When I joined Vocology in Practice I wrote a formal biog and asked my lovely colleagues for references. They look dead fancy so I’m sharing them here.
Rebecca Schwarz Biography – September 2020
Rebecca has been teaching for 15 years and is most excited by working with professional performers who want to explore new styles and care for their voices better, and terrified new to singing singers. Rebecca uses a magpie approach based on exploration of anatomy, acoustics, neurology.
Rebecca initially trained at as an actress at Queen Mary and Westfield, Central School of Speech and Drama and Birmingham School of Acting and worked as an actress in her early 20s whilst also honing her singing craft through singing lessons with leading singing teachers and sharing her original songs at open mic nights in Birmingham and London.
In her mid 20s Rebecca became more drawn towards singing and spent her weekends performing nationally with jazz and pop groups. She also began to teach singing and run choirs.
Rebecca has constantly sought out varied training, including certifying in Estill Training, (CFP), Voice Workshop Advanced Anatomy (Distinction) and training with the British Voice Association (BVA) as well as attaining lots of Diplomas. Rebecca is a Licentiate of London College of Music in Music Theatre and has achieved their teaching diploma at Associate level. Rebecca is a member of Vocology in Practice, a global network of elite voice professionals.
Rebecca is proud to be on the Educational Working Party for the British Voice Association (BVA). The events she has been on the team for represent some of her special interests, Freeing the Dancer’s Voice, Extreme Voices, The Voice – Top Down and a forthcoming spoken voice day.
Rebecca now teaches individuals, groups and choirs as well as running and hosting masterclasses including those from from visiting international tutors.
Singers who have trained with Rebecca can be found in West End shows such as Matilda, An American in Paris and Cats and at the top Performing Arts Institutions in the UK such as Laines Theatre Arts, ICMP and BIMM. She has been called on to help by Universal Records, the BBC and Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre.
Rebecca has a special interest in how mindset and emotional blocks can inhibit “free” singing and has studied many therapeutic different approaches. In addition to her other qualifications Rebecca is a qualified Counsellor (Level 3) and Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming, Timeline Therapy and Hypnotherapy.
Reference from Gemma Milburn, fellow singing teacher and ViP member.
Rebecca Schwarz is one of the most highly skilled vocal coaches that I know, and perhaps the most humble.
Name a voice training method or school of thought, and she has either trained in it or researched it. Her knowledge of the voice is extensive and well-rounded.
She is highly respected in the voice training community, frequently organising training events with the British Voice Association. She recently instigated a 2 day event on Extreme Voices with Kathrine Sadolin and Melissa Cross which was hugely popular.
Rebecca’s dedication and commitment to her clients is second to none. She cares deeply and goes the extra mile to connect with and support them. She has recently qualified in counselling in order to strengthen her work as a vocal coach.
She is a hugely creative person, a beautiful singer and wonderful human. I have no doubt that she would be an asset to Vocology In Practice.
Gemma Milburn – ViP Member
Reference from Iain Jackson, accompanist extraordinaire including main accompanist for Birmingham School of Acting at Birmingham Conservatoire where he accompanies most of the singing lessons.
Reference in support of Rebecca Schwarz
I have worked with Rebecca for nearly 10 years in a wide variety of professional contexts. I have received vocal coaching from her in a series of lessons leading to taking a grade exam. I have accompanied her students in individual lessons, exams and in group workshops, and accompanied her choirs in rehearsals and concerts over a period of years. I have also worked with Rebecca in a collaborative role as co-composer of songs for a one-woman show that she wrote and produced and acted as accompanist for a tour. In these roles, and as a friend, I have had many conversations with her where she has reflected upon her work, on vocal teaching and on the various methodologies from which she draws in her teaching practice.
In my many years of experience working as a professional accompanist I have rarely met or worked with anyone with the motivation, enthusiasm, tenacity and creative energy that Rebecca brings to her work, and always with the well-being and development of the student at the heart of everything she does. She is extremely pro-active in her self-development as a teacher and a vocal practitioner. She embraces a wide-range of approaches to vocal work and is constantly evolving her work in the light of the courses and research that she undertakes. Also, and crucially, Rebecca is committed to the wholistic development of her students and strongly recognises the role that singing can play in mental health. She recognises the individuality of her students and always adapts the method to the students needs, rather than the other way round.
Further to that Rebecca is passionate about using vocal practice and performance to shine a light on issues that are meaningful to her, such as in her one-woman show Baby-Brained The Musical, which highlighted the issue of post-natal depression with a mixture of realism, humour and compassion. As accompanist / musical director I saw closely Rebecca’s creative process as she wrote all the songs and dialogue for the show over a period of months. She was determined to see the project through to completion and to arrange a tour that would enable new mothers to not only see the show but to then enable a discussion about the subject. I was witness to the powerful effect this had on many who saw it.
To summarise I would say that Rebecca is someone who is whole-heartedly dedicated to her work as a vocal teacher and that her technically assured, compassionate and wholistic approach inspires loyalty in her students, many of whom I have seen develop dramatically in terms of confidence and technique in my time working with her.
Iain Jackson BMus (Hons), PGCE, PGDip (accompaniment), AFHEA
Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy