Do I need to be an experienced or professional singer for this course?
No. This course is perfect for beginners. However, it's also perfect for singers with a lot of stage / studio experience but little technical knowledge or training. Also great for teachers just starting out, who want to experience first hand how to break down information successfully for their own students. (A "workshop leader's certificate upgrade is available).
Will I be expected to sing on my own?
Not if you don't want to! You will be encouraged to sing with the group, but the choice of whether or not to sing alone is yours. We hope you'll feel confident enough by the end of the weekend to give it a try, of course! But we won't pressure you.
Who are the tutors for this course?
VIDLA boss Ria Keen (Phd, MA, Cert.Ed) and Registrar Cordelia Lewis (B.A., VIDLA Adv.Prof Dip). Ria has 30 years' experience as a teacher and 'about 150 years' as a performer (her words!) worldwide. Her specialist fields are musical theatre, pop and mainstream rock. Cordelia is an experienced session and stage vocalist, specialising in rock and alternative vocals. In other words, you're getting two of VIDLA's finest for the entire weekend!
Where is Ludlow? How easy is it to get to?
Ludlow is in Shropshire, on the mid-Wales border. There are good rail links from the North. If travelling by rail from London Paddington there is a change at Newport. If driving, there are good motorway links from all over the UK, then it's an easy trip through beautiful countryside along the A49 or A456.
Will we be working the whole weekend? Or is there some free time?
There is free time built into the course. We will be cramming as much singing technique into the time available as possible, but brains work better and people learn faster if there's some time for reflection and relaxation. Besides, we wouldn't want you to come to a place as beautiful as Ludlow and not get to see it! See the full course itinerary for details.
If you really want to get the most out of your weekend, we highly recommend arriving in Shropshire on Friday morning and taking the time to explore some of the beautiful countryside around Ludlow. The Shropshire Hills - designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty - are on Ludlow's doorstep, and there are lots of lovely market towns and villages to explore, close by. Check-in for the course isn't until 5pm, so why not make the most of the chance to explore some of England's most beautiful scenery?
Can I pay in instalments?
Yes. You will need to secure your place with a deposit, but we have options after that to pay the balance in full or in instalments, to make life easier if required. Please see prices and booking for full details.
Do I need to bring anything?
We ask that you bring a backing track of a song that you like to sing (or would like to learn to sing), on an iPod, smartphone or mp3 player. We also recommend that you bring earphones.
There are no TVs in the rooms so it's recommended that you bring laptops or tablets if you want to watch TV or films-on-demand during down time. There is free wifi throughout the building.
If you're a specialist-tea drinker we'd encourage you to bring your favourite brew with you. There is a kitchenette in the training room so you can keep yourself topped up and raring to go all day if you want to! We'll supply water, tea, coffee (with and without caffeine) and biscuits for the training sessions.
Beyond that, there are no special requirements in terms of bringing things along - just bring what you need to get by!
What should I wear?
During the training sessions you'll be spending quite a lot of time on your feet, so we recommend flat shoes and comfortable clothes. (Don't worry, there are plenty of places to sit if you need or want to)!