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  • Ambassador
  • (13 reviews)
W
Wyn
« Perfect! Portia has been an excellent teacher. Her instructions are easy to... More »
W
Wyn
« Perfect! Portia has been an excellent teacher. Her instructions are easy to understand and I have found her guidance highly effective. »
R750/h
Profile and degree verified
Response Time 15h
Lessons offered by Portia
  • Individual
  • In group
The lessons will be held
  • at her home
  • at your home
  • By webcam
Taught subjects
  • Singing
  • Vocal Coaching
Levels
  • All Levels

Portia - Central Lewisham - Singing

Methodology

Everyone’s voice is unique and so is everyone’s learning approach. And yet there is a universality to what makes a healthy voice and a beautifully expressive tone – relaxed, instinctive breathwork and whole-body alignment create the support that provides true freedom to the larynx, which itself moves between intricate and detailed shifts of posture and position throughout the singing act. These intricate laryngeal postures can be explored and understood physiologically, and then incorporated back into a healthy primal, emotional vocal expression.

Lessons are tailored to each individual, and combine technique and intuition to uncover genuine vocal freedom, musicality, expressive tone, and grounded confidence. Through studying with me, students build themselves a toolkit that employs creativity and physiological knowledge to achieve healthy and authentic vocal and musical expression.

I am passionate about providing an environment that is safe enough to support curiosity and experimentation, and to strike the balance between playfulness and discipline, thereby creating the perfect conditions for creative and personal growth.

We uncover skills and knowledge for all areas of music and sound-making: from jazz and pop to classical, folk, experimental, rock, improvisation and beyond!

Ambassador

One of our best tutors! High-quality profile, qualifications verified and response guaranteed. Portia will plan your first lesson with care.

Background

I have been performing for 18 years and teaching for 9 years, with students of all levels of experience. As well as teaching one-to-one, I also run vocal workshops in various places from Lee Complimentary Health Centre to deep in the Welsh forests. I mentor undergraduate music and art students from Goldsmiths College, Chelsea Art College on their final shows. I am a visiting lecturer on the voice for 2nd-year degree students at Falmouth University in Cornwall.


I studied for my degree in music at Dartington College of Arts and completed my Master of Music at Goldsmiths College. I have studied Masterclasses with Meredith Monk and Maggie Nicols. I have studied the physiology of the voice from the perspective of the Estill technique Janice Chpaman and Gillyanne Kayes. As a performer I gig with my solo songs as well as in collaboration in the UK and abroad at venues such as The Vortex, Cafe Oto, The ICA, The National Portrait Gallery, The Purcell Room, Resonance FM, Whitstable Biennale, Sadler’s Wells, as well as at venues in Lithuania, France, Canada and Iceland.

Rates

Rate for online lessons : R750/h
Rate for 5 hours of lessons : R3216
Rate for 10 hours of lessons : R6432

Details

I offer concessions to people on a budget.

Lessons offered by Portia
Individual
In group
The lessons will be held
at her home
at your home
webcam
Taught subjects
  • Singing
  • Vocal Coaching
Levels
  • All Levels

Portia's CV

Dartington College of Arts: BA Music (Performance)
Goldsmiths College: MMus (Creative Practice)
Dancing Voice, Singing Body: Meredith Monk Masterclasses, Paris
Estill: Training with Charlotte Shorthouse and Anne-Marie Speed, London
Falmouth University: Visiting Lecturer (voice; voice and electronics)

13 reviews on Portia
  • 4.9/5

All our ratings are collected by us and are given in confidence, they correspond to a real experience.
W
Wyn

Perfect! Portia has been an excellent teacher. Her instructions are easy to understand and I have found her guidance highly effective.

Tamar

Perfect! Professional, Intelligent, experienced and I really enjoyed the lesson. Felt an improvement right after the first one. Highly recommended

S
Salahuddin

Perfect! Is warm and makes you feel comfortable

L
Latoya

Perfect! Omg I loved it,she taught me so many things about singing and the science behind it that I didn't know about. I really enjoyed my lesson and felt like I improved right away. Can't wait to go back.

Joanne

Excellent! Entertaining, informative. Portia was very patient, engaging and encouraging. She was able to explain abstract concepts simply and easily. Very down to earth, welcoming and supportive - great for shy or nervous people. I only wish I had kept better notes to make sure I remember everything we went through.

Hoppi

Perfect! The session with Portia was super helpful and has served in opening a whole new exploration with my voice in unexpected and creative ways... I'll definately be booking with her again...
she was warm, approachable, honest, and very knowledgeable.
Highly recommended.

7 recommendations

John

As a musician I have had the good fortune to know and work with Portia over a number of years and can say she is a fine musician with, a very important quality this, excellent listening skills. She also has a wide background of vocal experiences and styles to draw upon which makes her able to understand the particular needs of individual pupils, tailoring lessons to achieve the best results in any circumstance. Her sense of humour and empathy is also a desirable quality in any teacher and I have no hesitation in recommending her as an excellent teacher.

Jessie

Portia is great to work with, really calm when I was nervous. Highly recommend!

H
Howard

I have known and worked with Portia for many years. She is a consummate performer and innovative vocalist and musician who is always exploring new sounds and ways of working. Her thoughtful and super friendly approach to singing can only be beneficial to any student that comes her way.

E
Eve

I felt instantly comfortable singing with Portia, she's very encouraging yet gives constructive criticism. She's helped me understand how the larynx works, and to realise my ability. She's highly qualified, professional, but extremely personable. As well as improving my singing, having lessons has increased my confidence and the whole experience is very relaxing and fulfilling. I would thoroughly recommend Portia as she's a great teacher and a bubbly, smart and unique person. Being with her is a lot of fun!

S
Steve

I had been a singer for 20 years when I decided to have some sessions with Portia to improve on my technique. 6 months later I had improved my tone, built up a great repertoire and gained about 2 semitones in my upper range. She was able to hear what my throat was doing right (and wrong) and put together exercises accordingly, as well as choosing some great songs to work on.

S
Sofie

Singing with Portia during my months in London was a great way to explore my singing voice further, and discover new ways to make use of it. I am not experienced with singing techniques and have made good use of the variations and alterations I was taught. Entering her calm and atmospheric sphere was also a much appreciated contrast to the constant stimuli of sounds outside and in halls.

I
Isabella

Portia is a very patient and encouraging teacher who creates a safe and welcoming environment, where one feels comfortable and empowered to sing. She has an excellent knowledge of a variety of vocal styles and techniques, and tailors her lessons around your particular needs and interests. Her explanations are great and she has really boosted my confidence and singing abilities.

Interview with Portia

QUESTION 01 | 08
When did you first develop a passion for music and your favourite instrument?
Portia — When I was as young as I can remember. Singing has always felt like a natural and enjoyable activity, although it wasn't until my early twenties that I realised I could decide to pursue singing and call myself a 'singer'. To me it's clear that each and every one of us is born a singer (there's really no such thing as being tone deaf), but that culturally we've been taught that some can and some can't - which is a falsehood - and my fundamental passion as a vocal coach is in helping people vocalise their opposition to this belief!
QUESTION 02 | 08
Is there a particular type music or artist that you listen to on a loop without it driving you crazy?
Portia — A tricky question, as the answer changes with the seasons of life. I can cetainly listen to the sounds of nature on loop without it driving me crazy.
QUESTION 03 | 08
Explain to us the most difficult or riveting course you could personally give to a student of music.
Portia — In the dialogue between primal emotional expression and musical and physiological technique, we create the perfect conditions for performance. The most difficult thing is perhaps achieving the self-directed rigour required to develop this deep, balanced relationship with one's own voice. If the student is curious and committed, they can achieve any exploratory goal. And we must keep learning to listen, and also to move beyond habitual judgments.
QUESTION 04 | 08
What do you think is the most complicated instrument to master and why?
Portia — Electric guitar behind the back like Jimmy Hendrix, because you need such good shoulder flexibility.
QUESTION 05 | 08
What are your keys to success?
Portia — I think I've possibly answered this in question 3, but to put it another way: a stubborn belief in the validity of pursuing singing as a human birthright (and indeed a personally and socially healing act) will lead to much success.
QUESTION 06 | 08
Name three musicians you dream of meeting in your favourite bar in the early hours of the morning. Explain why.
Portia — I would love to meet in the bar - or indeed the forest, or beside the river, or in a delicious restaurant - Joanna Newsom, to talk about her wondrous epic story-telling ways coupled with her intricate harp and voice arrangements; Stevie Wonder to talk about his juicy journeys around harmony and modulation; and Patti Smith to discuss her noble punk-rock poetic performance abilities. It would also be nice to chat with Emma Kirkby about technique and repertoire. I could mention any number of musicans really, but these will do for today.
QUESTION 07 | 08
Provide a valuable anecdote related to music or your days at music school.
Portia — An experience from my early music training which has stayed with me and fuelled my own developments as a performer and a listener took place half-way through the final performance of a Jazz module. I was in the middle of singing 'All of Me', scared as usual, and suddenly the fear fell from my shoulders like a cloak and was replaced with the sense that my only responsibilty was to be true to the sound being created. To honour the molody, the harmony, the timbre, the atmosphere. To sculpt a sonic experience with as much artistry as I could muster. This is a sensory memory that I re-invoke always in performance and it does not let me down.
QUESTION 08 | 08
What are the little touches that make you a Superprof in music?
Portia — Is it really for me to say? I care deeply about helping people to uncover their true voices. As I have said, singing is a birthright and the more of us that own our own voices, the better. Ultimate goal: entire world a'singing. I am a passionate about my own performance and composition, and my journey as an artist is only enhanced by my work with my students. They teach me as much as I teach them. Lessons always close with a feeling of invigoration and peace, which I hope suggests that between us we are creating superb moments along the vocal journey.

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