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Philosophy of Singing:
The act of singing should be a natural and joyful experience whether you're a beginning student or a professional. Without question, knowing the fundamentals of singing is important, but when you're more concerned about the position of your larynx than what you want to communicate to your audience is when most problems arise. For beginner and professional alike, an excessive focus on technique is one of the surest ways to actually end up working against your body's own instincts and do real harm to the inherent joy and art of singing.
Watch ten professional tennis players serve a tennis ball, and they will all have a different delivery or 'technique.' Ultimately, only the method you create yourself that suits your individual physiology and psychology can be the right technique and it takes a thoughtful and insightful teacher/coach to help each student find their own methodology and their own unique voice. I love helping students find their own unique artistic identity!
Our bodies have the most amazing capacity to intuitively produce what we imagine
the strongest. When a student relaxes and visualizes with genuine clarity what they
want to sound like and what they want to communicate to an audience, their bodies
subconsciously summon the 'right' technique -
Of course, some students have a greater interest than others in wanting to know the mechanics of singing and performing, but I am a firm believer that a little bit of knowledge in fundamentals goes a long way and that a student's first and foremost focus should always be on communication and the art of performing, not methodology. Ironically, when that balance is reversed is usually when technical problems arise!
Acting Through Song:
We sing first and foremost to communicate emotions and ideas. Singing song lyrics in an emotionally authentic way that communicates dramatically and convincingly with an audience whilst working in harmony with the musical form and flow is one of the most difficult aspects of performing. I have 30 years experience singing on London's biggest stages and still have more to learn when it comes to the art of dramatically delivering a song. For me, this is the most important part of what I can teach any student and something I'm endlessly fascinated by and feel passionate about exploring with all my students.
Art over Matter:
When Usain Bolt (the fastest man on Earth) was recently asked what he 's thinking of right before the start of a race, he replied, "I usually just try and relax and completely clear my mind."
Relaxation, both mental and physical is at the core of any kind of performance success whether it's in sports or on stage. I can assure you, Usain Bolt was not contemplating his running technique when he won his three gold medals in the London Olympics and a disproportionate concentration on mechanics will cripple even the most talented singer or performer. Never forget the expression, 'Paralysis through Analysis.' I like to replace that expression with one of my own, 'Standing Ovation through Visualization!' Focus on the Art, allow your body to respond and the technique will come and it will be a perfect fit for you!
Ironically, relaxation comes from strength. Think of the effort it takes to run a mile when you are completely out of shape. Now think of running that same mile after you've been consistently training for 3 or 4 weeks. All of a sudden, running that mile feels easy and you are able to relax and run efficiently. Performing on stage is no different. Only through consistent training and methodical preparation can a singer and performer really relax and let go and I will help create a program individually tailored to your needs to help you build up your strength so you can ultimately relax and let go!
My experience as a performer and coach is in Music Theatre. From Phantom to Mamma Mia! or Wicked to Rock of Ages, music theatre demands the most stylistically diverse vocal expertise and flexibility and I love working with all my students to strengthen their knowledge and ability to sing in as many musical styles as possible whilst telling a story through song! However, young voices need careful nurturing and I always strive to find material that challenges my students without ever running the risk of hurting them!
Grainne Renihan Singing Studios Ethos:
Pablo Picasso once famously said, "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Everything you can imagine or visualize can be realized if you only remain open to your most natural instincts and talents and I will work with each student to explore and hold onto their own artistic uniqueness.
Exploration, play, trial and error are as natural and essential to creativity and art as breathing. We will have fun exploring your potential together so that you can build a strong foundation in singing and performing, one that is created by you and serves you alone!
Why Teach Teens and Pre-
I passionately believe that young performers are consistently underestimated in their
ability to produce art of the highest calibre. I actually believe young artists have
an enhanced capacity at their age to excel given the right guidance and discipline.
I would never coerce or force a young voice to sound pre-
For those of you who are at the beginning stages of your journey in learning how to sing, we will focus on finding your own natural voice and the confidence that comes from singing organically, and for those of you that have already made huge strides in developing your skills, we will improve your skill set where needed and strengthen and solidify good habits already in motion.
Why New York?
After living and working my entire life in London, UK, my son Ciaran became determined to study acting in New York. With an American father and after much twisting of arms, my son's passion to follow his dreams eventually convinced his father and I that New York was where we all had to be. We moved to New York last year as a family and Ciaran is now in his sophomore year at one of New York's most prestigious high schools for the performing arts.
Gaining entry into any arts school at the high school or university level is tough at best, but I know what it takes both as a coach and a mother of a teenager to prepare for these very competitive auditions so as to give you the best possible chance of success. I would welcome the opportunity to help guide you through this often complex and daunting audition process.
I sincerely hope you'll allow me the pleasure to help you on your artistic journey and I'm confidant I can help you realize your individual and unique potential as a performer. I look forward to working with you!