An Audience With... Christina Shewell

Sunday 30th January, 5–6:30pm GMT

Join Dr Jenevora Williams interviewing
guest speaker Christina Shewell live!

Christina Shewell, SLT
Dr Jenevora Williams

Christina Shewell, MA, FRCSLT ADVS, is a spoken voice teacher, and speech / language therapist, and has long working experience with a wide range of clients in both voice therapy and voice development.  She has particular expertise in working with performers, and other professional voice users. 

For 11 years, she was senior lecturer in voice and counselling skills at University College London, has been a staff member of major British acting schools, a coach in the business world and has spoken at many conferences. She leads a wide range of training courses, both nationally and internationally.  

Christina’s book Voice Work: Art and Science in Changing Voices (2009) addresses voice work along the continuum of normal-abnormal voice, in singing, spoken voice coaching and voice pathology, and is a core text for a wide range of voice practitioners.  She has a particular interest in the relevance of mindfulness and imagery in voice work and well-being, and in the links between voice, neuroscience, body and emotions

Her most recent article, Poetry, Voice, Brain and Body is published in the July 2020 Voice and Speech Review – the journal of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association (VASTA).

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Future guests on An Audience With...

An Audience With Shannon Coates (Sun 20th Feb)

An Audience With Robert Sussuma (Sun 27th March)

An Audience With Lynn Helding (Sun 1st May)

An Audience With Tom and Sara Harris (Sun 26th June)

Dr Shannon Coates

Dr Shannon Coates – Speaker | Educator | Maximizer. Pilfering the Ivory Tower on behalf of Independent Voice Teachers since 2010

I am a voice teacher, speaker, and educator who holds three vocal performance degrees from the
University of Toronto, culminating in a Doctorate of Musical Arts specializing in Voice Pedagogy.
Following nearly two decades of owning and operating a successful independent voice studio in
dual urban and suburban demographics (where I taught all the singers you find in every voice studio
from the six-year old who practices more than the rest of the studio combined, to the chorister who
has been singing The Messiah from memory since before you were born, to the teenager who is
finding new purpose in life through music, to the singer-songwriter whose poetry makes you weep,
to the pro and pro-track performers who want a technique refresh), in 2019, I shifted my focus to
working exclusively with voice teachers and to developing training and educational resources
specifically for independent teachers. Along with my mentoring role, I regularly contribute to the
larger voice teaching community through service to voice associations (most recently as the Past-
President of NATS Ontario), presentations at international conferences, and by speaking to
associations and teacher groups throughout the world. I enjoy a significant social media presence
which I use to curate and distribute information related to voice pedagogy, and to promote and
discuss the subjects I am especially passionate about: making teaching best-practices explicit and
applicable in the independent voice studio and creating inclusive voice studios. In September, 2022, I
will launch The VoicePed UnDegree; an online training course designed specifically for independent
voice teachers to be able to complete from the comfort of their own homes/studios/offices (I’m not
judging) while not having to stop teaching in order to get better at, well, teaching. More information
can be found on my website:

Robert Sussuma

Over the past 20 years, Robert Sussuma, MMus. and Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner has been a singer (countertenor, Early Music), voice teacher (all styles, voice-science-informed) and a movement educator (somatic learning specialist), but above all, he’s been an explorer, experimenter, inventor and integrator. He has brought together ideas from the Feldenkrais® Method, Evolutionary Science, Neurology, Experiential Learning, Psychology, Literature and the Arts to create a method for body/voice learning that allows anyone to develop their vocal skills to new and advanced levels while respecting their whole self and system. Visit for more info. Now, Robert, in addition to his interests and class offerings in body/voice learning is branching out to work more and more with the other wonders of the human experience in an integrated and transformational way. Stay tuned!

Lynn Helding

Lynn Helding, Professor of Practice in Voice and Vocal Pedagogy at USC’s Thornton School of Music, is the author of ‘The Mindful Musician: Teaching, Learning & Performance in the Age of Brain Science’, the chapter “Brain” in Scott McCoy’s book Your Voice: An Inside View and an associate editor of the Journal of Singing. A devoted teacher, she was recognized as a “legendary figure in the field of voice pedagogy” by the Contemporary Commercial Music (CCM) Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University, receiving their 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award. For more information, please visit

Motor learning theory has been researched in depth in the world of sports. Its application to the way in which we teach and learn singing is a relatively new approach for singing teachers. Lynn Helding has researched motor learning theory and has considered its practical applications for musicians in her new book, The Musician’s Mind. 

We will be discussing in particular, the idea of where the singer’s focus of attention is best placed – is this on internal sensations and mechanics or on the external outcomes of the process?

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