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At City Vocal Coach we provide expert singing and songwriting tuition. We’re also home to some of the best teachers in London. So, in order to best direct your musical future, we thought it important you get to know our teachers a little bit more – to help you make that all-important decision of who would be best for you.
Introducing Valentina Pappalardo…
Have you ever been on tour? What’s the craziest thing that has happened?
Yes, a few times, but you know what they say, what goes on tour stays on tour…
Do you get nervous before you perform? If so, how do you handle your nerves?
I used to get really nervous before performing, and I still do occasionally for particularly big shows. To help deal with nerves, I always warm my voice and body up really well - usually before sound check. Then right before the show I might do 5 minutes of yoga and some additional breathing and vocal exercises. You figure out what works best for you after a while, but I've found feeling really prepared is the best thing for nerves.
How do you handle any mistakes when performing?
Cancel and continue! If something goes wrong, either I mess up or there's some technical issue, I try not to make a weird face and then forget about it as soon as possible so that it doesn't affect the rest of the gig.
What instruments do you play? And what was your first instrument?
I play the piano and as a child I played the flute, which got slightly neglected when I started singing. I would like to get back into playing the guitar too as I find it especially useful for writing on.
What is your most important tip for singing/ songwriting?
A realistic and achievable practice routine for your voice is really important. Put aside time each week. Have specific goals that you are working towards and be kind to yourself along the way. Don't beat yourself up about it if you're not able to do something yet, the negative chatter in your head is really your worst enemy when it comes to singing. It is such a personal and exposing process using your voice in new ways, so be brave and keep going!
What do you enjoy the most about teaching?
When students really start to hear and feel a difference in their voice. When it starts to work for them better and when they have a breakthrough with something that at one point was feeling unachievable; getting to the root of an issue that had been holding them back for a while.
I love seeing people transform before and after a lesson. Sometimes students arrive stressed, worried, full of the troubles of everyday life but after an hour singing you can see and feel how exhilarated and happy they are!
Singing is so therapeutic and important for everyone, regardless of ability. It just feels good to sing and I love how teaching reminds me of that again and again.
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