Wendy believes singing is easy … as easy as speaking. “We use the same vocal mechanism for speaking as we do for singing. We don’t stress or worry when we speak … it is an automatic function … but something happens and we become fearful and nervous when we open our mouths to sing … especially … OMG!!** … if someone can hear us”.
Seth Riggs, author of Singing for the Stars and who is one of New York’s top vocal coach’s for many famous drop dead fabulous singers including Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston teaches Speech Level Singing … singing as we speak.
Jo Estill, another contemporary vocal expert teaches a scientific approach to singing but applying the sounds we make effortlessly as children.
In a recent vocal masterclass at the Qld Conservatorium of Music by Neal Semmer, vocal coach from New York, he expressed the idea that singing is educated yelling and sophisticated screaming.
In Wendy’s classes her students learn to observe what happens in their voices when they laugh, cry, whimper, call out in excitement and surprise … these are triggers used to access the natural voice.
“A large part of my work is to demystify singing. I love to see people’s faces when they get it and grow in confidence. Singing is an ordinary, everyday part of daily life in other cultures. We are seriously disadvantaged in our western world”.
There are additional payoffs for confronting our fear of singing … it is a safe place for expression of emotions. We feel better when we express feelings and this builds a stronger sense of self worth. We work towards acceptance of ourselves and others at exactly the stage we are now at without judgement.
We breathe deeper when we sing which oxygenates the blood and the result is a feeling of well being in the body and a sense of personal achievement when songs start to sound beautiful to others and to the student’s own ears.
Wendy studied a Bachelor of Music degree in Jazz and Contemporary Voice and Vocal Pedagogy and graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2000. In 2001 she undertook a study trip to Cuba to study the traditional music, dance and culture. She performed and recorded in Santiago de Cuba with the band Okan (which means heart in the Yoruba language of Africa). In Cuba she learned to speak Spanish and this informs her work with Brisbane’s 7 piece latin orchestra Hot Mambo is performing in the Speigeltent as part of the Brisbane Festival on July 20th with original music written by Wendy Murray and Louise Denson local pianist and composer.
Last year she studied jazz and performance in the Loire Valley, France and Meiso Shiatsu in Italy. She has studied yoga, Alexander Technique for many years and incorporates these bodywork, breathwork and relaxation principals into her vocal classes.
She plays and continues to study guitar and Shakuhachi - Japanese bamboo flute.
Wendy composes her own songs and will be performing these with her quintet at Ahimsa House June 27th and at Jazzworx on July 10th.
Wendy Murray has recently moved to the Dayboro area and is teaching all age groups and abilities in private singing classes in her home studio in Armstrong Ck and group workshops/choir at Earth Circle Shop in Dayboro.