Phillip Shades



  • Where did my inspiration for teaching begin?
  • Who inspired and encouraged me?
  • What do I do?



How does the voice work and what are the best ways to use it to achieve the results that you want? This is the question that I have devoted my career to answering.


Where did my inspiration for teaching begin?


During my training at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama it was par for the course to come up against occasional vocal problems. Tutors at the Academy reassured me that inconsistencies were common with all voices during training. Tightness in the throat, voice cracks, tension, these were all problems that everyone encountered at some stage and there was always a vocal exercise or technique to counteract them. Without question these exercises were the answer and everyone was happy to accept it. Being able to work against any possible problems was great but it left me with more questions: What was happening in the body to bring about vocal problems? Why did the exercises work? What effect did these techniques have and what muscles were being used? These curiosities would accompany me in my training from then on. Around this time I was introduced to my new singing teacher who had the answers I was searching for. Since beginning my training with him he inspired me to begin my own research into what makes the voice work and what makes the voice stop working. I have become fascinated with all aspects of the voice and have not stopped researching ever since.  Thank you Stephen!


Who inspired and encouraged me?


It was around this time that I became aware of the work of Jo Estill and other vocal pioneers such as Ann-Marie Speed, Paul Farringdon, Mary Hammond and Janice Chapman to name only a few. Their work has continued to give me extra inspiration in my own research to discover what makes the voice work. I went on to do my post- graduate diploma at the Royal Academy of Music in London where I was able to work alongside these wonderful teachers and witness their research in action.


What do I do?


I began to work as a professional singer and actor but my passion for teaching and voice research kept calling me back to the studio. Over the past 13 years I have enjoyed teaching many voices all over the world and my thirst for research and teaching has yet to be quenched. Teaching is a passion of mine and I will continue to teach as long as there are people who want to use their voice. I teach people of all levels. There is great satisfaction in teaching children and adults who have that brimming enthusiasm about what their voice can do. As well as beginners I also continue to teach people who are getting ready for exams or auditions to colleges or professional productions. I am on call to many professional singers and actors who have come across a difficulty with their voice and need to find a way of overcoming it.  My students also consist of business men and women who need to use their voice as a tool in their everyday work. To be in control of your own voice can have a very positive effect on your life. I teach Opera singers, Musical Theatre Actors, Students, Beginners, Children, Just for Fun singers. So long as you have the inspiration to sing, I have the motivation to teach.


I hope that the question I asked at the beginning is never totally answered. I enjoy learning from my students and hope to continue doing so with help from other vocal coaches and singing teachers who share my passion for how the voice works.


Many Thanks,








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