VOCAL COACH AND CONTEMPORARY SINGING TEACHER in london
Rachel Bettesworth has worked and performed in musicals, choirs, as a session singer, function singer and solo singer-songwriter since the age of 9. She has been coached and mentored by celebrity vocal coach David Grant (BBC Fame Academy, Pop Idol) since 2006. She studied Vocals and Songwriting at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance.
Rachel coaches contemporary singing at all levels. Students include recording artists, actors, TV presenters, session musicians, YouTubers, child TV and film actors, unsigned singer songwriters, talented teens, absolute beginners, people looking to improve their confidence, or mental or physical health through singing… anyone who just loves to sing!
Rachel teaches from her studio in the London borough of Islington. Sessions are also available in homes, studios, rehearsal spaces and on the road, provided there is a piano or 76-key (minimum) keyboard. Sessions are one hour. They include vocal exercises to build technique, applying that technique to songs, enhancing performance skills, and developing your own sound.
Rachel is a registered member of the Musician's Union and the Association of Teachers of Singing. She has worked with children and teens since 2012.
singing TEACHING AND GIGS FOR teenAGERS
Unlocking your own voice and learning how to use it is a powerful tool when you’re working out who you are. Rachel’s approach to coaching teenagers is confidence-building and pro-individualism led. She does not automatically enter teens into formal voice grading exams. Instead, she collaborates with her students to develop their voices to their highest standard without turning singing into a chore. Rachel also offers songwriting tuition, helping students to develop a knowledge and understanding of contemporary songwriting. (12+). Sessions are one hour and weekly during term time.
Teen students have the opportunity twice a year to gig at real live music venues around London. This year’s summer gig was at the Half Moon Putney. Special guest Sarah Close gave a live performance workshop and Q&A before the teens each performed an acoustic set. These gigs are a unique and exciting opportunity for young singers and songwriters to gain performance experience in a safe and supportive setting; building confidence and resilience which can be transposed to any aspect of life.
Talks, workshops and seminars:
Rachel is also available as a workshop and seminar speaker. She has talked at educational establishments such a Leeds College Performing Arts, City of Bath College Performing Arts and Platform One music college on the Isle of Wight. Subjects have included vocal technique, songwriting, and self-confidence in females in the creative industries.
RACHEL’s singing philosophy
“THERE ARE 3 things THAT MAKE A GREAT VOICE…
1. Head. So much of the sound a singer makes comes from whether or not they believe they can make it. Therefore, the psychology and mentality behind singing are very important. I focus on developing self-confidence and strong minds in my students, as well as filling their heads with an understanding of the science and physicality behind the voice to ensure safe technique.
2. Heart. A great voice needs courage, vulnerability and feeling. Some of the best-loved singers of all time didn't have what many would call a 'great' voice, but they definitely had heart. Think of John Lennon in 'Imagine', Carole King’s 'You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman', Bob Dylan in 'Blowin' in the Wind’… Sometimes, the secret to a great vocal comes not from impressive technical ability, but right from the heart.
3. Ear. Great singers really know how to listen. They listen to the message of the song, to the feel of the music, to the band around them. Perhaps most importantly, they think of the listeners' ears. A great singer doesn't lose the message of a song by oversinging it, nor does she or he deafen the listener by showing off with every note… a great singer listens.
…HEAD + HEART + EAR = VOICE.”
“Rachel is a skilled and enthusiastic singing coach and has helped me to improve my technique in the studio and on stage. Her knowledge of the music industry takes her beyond a normal teacher, she focuses on what you want to learn and tailors her teaching to your needs. Not only that, but she is kind and encourages a “can do” attitude in her lessons.”
- Sarah Close, recording artist and songwriter
“The voice is like an instrument and anything else in life; it needs to be worked at. This is best accomplished in a safe and supportive environment. Rachel creates an encouraging atmosphere for improvement and educates you specifically on what the voice is and how it works. We all have a voice and if you want to train yours, you’re in the right place.”
- Slim Gabriel, drummer (Bruno Major, Barns Courtney)
“Finding the right singing teacher is an important decision. Rachel is so professional, talented and motivating. She teaches techniques that will make all the difference on your sound, with fast results on your voice and confidence. I really enjoy Rachel’s classes and I highly recommend her.”
- Moyses dos Santos, bassist (Gavin James, Janelle Monae, Freya Ridings)
“I was lucky enough to have Rachel as my singing tutor for a few months earlier this year. In every session she was wonderful, highlighting strengths and pinpointing weaknesses and areas to work on without ever being negative. I grew in confidence and aptitude under her teaching and would highly recommend her to friends and colleagues.”
- Wilf Scolding, actor (Game of Thrones)
“We’ve been wanting to find the right singing teacher for our daughter for a long time, and I think you’re it! Your approach is so great- energetic, positive and encouraging- and just what [my daughter] needs!”
- Lisa Colles, mother of a teen student
“Rachel creates such a comfortable, safe space to learn to sing… I always feel a ‘buzz’ coming out of Rachel’s lessons with a new sense of confidence and enthusiasm. This is a result of her effortless way of bringing out the best in students and allowing them to believe in themselves.”
- Sophie Rankin, student
“Rachel’s knowledge and skill allow her to make the art of singing accessible to a novice like myself, tailoring our sessions with precision to suit my abilities without missing a beat.”
-Alistair Hardy, student
“Thank you and congratulations for putting on such a fabulous show. It has been an amazing ‘life affirming’ experience for my daughter.”
- Rebecca Rhodes, mother of a teen student, after summer gig 2019
“I just thought I'd say thank you for such an interesting and inspiring seminar. It was very interesting to hear about songwriting from someone with such a wealth of experience. Your advice, especially regarding keeping integrity, was very inspiring.”
- Platform One student, 2017
“We’re all still on a massive high! What an amazing thing. Thank you for working so hard with them all and for generally being a ray of light and positivity and energy … I’m so glad we found you and look forward to lessons and friendship continuing well into the future.”
- Lisa Colles, mother of a teen student, after summer gig 2019