Teachers

HEATHER BAKER

Heather has studied voice and the teaching of voice continuously since 2001 working with some of the worlds greatest vocal experts to perfect her knowledge and teaching abilities. In 2012 she became the first and only British teacher certified as Level 5 in SLS (the highest possible level.) In 2013 Heather left the SLS organisation to work with a selection of high level teachers across the world to set up a new and improved teacher training organisation- The Institute for Vocal Advancement (www.vocaladvancement.com)

Heather’s personal singing career started from the early age of 12 when she performed alongside Darren Day and Philip Schofield in ‘Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dream coat’ at the Bristol hippodrome. From there she never looked back.

I spent most of my childhood going to singing teachers that took my money but didn’t deliver the results I should have had. I learnt plenty of songs but never realised the potential damage I was doing to my voice. As a child in particular you don’t realise that a teacher might not be doing you any good. When I was introduced to correct vocal technique it was like someone had finally turned on the light! I kept questioning- why has no one told me this before?

Heather has learnt from some of the greatest teachers in the world including Seth Riggs, Dave Stroud, Greg Enriquez, John Henny, Wendy Parr, Dean Kaelin, Jeffrey Skouson, Spencer Welch and many others.

Heather began teaching in 2001 and has built up an impressive clientele list since then. Her private clients include gigging musicians, songwriters, television personalities, journalists, signed artists, MOBO Award and Mercury Award nominees, Malta Music Award winners and a vast selection of amateur singers. She has been consulted for nation wide music industry books and local news articles; she has taught at performing arts institutes as far away as Malta, Israel and Australia; and has tutored singing teachers all across the UK. She lectured regularly at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts (LIPA) for 2 years on the music course. Heather has also taught at the legendary Seth Riggs Summer vocal Programme in LA, the SLS international teacher’s conference in Salt Lake City and The Institute for Vocal Advancement’s teachers conferences in California, Edinburgh and Vienna.

In 2019 Heather delivered a TEDx talk all about the Joy of Singing and she truly believes that if it makes you happy you should do it regardless of your level of talent!

Heather also runs Cheshire Pop Choirs (www.cheshirepopchoirs.co.uk) which focuses on getting everybody singing for the pure pleasure of it!

KATIE HACKNEY

Katie grew up with a love of music. She started learning to play the piano at the age of 9 and went on to achieve a grade 6. She also played Alto Saxophone to grade 5 standard and has a grade 5 in music theory. She trained in Ecology at university gaining an MSc in bat behaviour but in 2013 she began to study voice at HBSS with Laura-Jane Boardman. This spurred her on to begin performing.

 

Over the past few years she has been singing and playing piano at restaurants, weddings and other private events. She also became a member of the Northwich pop choir and has taken part in various performances with them. After having her son in 2014, Katie continued her musical journey by becoming a rhythm time teacher, teaching music to babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers. She also started taking Piano lessons again and finally gained her grade 8.

Katie has been training through IVA and has achieved her Level 2 qualifications and is currently working towards her Level 3.

Katie is a very friendly and approachable teacher who knows exactly how to get the most out of her students! She has a particular skill in connecting with children who enjoy her playful nature!

LAURA-JANE KAY

Laura-Jane has been singing since she was 8 years old. Her love of performing arts began when she spent 6 years at a local stage school, performing frequently. She studied and competed in dance for many years but decided her real passion had always been singing. She became a student of Heathers in 2009, and started working/ training to teach at the studio in November 2010. On her 18th birthday she signed up to become a teacher and began her full training at this point.

Since then her teaching experience has grown and her schedule gets busier and busier! She has taught our Glee Club and Children’s classes, as well as having taught at LIPA 4:19,  in High Schools, at Cheshire Pop Choirs and she led a Choir at a retirement home for some time.

Children and Adults, alike, very quickly warm to her and are constantly impressed by how much she is able to help them improve their voices. Laura-Jane was a Level 1 SLS teacher until 2013 and trained up to Level 3 in IVA.

Laura-Jane is currently only offering lessons online as she is pregnant and shielding. Her maternity leave will start in December at which point we will move her students to one of our other teachers at the studio until she returns.

 

JAMES BARLOW

James Barlow has been a gigging musician since the age of 17, turning professional after finishing university in 2002. Since then he has performed at over 1000 weddings and events throughout the UK, singing at some of the country’s most prestigious venues performing for audiences of anything from 9 to 6000!

Whilst continuing to perform James is excited to start on his teaching journey. After studying with Heather for over 10 years, James is looking forward to sharing some of the skills and techniques that have improved his voice so much, as well as passing on some of the performance experience he has gained in his career.

He began his teacher training at the start of 2021 and hopes to qualify as a Level 1 teacher in 2022.