitful. Her boundless enthusiasm is infectious, allowing even beginners “to get up and have a go”, her diplomacy ensures that you will gain invaluable positive and negative feedback and her musical ability inspires you to carry on.
Paul Wrightson – Hungerford, Berkshire
I have, over the years, worked with a number of first class vocal coaches. In my opinion Helen is the best I’ve had the pleasure to work with. Helen manages to combine the hard work required for improvement, with an attitude that is both relaxing and fun… vitally important if you are to become confidant and get the best out of your voice. Oh, and by the way, she doesn’t let you get away with anything. I know: I’ve tried!!
(Paul has recorded several albums and has toured extensively in Europe, America, and Canada).
Alex Frankel – Maidenhead, Berkshire
I decided to take up singing lessons because I was trying to record some of my own music (guitar/vocal) and was not happy with the result. My voice was too thin and flat, my range was too restricted and I was all too often getting the notes wrong.
However, after just a few months with Helen (who I found on the net) the improvement is dramatic. My voice now sounds much more powerful and pleasant and I am rarely getting the notes wrong. My range has also improved by a couple of notes on each end of the scale.
Best of all, Helen has taught me how to listen to and analyze my own singing, so that I can judge whether it sounds good to other people. As a result, I am now very happy with my voice both live and recorded.
One other thing - Helen is a very imaginative teacher, so lessons with her are always very good fun.
I predominantly came to Helen to improve vocals on demo recordings I am involved in. Not only has she provided strong advice on vocal exercises, techniques and styles, but has given me confidence to even think about going for it as a performer, which was out of the question a while back. I find there are improvements after every lesson and every one has been thoroughly enjoyable and constructive for me.
I have a far better understanding of my own capabilities and can approach this work which greatly improved flair and confidence. Many thanks!
Lee Switzer – Reading, Berkshire
I was always dubious about taking singing lessons but Helen makes them fun and accessible. There is a great deal of freedom to do my own thing and I feel the lessons have really made a difference.
Jim Bowes www.jimbowes.com – London
It has been a fascinating experience taking singing lessons with Helen Bolton. I have achieved a level of understanding and perception for both music and singing that I wouldn’t have thought possible 3 months ago.
My natural ability to hear, appreciate and replicate vocals has increased dramatically in a relatively short time. I would recommend Helen as a vocal performance coach, especially to those in bands.
I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and have gained a lot from the experience of having coaching. Being a novice in live performance, I have gone from the ‘shy wallflower’ to the ‘Look at me, here I am’ singer. You don’t realise how much more you have to give until you start to learn how to use your voice, breathe correctly and how to project yourself. I will continue to use the exercises on a daily basis - and spend the time needed before performing to warm up which helps me to use my voice to it’s full potential. Without these sessions, I wouldn’t have known how to do that.
I want to thank you Helen for the time and effort spent in helping me achieve my goals.